Til Schweiger Gives Bounce to German Box Office
COLOGNE, Germany – If German cinema was a basketball team, actor/director Til Schweiger would be its LeBron James.
Schweiger's latest romantic comedy, Kokowaah 2, which, like most of his German projects he co-wrote, co-directed, produced and stared in, was another box office slam dunk, grossing nearly $25 million here with more than 2.5 million tickets sold. Together with Schlussmacher -- a rom-com from Matthias Schweighofer, another actor/director multihyphanate -- which grossed some $23 million -- Kokowaah 2 helped lift the German industry out of the late winter blues and give it reason to cheer.
Box office figures from Rentrak show more than a third of tickets sold in Germany in the first quarter of 2013 -- 32.1 percent -- were for German productions or co-productions. German features earned $91 million (€70.7 million) at the box office in the first quarter, a 27.6 percent share. This is more than just double the 13.7 percent box office share for German titles in all of 2012.
With Kokowaah 2 and Schlussmacher, the local industry already has two hits that match, in fact beat, the success of Turkish for Beginners, the No. 1 German film of last year.
While Schweiger and Schweighofer are the standouts, Germany's box office riches have been spread more broadly among local productions. Children's titles including Constantin Film's Five Friends 2 ($7.4 million) and Ostwind ($2.2 million); Sony Pictures' Vampire Sisters ($6.7 million); the 3D animated cartoon Knight Rusty ($4.7 million) from Universum and Disney; and the teen fantasy feature Ruby Red ($3.2 million) from Concorde have all delivered. Even serious drama has some box office success, led by Constantin's real-life kidnapping tale 3096 Days ($4.7 million) and Margarethe von Trotta's biopic Hannah Arendt ($3.58 million).