Iceland Box Office Rises 2.7 Percent in 2012

1:12 AM PST 02/26/2013 by Scott Roxborough

"Black’s Game" and "The Deep" led last year's list of local hits, which helped Icelandic films secure 10.5 percent of the country's ticket sales.

COLOGNE, Germany - Tiny Iceland may not have fully recovered from the global fiscal collapse, but the local box office is bouncing back, with ticket revenue inching up 2.7 percent to $8.1 million (ISK 1.5 billion) last year.

While Hollywood titles -- led by Sam Mendes' Skyfall -- topped the local charts, homegrown films, including Oskar Thor Axelsson’s Black’s Game and Baltasar Kormakur’s true-life survival tale The Deep, helped Icelandic films secure a respectable 10.5 percent of the national box office last year.

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Overall admissions in the nation of 300,000 citizens, however, were down to 1.4 million tickets last year, a 4.3 percent drop from 2011, according to official figures from the Icelandic Film Centre.

The Deep, a long-list candidate for this year's best foreign language film Oscar, swept Iceland's national film awards, the Eddas, earlier this month, taking 11 trophies, including the honors for feature film of the year, director of the year and actor of the year in a leading role.

Kormakur also directed the Working Title/Universal release Contraband, a crime drama starring Mark Wahlberg that was a remake of the 2008 Icelandic feature Reykjavik-Rotterdam. Kormakur co-wrote it and starred in it as well.

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