Country Focus: Norway
Admissions up 8% in first half of 2009
by Annika Pham
06/07/2009 - Thanks to local hit Max Manus [trailer], which has stayed at the top of the 2009 charts since late December 2008, total admissions for the first half of 2009 were up 8% over 2008 (to 5,591,082), and the market share for local films reached a record 26.5% (or 1,481,563 admissions).
There are three Norwegian films in the year’s top ten so far, according to Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino: Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning’s WW2 drama Max Manus was number one (756,963 admissions in 2009 and 1.1m in total since its December 19, 2008 release); Arne Lindtner Næss’ children’s film The Junior Olsen Gang and the Black Gold was number seven (188,185 admissions); and Tommy Wirkola’s horror spoof Dead Snow [trailer] was number nine (139,717 admissions).
Two European films were also in the top ten. Released by Nordisk Film on March 13, the Swedish/Danish co-production The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [trailer, film focus] by Nils Arden Oplev took second place with over 514,000 admissions, while Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire [trailer, film focus] was number four, with over 211,000 admissions for SF Norge.
“Norwegian films have clearly strengthened their position in the cinemas,” said Birgitte Langballe, head of Communications for Film & Kino. “This year, there will also be a summer release of a Norwegian film – the chiller Detour – which doesn’t happen very often. It will be exciting to see the kind of response it will get.”
The summer release of Detour (SF Norge) was supported by the Norwegian Film Institute and the Ministry of Culture in an attempt to spread the release of Norwegian films throughout the calendar year and have them benefit from the rise in cinema-going during the summer season.