Country Focus: Iceland
They are not many but are still world’s number-one cinema-goers
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- With a population of only 319,575, Icelanders should have lots of other things to do, but they are the world’s most frequent cinema-goers, with a per-capita attendance of 4.75, according to 2011 statistics from the Icelandic Film Centre and SMAIS, the local holders of film rights. Last year, total admissions reached 1.5 million, 3% fewer than in 2010, while gross box office receipts registered a 1% increase. Icelanders watch films on 43 screens in 18 theatres, 29 screens/eight theatres situated in and around the capital of Reykjavik.
US product is still controlling the charts, lead by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [+see also:
film profile], which Samfilm released to clock in 53,162 admissions. Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard’s Clown: The Movie [+see also:
film profile] came in at number four on the top-ten list, (41,124 admissions, Samfilm), while best local performer was number ten, Bragi Hinriksson’s children’s film The Magic Wardrobe (30,602 admissions, Samfilm).
Also, Reynir Lyngdal’s Our Own Oslo (pictured - 23,892 admissions, Sena), Olaf de Fleur Johannesson’s City State [+see also:
film profile] (16,465 admissions, Myndform) and Óskar Jónasson’s Legends of Valhalla: Thor [+see also:
film profile] (24,044 admissions, Sena) contributed to secure the local market share of 9.3% (1.7% down) – the latter, Iceland’s first 3D animation film, opened earlier this month (February 10) at number four in South Korea, where it was released on 382 screens.
While a total of nine Icelandic productions were launched in 2011, only four domestic features are scheduled for this year, including Baltasar Kormákur’s The Deep – which he filmed in Iceland in 2010 - Reynir Lyngdal’s Frost, Óskar Thór Axelsson’s Black's Game [+see also:
film profile] (both picked up for international sales by Denmark’s TrustNordisk) and Börkur Gunnarsson’s Rock Bottom.