Country Focus: Finland
Local market share up 3%
by Annika Pham
- With 1.5 million admissions, 2008 was a good year for Finnish films, which upped their local market by 3% to 23%, almost returning to the 2006 level of 24%.
As in 2007, three Finnish films made it to local Top Ten, all distributed by Nordisk Film: children’s film Ricky Rapper (209,506 admissions); animated family film Niko and the Way to the Stars [+see also:
film profile] (199,189), which took many European screens by storm last Christmas; and the comedy The Subtenant (179,460).
General admissions were up by 7% from 2007, to seven million, a level not seen since 2003. The biggest box office hit of the year was Quantum of Solace [+see also:
film profile] (428,281 admissions), followed by Mamma Mia! [+see also:
film profile] and Sex and the City.
“We’ve obviously had good local product and a number of international hits. However, as always, while the Helsinki area is quite equipped to handle cinema demand, that’s not the case with smaller cinemas in rural areas,” said Tero Koistinen, executive director of Filmikamari, the Finnish Cinema Exhibition association that is still negotiating with the government on a financial package to support cinema-going across the country.
This year has gotten off to a great start for Finnish films, with the January 9 release of Hellsinki by box office champion Aleksi Mäkelä (Bad Boys: A True Story [+see also:
film profile]). The film produced by Solar Films posted over 47,000 admissions in its first weekend, the fourth best opening ever for a local film on domestic ground. Hellsinki has now passed the 146,000 admissions mark for Nordisk Film and was still number one in the local Top Ten last weekend.
Other local titles set to open soon include Jukka-Pekka Valkaepää’s The Visitor [+see also:
film profile], which premiered in Venice Days 2008 and is opening this Friday, and the thriller Forbidden Fruit by Dome Karukoski (The Home of the Dark Butterflies [+see also:
film profile]), opening on February 13.