Italy's Film Industry Shows Signs of Recovery

In November, ticket sales were flat compared to the same point last year, reversing six months of declines.

ROME – Italy’s film sector, which has been bludgeoned in recent months by the impacts of the country’s economic crisis, showed its first signs of recovery in November, according to information released Wednesday by the cinema monitoring company Cinetel.

Vendors said they hoped the strong sales would set the stage for a strong finish to the year. December is traditionally a strong month for Italian films.

In November, ticket sales and total sales were about flat compared to the same point last year, reversing six months of declines. The biggest gained were among Italian films, which had a rare win in the market overall, beating U.S.-made films with 45 percent of the total market, compared to 42 percent for American productions.

Over the first 11 months of the year, though, U.S. films controlled 49 percent of the whole market compared to 37 percent for Italian films, while the number of tickets sold were 8.2 percent lower than the same period a year ago, with sales still slumping 10.7 percent compared to the year-ago period at €580.4 million ($783.5 million).

Five of the top 10 films in Italy in November were Italian, led by Enrico Lando’s comedy I Soliti Idioti (The Usual Idiots) and La Peggior Settimana della Mia Vita (The Worst Week of my Life), another comedy from Alessandro Genovesi. They were the second and third most successful films of the month, respectively, behind U.S.-made The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 from Bill Condon.

With total ticket sales of €43.5 million ($58.7 million), Che Bella Giornata (What a Beautiful Day), a comedy about a dim-witted security guard who becomes involved in a terrorist plot, has sales double those of the latest Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean installments in second and third place, respectively. Che Bella Giornata, which opened in January, has the highest domestic gross for an Italian film ever.

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