The Finnish box office hits nine million admissions
by Davide Abbatescianni
- 2017 was a ground-breaking year for Finnish cinema, marked by a steady growth in the local market share
The Finnish Film Foundation, one of the main independent bodies committed to supporting and boosting the local film industry, has recently published the preliminary 2017 figures for the national box office. According to its latest report, Finnish cinemas sold over nine million tickets during the last year, reaching the same attendance levels recorded in 1983.
This figure certainly confirms an encouraging trend, which brought in more than €100 million in ticket sales as well as bringing about a 3.4% increase in cinema admissions compared to the previous year. As a result, the total box office grew by nearly 9%, mostly driven by overseas productions.
Nevertheless, domestic films from this small-scale industry achieved some excellent results. Overall, 2.4 million tickets for Finnish movies were sold nationwide in 2017, and the local market share now covers about 27% of all admissions. Therefore, Finnish films have smashed through the two million domestic admissions mark for the sixth time in a row. Furthermore, the domestic market share has been over the 25% mark for the past four years.
The success of local productions has mostly been driven by Aku Louhimies' war drama The Unknown Soldier [+see also:
film profile], based on Väinö Linna's novel and accounting for 920,000 admissions in 2017. This is an unprecedented result, which makes the feature the highest-grossing domestic film of the modern cinema era. However, the highest attendance levels still belong to the very first adaptation of the story, directed by Edvin Laine in 1955, which recorded over 2.8 million admissions at the time. For further comparison, the second most popular film of the season was Rian Johnson's blockbuster Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with 360,000 admissions.
On the whole, 2017 has been a very fruitful year for Finnish cinema: 39 domestic films were released, 15 of which were documentary features. In addition to Louhimies' work, two other films surpassed 200,000 admissions – namely, Tiina Lymi's comedy Lapland Odyssey 3 (270,000 admissions) and Saara Cantell's family film Jill, Joy and the Mysterious Stranger [+see also:
film profile] (215,000 tickets sold). These figures confirm a slow but steady growth in the local industry, and bode well for the future.
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