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BOX OFFICE Norway

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Norwegian cinemas increasingly crowded – for international movies

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- Norway has witnessed the best Easter statistics for ten years, but only 6.4% of audiences bought tickets for Norwegian films – and 16- to 24-year-olds especially eschewed local titles

Norwegian cinemas increasingly crowded – for international movies
Little Grey Fergie Saves the Farm by Peder Hamdahl Næss

The mad audience rush to Norwegian theatres seems to be continuing: after last year’s 13.1 million admissions, the best result since 1983 (and the best percentage rise in Europe), the Easter statistics from 14-18 April registered 542,894 tickets sold (50,000 up on 2016), contributing to a 3.6% increase in annual attendance so far.

“Many Norwegians go to the fjells, but still, Easter is high season for the theatres,” explained Guttorm Petterson, managing director of Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino. The bad news, though, is that the Norwegian share of the Easter market was only 6.4%, as against the 23.9% that local fare controlled last year.

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US productions were the top performers, including F Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious (instalment number eight in the Fast & Furious actioner franchise), which took 167,369 admissions; Tom McGrath’s fully animated The Boss Baby, which sold 151,580 tickets; and Bill Condon’s family adventure Beauty and the Beast, which racked up 44,407 admissions.

Norwegian releases sold a mere 34,850 tickets, headed up by two family films and a drama: Peder Hamdahl Næss’ Little Grey Fergie Saves the Farm [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, with 12,811 admissions; Arne Lindtner Næss’ Casper and Emma Go Hiking [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, with 10,732; and Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s The Tree Feller [+see also:
trailer
interview: Jorunn Myklebust Syversen
film profile
]
, with 5,986.

At the same time, the Norwegian Film Institute has published an audience analysis for Norwegian cinemas, concluding that young cinemagoers between the ages of 16 and 24 have reduced their film visits by almost 50% - in 2000, they would go to theatres ten times per year, as against 5.2 times in 2015.

“When fewer teenagers watch Norwegian films, adult audiences will also be diminished – when they grow old, they will not have the confidence in local titles that they used to have,” said Norwegian producer Pål Røed. “We must work on that, because this is a very important target group for the theatres,” added the institute’s executive director of promotion and international relations, Stine Helgeland. According to Norwegian film magazine Rushprint, productions aimed at younger audiences have been a low priority for producers for a while now.

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