German Box-Office 2014: Fewer Local Hits, But 'Hobbit' and 'Hunger Games' are Holiday Treats
Fantasy franchises help make up for damage done by the World Cup to German receipts
Fantasy ruled at the German box office this year, but a dearth of home-grown hits (and a summer featuring the cinema-killing soccer World Cup) means box office in the territory will likely drop to its lowest level since 2011.
Figures through mid-December, which do not include the final weeks of the boom holiday season, indicate German box office in 2014 will come in just below the €1 billion ($1.22 billion) mark for the first time in four years. But the local industry isn't worried, looking instead at 2014 as a one-off with the unique combination of a World Cup and a sparse selection of German-language titles, particularly comedies, that traditionally drive locals to the cinema.
When it came to Hollywood titles, however, there was no sign of a slump. The top two titles of the year were the final entry in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy and the penultimate film in The Hunger Games franchise. As of Dec. 22. The Hunger Games — Mockingjay: Part.1 was the number one film of the year in Germany, with just under 3.5 million admissions and a $44 million plus take. But The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which crossed the 3 million admissions mark after just two weeks in theaters here, is expected to blow by Katniss and company to finish on top for the year. If it keeps up its current place, the final Hobbit could overtake part 2 in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which earned just under $80 million in Germany.
There were few surprises in this year's top ten. The French politically incorrect comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings did boffo business, earning around $34 million, to make it the most successful non-Hollywood feature in the German top ten, and German comedian Matthias Schweighofer again delivered the goods with his latest rom-com, Vaterfreuden, which earned $24 million plus for Warner Germany.
Christopher Nolan's Interstellar just missed out of the top ten in terms of admissions, but judged by box-office take, the space adventure will finish the year among Germany's highest earners.
Here are the top 10 box-office performers in Germany 2014 (by admissions as of Dec.22)
1. The Hunger Games — Mockingjay Part 1 3.47 million admissions (circa $44 million)
2. The Hobbit: The Battle of the The Five Armies 3 million admissions (circa $40 million
3. Serial (Bad) Weddings 3.62 million admissions (circa $33.8 million)
4. Transformers: Age of Extinction 2.507 million admissions (circa $38.3 million)
5. Vaterfreuden 2.33 million admissions (circa $24.3 million)
6. The Wolf of Wall Street 2.4 million admissions (circa $30.3 million)
7. How to Train Your Dragon 2 2.7 million admissions (circa $25 million)
8. Guardians of the Galaxy 1.78 million admissions (circa $24.6 million)
9. Rio 2 1.73 million admissions (circa $15.2 million)
10. Neighbors 1.71 million admissions (circa $16.1 million)