Norwegian cinemas heading for the best year since 1985
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Having sold 5.8 million tickets during the first half of the year, mainly thanks to US blockbusters, the theatres are likely to reach 13 million by the end of 2016
Norwegian audiences for Netflix have septupled since 2013, but this does not seem to be harming the cinemas, which recorded 5.8 million admissions during the first six months of 2016 and are heading for their best year since 1985.
The summer’s top hit is likely to become Canadian director Mike Thurmeier’s fully animated comedy Ice Age 5, which last week sold 76,913 tickets (for 20th Century Fox Norway); it was up against British director David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan, which accounted for 38,173 (for SF Norge). The first four instalments in the Ice Age franchise have lured between 690,000 and 890,000 Norwegians to the theatres.
“Audience-wise, 2016 looks set to become the best cinema year since 1985,” Norwegian Mediacom analyst Marianne Massaiu told Norway’s DN. “There are so many blockbusters scheduled for the coming months that the final result will be extraordinary.” The strong admissions figures have also influenced the sale of cinema commercials, which reached €4.9 million during the period, up 56% on 2015.
Also, according to DN, Guttorm Petterson, managing director of Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino, expected that total attendance would reach close to 13 million – one million more than last year: “Almost like in 1985, when we had such films as Ola Solum’s Orion’s Belt, Tage Danielsson’s Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter and – number one – John Glen’s James Bond: A View to a Kill.”
Here is the list of 2016 top-grossers so far, which is dominated by US films: Deadpool (312,695 admissions), Me Before You (297,169 admissions), The Jungle Book (274,518 admissions), The Last King [+see also:
interview: Nils Gaup
film profile] (270,796 admissions), Solan and Ludvig: The Big Cheese Race [+see also:
interview: Rasmus A Sivertsen
film profile] (196,818 admissions).
Petterson’s predictions for the autumn-winter bestsellers at the local theatres include Norwegian directors Erik Poppe’s The King’s Choice [+see also:
film profile] (opening on 23 September) and Rasmus A Sivertsen’s In the Forest of Huckybucky (25 December), British director David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (18 November), and US director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (16 December).