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Box Office – Finland

Country Focus: Finland

Local market share down 8% in 2009

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After three years above 20%, the 2009 domestic market share for Finnish films fell back to the 2005 level of 15%, down 8% on the 23% share in 2008.

General admissions also fell by 2.4%, to 6.7 million. For Harri Ahokas, head of Distribution at the Finnish Film Foundation, the lack of domestic children/family films was “the most important reason for weaker admissions”.

However, in 2009 four local titles passed 100,000 admissions mark, against seven the previous year. Aleksi Mäkelä's comedy Hellsinki [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
was the biggest local hit (256,000 admissions) and third most popular film of the year, after the family blockbusters Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(US/UK).

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Mika Kaurismäki’s comedy-drama The House of Branching Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
was the second biggest Finnish film (143,930 admissions), followed by Dome Karukoski’s youth drama Forbidden Fruit [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(115,147 admissions) and Timo Koivusalo’s Civil War movie Under the North Star [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(101,152 admissions). Klaus Härö’s Letters to Father Jacob [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Finland’s Oscar nomination submission) garnered over 97,000 admissions. Danny Boyle's Academy Award winning UK film Slumdog Millionaire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Danny Boyle
film profile
]
was number six in the Finnish top ten of 2009 with 187,156 admissions.

Ahokas predicts a new upturn in admissions for this year, thanks notably to three children/family films and to the increased digitisation of cinemas (25% of screens in 2010), which should improve distribution and favour greater diversity in programming. The first local premiere of 2010 was Neil Hardwick's If You Love [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, produced by Juonifilmi and released by Fs Film Oy on January 6. The musical love story between a politician’s daughter and the son of an immigrant family took second place in the top ten, behind Avatar [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, its opening weekend.

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