Country Focus: Norway
Record 22.5% local market share in 2008
by Annika Pham
19/01/2009 - Last year was the best since 2003 for Norwegian films, which upped their total admissions by almost 50% from 2007 to almost 2.7 million in 2008, according to preliminary figures published by Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino.
The WWII drama Max Manus [trailer], released on December 19, immediately took fourth place in the Norwegian top 20 of 2008, alongside three other local films: Nils Gaup’s historic epic The Kautokeino Rebellion [trailer] (343,615 admissions), the comedy Long Flat Balls II (293,057 admissions) and the horror film Cold Prey 2 [trailer] (267,826 admissions).
“Obviously, we are absolutely thrilled by the success Norwegian film has had on the home market in 2008,” said Nina Refseth, head of the Norwegian Film Institute. “But there is also reason to stress that a total of ten Norwegian films had over 100,000 admissions in 2008 and number 11 (animated film Kurt Turns Evil) had 99,543 admissions. This means that a broad range of the films is reaching an increasing audience.
“The market share is an all-time high since the ratings started, and with the good records for 2008 we expect audiences to be even more responsive in the years to come. As is well known, nothing succeeds like success.”
General admissions were up significantly as well (10%), to 11.8 million, thanks to Norwegian films during the first part of the year, then to US blockbusters such as Mamma Mia! and The Dark Knight, which drove cinema-going to a record high during the summer period.
Ten or 11 Norwegian films will open in Norway during the first quarter of the year. Those include the road movie Nord by first-timer Rune D. Langlo, selected in the Berlinale 2009 Panorama Special; the European co-productionThe Orange Girl by Eva Dahr (Mars & Venus [trailer]), based on Jostein Gaarder’s novel of the same name; and Katja Eyde Jacobsen’s youth film Yatzy, written by Harald Rosenløw Eeg (Hawaii, Oslo [trailer]).