U.S. films beat locals at Canadian b.o.

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TORONTO -- Homegrown Canadian films suffered in 2007 as boxoffice for Hollywood movies rebounded at the local multiplex, according to figures from Telefilm Canada.

The federal government's film financier said Friday that Canadian film going into the Christmas season has attained a 3.3% share of screen time at cinemas nationally in 2007, or a total boxoffice of CAN$25.5 million ($25.2 million).

That national screen time is down from a 4.1% share in 2006.

In 2007, Quebec-made films posted total boxoffice of about CAN$19.1 million ($18.9 million), or a 16.4% share of screen time, against a 17.1% share in 2006.

In English-speaking Canada outside Quebec, where Hollywood movies dominate, local films scratched out boxoffice of about CAN$6.5 million ($6.43 million), on the strength of such homegrown hits as Sarah Polley's "Away From Her" and David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises."

In screen time, English-language films eked out a 1% share of the market, compared with a year-earlier 1.9% share.

The 2007 performance is well down from a record 5.3% share in 2005, when Hollywood movies underwhelmed and boxoffice for Quebec-made French language movies soared.

The lion's share of Canadian boxoffice continues to be held by Hollywood movies and other foreign films.
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