Thanks. I love these kind of statistics.
Hard to say what genres were most successful. Those Italian box ofice statistics speak for themselves of course, but to me it seems many gialli or 'thriller al'Italiana' might have been more successful abroad compared to Westerns, crime thrillers, let alone comedies (that did hardly anything at all outside Italy). For Death Walks on High Heels
, IMDb mentions a figure of 722,000 admissions for Spain, but of course, that one got Nieves Navarro in a starring role, but somehow many seem to have taken in very healthy profits in France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Turkey etc, much more than crime films, although they are so many cross-overs, it's almost impossible to make a clear distinction between many genres.
Just looked in The Encyclopedia of European Cinema (ed., Ginette Vincendeau London 1995) for some numbers on European Cinema:
Film production Italy:
50s: 1323 films (including 372 co-productions)
60s: 2307 films (including 1098 co-productions)
70s: 1985 films (including 592 co-productions) - in 1971 Italy produced 216 films of which 88 co-productions.
80s: 1145 films (including 166 co-productions)
The number of co-productions rapidly drops off after 1975. I have no idea where they obtained these figures and for most countries the estimates seem a bit conservative, but I have no other reliable figures at hand here.
Audience figures for Italy 1971:
535,700,000 (roughly 9,9 tickets per inhabitant per year)
Peak year in absolute numbers was 1955 with 819,400,000 (roughly 16 tickets per inhabitant per year)
Until 1975 audience figures in Italy remain remarkably healthy, after 1975 a steady decline sets in. Look at the numbers.
1980: 241,900,000 (4,3 per inhabitant per year)
1990: 90,500,000 (1,6 per inhabitant per year)
During the 60s and 70s audience figures (per head) in Italy were comparable to Spain, Portugal, Greece, but much higher than in France (always low), or Britain or Germany, where cinema attendance already dwindled by the early 60s, with the most catastrofic decline in West Germany where audience figures dropped from a peak of 817,500,000 in 1956 to just 180,400,000 in 1968, while the Italians clearly kept going well into the 70s.
6 millions spectators, That's 25% of Italy's total population in 1971!
I think Italy had roughly 54 million inhabitants in 1971, which would make 11 % of the total population. Still very impressive, though.