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ADMISSIONS Finland

Local films up 69%

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Finnish films had a record year in 2006 with approximately 1.6m admissions, up 69% from 2005. According to preliminary figures from the Finnish Film Foundation, the domestic market share for local films reached 23% (compared to 15% in 2005), a level not achieved in several decades.

Aleksi Mäkelä’s Matti: Hell Is For Heroes [+see also:
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, based on the life of famous Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen, was the most successful Finnish film of the year out of 16 new local releases, and the biggest grosser of all 180 new titles distributed in 2006. The film was seen by over 460,000 filmgoers, another record for production house Solar Films, which for the last four years has come up with the biggest local hit of the year: Bad Boys-A True Story [+see also:
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in 2003 (614,757 admissions), Vares [+see also:
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in 2004 (201,097), Frozen Land in 2005 (170,357) and now Matti.

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Headed by Markus Selin, the production company will almost certainly score again in 2007 with the imminent release January 12 through BVI of V2-Dead Angel [+see also:
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, the sequel to the 2004 hit about private eye Jussi Vares.

Other Finnish films that performed well in 2006 are the comedy Jackpot by Pekka Karjalainen (230,654 admissions) and Joona Tena’s football film FC Venus [+see also:
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, which was released in December 2005 and garnered 221,534 admissions in 2006 for an overall total of 235,652.

Final 2006 admission figures for domestic films will continue to climb slightly with the mid- December release of Raimo O. Niemi’s family film Mystery of the Wolf [+see also:
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, a Finnish/Swedish/UK co-production that sold over 17,000 tickets and upped its position on the domestic chart from fifth to third position last weekend.

Total admissions in Finnish cinemas increased by 12% in 2006 from 6.1m to 6.8m. The biggest hits of the year were Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (456,278 admissions), The Da Vinci Code (364,070) and Casino Royale [+see also:
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(344,262), still number one after six weeks on general release through Nordisk Film/Sony Pictures.

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