Comedies Rule at German Box Office

Accounting for 26% of all movie tickets sold in Germany between 2007-2009


COLOGNE, Germany -- It might sound like the set up to a one-liner but comedies rule in Germany. A study by the German Federal Film Board revealed that comedies were by far the most successful film genre, accounting for 26% of all movie tickets sold in Germany between 2007-2009. Runners up were children's films (19% of tickets sold) and drama (15%).

The trend was even more pronounced among local productions. German comedies accounted for nearly a third (32%) of all admissions over the three-year-period, led by blockbuster laffers such as Til Schweiger's Rabbit Without Ears. German children's films made up 26% of all admissions, with homemade drama accounting for a further 25%.

Animation titles accounted for just 4% of all tickets sold but that figure is skewed as a result of the Film Board's classification system, which slotted family-friendly titles such as Ice Age 3, Madagascar 2 andRatatouille as children's films while The Simpsons and, somewhat bizarrely, James Cameron's Avatar, were categorized as animated features.

The study shows the gap between the number of films released in the territory and their relative performance. While documentaries account for 16% of all titles released in Germany over the three-year-period, they make up just 2% of ticket sales.

The reverse is true for action films, which make up just 2% of total releases in Germany but add up to 9% of the total ticket take.

Similarly children's films and comedies were overachievers. One in five tickets sold in Germany from 2007-2009 was for a kids movie, even though they made up less than 10% of all titles. Comedies were 18% of total releases and 26% of ticket sales.

A detailed break down of the results shows how Hollywood blockbusters dominate in several genres, including action movies and thrillers where at least three out of every four tickets sold in Germany go to a U.S. film. American dominance is even more complete in the fields of horror (95% of ticket sales) and adventure films (99%).

Where local productions do compete is in drama -- both U.S. and German-made dramas each took a 41% share of tickets sales; documentaries, where 64% of sales were for homemade productions; and historical films, where German productions accounted for two-thirds of all tickets sold in the genre.

In the two most popular genres -- comedy and children's films -- German productions hold their own against Hollywood. U.S.-made comedies account for 56% of total sales in German theaters, compared with 31% for local funny fare. For children's films, 63% of admissions are for American movies, 34% for German.

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