Dutch boxoffice lacks homegrown hits

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AMSTERDAM -- Local films in the Netherlands faced a tough first half of 2007, despite an overall 8.3% growth at the Dutch boxoffice, cinema-owners association the NFC said Monday.

Compared with 2006, the market share for homegrown product has taken a nose-dive, hitting 5.2% (578,000 admissions), compared to 11.3% for the same period in 2006.

According to the NFC, a lack of major Dutch titles is the main reason for the drop. The only productions that scored decently are such family oriented productions as "Ernst and Bobby," based on a Dutch TV show.

The NFC predicts, however, that the Dutch market share will recover in the second half of the year due to the release of a number of popular family friendly productions during the Christmas holiday season is "Where Is the Horse of Sinterklaas?" and "Timboektoe."

But Dutch boxoffice is still dominated by Hollywood fare.

The 8.3% rise in overall revenue -- to €70.7 million ($96.3 million) from €65.3 million in 2006 -- is primarily attributed to such U.S. titles as "Spider-Man 3," "Shrek the Third" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Aside from U.K.-produced hit "Mr. Bean's Holiday," the only other European title doing comparative business was "The Lives of Others." The German Oscar-winner has spent 18 weeks in the top 10 and its current boxoffice cume stands at €1.5 million ($2 million).
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