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BOX OFFICE Denmark

Local films score near-record admissions

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This year will go down in history for Danish films at the domestic box office, as the best since 1978, when 5.4 million tickets were sold. In 2008, cinema attendance exceeded the previous second-best record of 4.1 million in 1981, by 8,000 admissions, and two titles have yet to open: family film Max (to be released this Friday), and Kristian Levring’s Fear Me Not (December 19).

In a statement published yesterday, the Danish Film Institute pointed out that the excellent performance of Danish films at home is all the more impressive since the media landscape has radically changed since 1981, and film volume and means of film consumption have drastically increased.

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Indeed, back then, Danes had only one TV channel, public broadcaster DR. The second, TV2 Denmark, was not launched until 1988 and the first satellite channel, TV3, in 1987. Cinema admissions gradually declined from 1981 to reach the lowest overall level of 9 million in 1995 (of which only 780,000 were for Danish films). They then started to climb back up again.

Since the 1990s, film premieres (both domestic and international) have almost doubled, and films have a much shorter life on screen. Nevertheless, the Danish film policy of increasing the annual production output to 20-25 films per year seems to have worked, as the market share for local films has stayed just above 25% since 2001 and could well pass 30% by the end of 2008.

The top three Danish films of the year are Flame & Citron [+see also:
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(667,601 admissions), produced by Nimbus Film, the comedy Take the Trash (Fridthjof Film – 447,678 admissions), and animated title Journey to Saturn (A Film – 398,620 admissions).

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