The causes for the significant and increasing deficit in the European motion picture industry can be analyzed from a comparative historical perspective: structural differences characterize the organization of economic activities in the two continents. In the United States, the industry underwent a progressive industrialization, which organized efficiently production and distribution processes. In Europe, although pioneering successful entrepreneurial efforts, the industry did not succeed in incorporating the growth necessary to large-scale development, leaving the business within a semi-industrial organization.
This paper, divided in four parts, aims at discovering the causes of the competitive gap underlying the deficit, and evaluating the actions undertaken to reduce it. The first part describes the evolution of the industry in the United States and Europe, examining their respective differences. In the second part such differences are associated with the causes of the deficit. The third and fourth part analyze the logic for public intervention in the industry, and discuss the main initiatives implemented by national and European policies to cope with the existing competitive weaknesses.