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BOX OFFICE Belgium

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A fall in attendance levels but steady recognition for Flemish films in 2016

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- The Flanders Audiovisual Fund has just presented its annual report and has announced the 2016 box-office results for Flemish films

A fall in attendance levels but steady recognition for Flemish films in 2016
De Premier by Erik Van Looy

For many years now, Flemish cinema has been achieving an incredible level of success in its own territory, drawing viewers into the dark rooms en masse. An eminently popular film industry, Flemish cinema enjoys an exceptional level of popularity in Europe, fuelled in part by the strong connections between the big and the small screen: stars seem to slip comfortably between the two types of production. Recently, for example, the trailer was unveiled for Tabula Rasa, a fantasy series carried mainly by actress Veerle Baetens, who starred in The Broken Circle Breakdown [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Felix van Groeningen
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
festival scope
film profile
]
 and who this week begins shooting with Olivier Masset-Depasse (see the news).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

And yet, despite enjoying this exceedingly high level of popularity, Flemish cinema took a hit in 2016, according to the annual report by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, mainly as a result of the many and varied factors and events that had an impact on the Belgian film exhibition industry in general. 2015 was an exceptional year, with 2.25 million viewers, spearheaded by (proudly local) success stories such as FC de Kampioenen 2: Jubilee General [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and Safety First [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. This makes the decrease all the more noticeable (the figure stood at 1,895,262 viewers in 2016), but the drop is more moderate if we look back at 2014’s figures (2.045 million admissions).

In 2016, unsurprisingly, De Premier [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Erik Van Looy hogged the top spot at the box office, with almost 385,000 admissions – but this is a far cry from the 650,000 admissions racked up by FC de Kampioenen 2 last year. On its heels we find De buurtpolitie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 (over 150,000 admissions), another adaptation of a hit TV show (as were FC de Kampioenen 2 and Safety First), followed by Achter de wolken [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Cécilia Verheyden and its 126,000 viewers (a satisfying result for an arthouse film), and the nearly 110,000 admissions recorded by Crusoe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the latest 3D animated film helmed by Ben Stassen.

We should also point out that Flemish cinema is also achieving some excellent results on television as well as on VoD platforms.

Finally, in 2016, Flemish films garnered more than 220 awards at festivals, as against only 195 in 2015, which stands as a testament to the fact that, alongside the great popular success it enjoys within its national (or, rather, regional) borders, another important aspect of Flemish film is that it has also built up a positive reputation abroad.

(Translated from French)

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EPI Distribution
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