German Box Office Up 2 Percent in First Half

 

COLOGNE, Germany - 2D is alive and well, at least at the German box office, where 2D titles including American Reunion, French comedy Intouchables and German laffer Turkish for Beginners outsold their 3D counterparts in the first half.

Intouchables, with 8.5 million tickets sold and a German box office of €60 million ($75 million), easily reigned supreme at the top of the charts and helped lift total box office by 2.1 percent to €461.7 million ($581 million) in the first six months, the second-highest first half total in history for the German market.  Ticket sales were also up 1.2 percent to 62.2 million sold, proof that 3D ticket surcharges aren't the only way to drive growth.

3-D tentpoles haven't disappeared, however. Marvel's The Avengers earned €24.5 million ($30.7 million) in German release, outperforming both American Reunion (€18 million) and Turkish for Beginners (€16 million) though it did so with fewer fans. Just 2.2 million Germans bought a ticket to the 3D Avengers, compared to 2.5 million for American Reunion and 2.3 million for Turkish for Beginners.

The market share for 3D films dropped to 16.7 percent in the first half, from just under 20 percent over the same period last year. In total 10.3 million Germans bought a ticket for a 3D movie in the first half, nearly 2 million less that in the first half of 2011 (12.1 million).

But the third dimension has returned in force at the start of the second half, with the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift, which has earned €47 million ($59 million) on close to 6 million tickets sold in Germany and Men in Black 3 (€21 million, 2.2 million tickets sold).

German titles accounted for 12.8 million tickets sold, a 20.8 percent share of the market.

Peter Dinges, chairman of the German Federal Film Board, said the figures were particularly impressive given that during the European soccer championships in June, German cinemas were all but empty. Dinges pointed to several high-profile upcoming titles - including new James Bond film Skyfall, Peter Jackson's first Hobbit installment, the final Twilight film, Guardians from German box office draw Til Schweiger and the ambitious Cloud Atlas from the directing trio of Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski - as evidence for an even stronger second half.

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