Three Finnish films on top of the 2016 box-office charts
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Local releases racked up 2.5 million admissions to control 29% of the market – the largest share in the Nordic countries
“The Finnish film industry is a great example of how to successfully combine cultural state support with commercial financing and market performance,” said Lasse Saarinen, managing director of the Finnish Film Foundation, when publishing the 2016 film statistics.
Of the 8.7 million tickets sold last year in Finnish cinemas, 2.5 million were for the 39 local features released during the year, controlling 29% of the market – the best result in the Nordic countries for the second year in a row. The top three films on the chart were Finnish children’s movies: Timo Koivusalo’s Ricky Rapper and the Nighthawk [+see also:
film profile] (338,914 admissions), Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis’ The Angry Birds Movie [+see also:
film profile] (327,687 admissions) and Rike Jokela’s Tatu and Patu [+see also:
film profile] (323,664 admissions). The best-performing US title came in at number four: US directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney’s fully animated The Secret Life of Pets.
“There is a wide variety of domestic films on offer, providing considerable choice for all types of audiences,” Saarinen continued. “During the last three years, the number of Finnish screens has increased to 312, spread across 120 towns around the country; digitisation has also revived the cinemas in the smaller communities, and the 2016 box-office result was a record high: €91.1 million.”
Finnish films also broke records internationally: The Angry Birds Movie, a US-Finnish co-production (staged by Finnish producer Mikael Hed/Rovio Entertainment and Columbia Pictures), grossed €325 million worldwide, and was "the second most successful film based on a video game series" and by far the most internationally successful Finnish film of all time. Rovio and Columbia have already scheduled the opening of the sequel for 1 May 2020, scripted (as for the first instalment) by US screenwriter Jon Vitti (The Simpsons), and helmed by US directors Mike Mitchell and Daron Nefcy.
Otherwise, it is also worth remembering that Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] won the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival and received the European Film Award for European Discovery of the Year, after taking eight Jussis, Finland’s national film award. In addition, Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni’s short Listen was screened at more than 70 international festivals and bagged several top prizes.
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