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Germany’s box office last year didn’t quite match up to the record results delivered in 2012 but they came close. Official figures released Thursday by the German Film Association show a box office take of $1.4 billion (€1.023 billion), just 1 percent below the $1.41 billion earned a year earlier.
It could have been a lot worse if not for an incredibly last quarter run driven by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which earned some $92 million in Germany and home-grown school days comedy Suck Me Shakespeer, which sold an astounding 5.6 million tickets in 2013 alone and has earned some $70 million and counting.
3D titles might be struggling in some markets, but not in Germany, where, thanks to hits including Hobbit, Frozen and Despicable Me 2, ticket sales for 3D features were up by 2.4 million last year and accounted for 24.4 percent of the market, compared to 21.8 percent in 2012.
German-language features and international co-productions has a good year, with comedies Kokowaah 2 and The Break-up Man earning $27 million and $25 million respectively and medieval epic The Physician, starring Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgard and Tom Payne, which has earned more than $40 million in its German release.
?Overall, however, there were fewer locals going to the cinema. 129.7 million movie tickets were sold in German last year, a 4 percent drop. Higher ticket prices, especially extra surcharges for 3D titles, helped paper over what has become a slow downward trend in attendance.
The official film association figures are a major correction from the preliminary, and unofficial, numbers released by European cinema association UNIC last week, which claimed a 7.9 percent drop in box office and a 12.3 percent fall in ticket sales. But the UNIC figures were based on the comparison of numbers from different sources, making them a poor guide to the true health of the German cinema market.
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