Til Schweiger Gives Bounce to German Box Office

Kokowaah 2 Still H
Warner Bros. Germany

Schweiger's German-language comedy 'Kokowaah 2' helps local films take a third of Germany's box office revenue in the first quarter of 2013.

COLOGNE, Germany – If German cinema was a basketball team, actor/director Til Schweiger would be its LeBron James.

Schweiger's latest romantic comedy, Kokowaah 2, which, like most of his German projects he co-wrote, co-directed, produced and stared in, was another box office slam dunk, grossing nearly $25 million here with more than 2.5 million tickets sold. Together with Schlussmacher -- a rom-com from Matthias Schweighofer, another actor/director multihyphanate -- which grossed some $23 million -- Kokowaah 2 helped lift the German industry out of the late winter blues and give it reason to cheer.

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Box office figures from Rentrak show more than a third of tickets sold in Germany in the first quarter of 2013 -- 32.1 percent -- were for German productions or co-productions. German features earned $91 million (€70.7 million) at the box office in the first quarter, a 27.6 percent share. This is more than just double the 13.7 percent box office share for German titles in all of 2012. 

With Kokowaah 2 and Schlussmacher, the local industry already has two hits that match, in fact beat, the success of Turkish for Beginners, the No. 1 German film of last year.

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While Schweiger and Schweighofer are the standouts, Germany's box office riches have been spread more broadly among local productions. Children's titles including Constantin Film's Five Friends 2 ($7.4 million) and Ostwind ($2.2 million); Sony Pictures' Vampire Sisters ($6.7 million); the 3D animated cartoon Knight Rusty ($4.7 million) from Universum and Disney; and the teen fantasy feature Ruby Red ($3.2 million) from Concorde have all delivered. Even serious drama has some box office success, led by Constantin's real-life kidnapping tale 3096 Days ($4.7 million) and Margarethe von Trotta's biopic Hannah Arendt ($3.58 million).