German Cinema Admissions Plunge a Shocking 17.4% to 119 million in 2010

Box office down 9% in 2010, despite 'Avatar,' 3D titles.


BERLIN -- Avatar and 3D surcharges couldn’t save the German box office in 2010, as revenues dropped nearly 9% and ticket sales plunged a shocking 17.4% to 119 million, according to figures from Rentrak EDI.

German cinemas sold $1.16 billion (€880 million) worth of movie tickets last year, a 8.9% drop on 2009. But that figure is boosted by the top-up charge for 3D blockbusters such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland and conceals a grimmer truth: 25 million fewer movie tickets were sold in 2010 in Germany -- a 17.4% drop.

Some of the blame can be placed on the soccer World Cup, which kept German fans away from the theatres for the month-long sports event. But the real problem was German films.

Hollywood titles earned a slim 1% more in 2010 than last year but German features lost half their audience. Box office for home-made titles was down by 51%, or $165 million.

There were no German blockbusters in 2010. The top German-language title of 2010 was Constantin’s animated 3D feature Animals United, which grossed a respectable but not spectacular $13.7 million (€10.4 million). The top live-action drama, Sony Pictures’ East-meets-West comedy Friendship! earned just $13.5 million (€10.3 million).

One German company, however, is sitting pretty after 2010. Herbert Kloiber’s distribution company Concorde earned $91 million (€69 million) last year, thanks to the Twilight franchise and Martin Scorcese’s Shutter Island, giving the firm it’s best-ever result. With a 8% total market share, Concorde was Germany’s number one independent distributor in 2010. Harry Potter 7.1 and Inception helped Warner Bros. to the overall crown. Films released by the studio’s German arm accounted for 18.5% of the territory’s total box office.