German films on a roll at home boxoffice

'Rabbit' hops to No. 1, beating 'Madagascar,' Bond

BERLIN -- 2008 was a banner year for German films, with local productions taking a 26.6% share of the 129 million tickets sold in the territory.

Til Schweiger's romantic comedy "Rabbit Without Ears" was the No. 1 German title, selling 4.9 million tickets -- enough to beat out Hollywood competition "Madagascar 2" (4.8 million) and "Quantum of Solace" (4.7 million).

But there were homegrown success stories across the spectrum – from the British-German documentary "Planet Earth," which sold 3.8 million tickets here, to Uli Edel's Oscar-nominated terrorist drama "The Baader Meinhof Complex" (2.4 million).

Total admissions in Germany last year were up 4 million to 129.4 million and boxoffice revenue jumped 5% to 795 million euros ($1 billion).

German titles will enjoy home field advantage at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival. The Berlinale opens today with U.S.-German co-production "The International" from Tom Tykwer and there are dozens of high-profile German productions in this year's lineup, including Florian Gallenberger's "John Rabe," Kai Wessel's "Hilde" and Julie Delpy's period piece "The Countess," a French-German co-production.