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BOX OFFICE Italy

Italian cinema beats USA 50 to 42

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In February, Italian films garnered more admissions that US films. According to Borsa Film of entertainment industry paper Giornale dello Spettacolo, based on Cinetel data first-run domestic films (including co-productions) were seen by 49.9% of filmgoers last month, over 41.7% who preferred US titles.

Even in the general classification, which includes films that were released in 2006 and are still out on screens, Italy beat the US 46.7% to 45.8%.

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This Italian “overtaking” was recorded twice last year (in December and in March), once in October of 2005 and, before that, all the way back in January of 1997.

“These results,” said Paolo Protti, president of ANEC (National Exhibitors Association), “can be ascribed to films that knew how to find the courage and capacity to speak to audiences. Naturally, while satisfying, this goal must be consolidated. The film year got off to a good start and between January and February admissions among Cinetel-monitored cinemas grew 25%, a number that rises to above 54% when looking at only first-run films. Now we must maintain this upward trend, above all by offering adequate films throughout the rest of year”.

Recently, exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with Warner’s decision to include Italy in the much-anticipated July release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and, more generally, to distribute films in the summer months, considered a bad period for the Italian market.

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(Translated from Italian)

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