3D keeps German box office afloat

Revenue for the first three quarters down just 1.1%

COLOGNE, Germany -- Top-up prices for 3D screenings has kept Germany's box office from floundering in the first nine months of 2010. German box office for the first three quarters of this year was down 1.1% to €674.4 million ($940 million), according to figure from Rentrak EDI. But without 3-D screenings boosting average ticket prices, the picture would have looked much worse. Admissions fell nearly 12% to 91.5 million tickets sold over the same period.

German audiences haven't abandoned 2D titles, however. The top two new entries in Germany so far this year have been 2D: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and "Inception," both of which have brought in around $36 million each for distributor Concorde and Warner Bros' respectively.

But the 3D bonanza of James Cameron's "Avatar," which opened in December last year, easily trumps those earnings. "Avatar" earned around $110 million of its $150 million take in Germany this year, helping 20th Century Fox to easily defend its position as Germany's number one distributor, with a market share of 19.8%.