Country Focus: Greece
Market share rises amidst dropping admissions
by Joseph Proimakis
23/01/2009 - Though 2008 ended with a substantial drop of 18% in general admissions, local films managed to stand their ground, thus achieving a slight rise in market share, from last year’s 16.2% to this year’s 19.6%. Out of a total of 9.7 million tickets sold, 1.9 million were for homegrown titles.
Mamma Mia! [trailer], a US/UK co-production, soared on top of the yearly box office with 625,000 admissions, cashing in on its special charm over local audiences as it was mostly shot in the island of Skiathos.
It was followed by the year’s highest earning Greek productions: the romantic comedy Just Broke Up (420,000 admissions) and the army comedy Loafing and Camouflage: I-4 (391,295). Blockbusters Quantum of Solace [trailer] and The Dark Knight rounded out the top five with 391,011 and 338,000 admissions, respectively.
Odeon saw but a slight rise in its yearly totals, holding fourth and last place among the major local distributors’ board, with a total of 1,780,000 admissions, as opposed to last year’s 1,400,000, even though the two top spot Greek comedies managed to bring in over half of the company's yearly co-production and distribution earnings.
UIP Greece saw a dramatic 51% rise in total earnings since last year, climbing from third to first place with 2,700,000 admissions, boosted by Mamma Mia!’s success and a streak of strong foreign performers such as Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Atonement [trailer] and Kung Fu Panda, all of which made it into the year’s top 10 grossers.
Ousted from last year’s top spot, Village Films came a close second this year with 2,600,000 admissions (300,000 from Greek titles), having suffered a major drop of 43.4%.
Audio Visual, another major co-producer and distributor of local films, was pushed down from second to third place, its 2,181,179 ticket total (397,297 from Greek films) marking a 42.7% decline in admissions.