German Box Office Sets Record in 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Still 18 Kylo Ren - H 2015
Courtesy of Lucasfilms 2015/Walt Disney Studios

Even before 'Star Wars' opens, Germany has blown by the $1.12 billion revenue mark set three years ago.

It's official: 2015 was the best year ever at the German box office. And that's even before including Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, which opened in the country on Thursday.

The numbers for Star Wars aren't in yet, but the German industry is already celebrating after Rentrak and the German Film Board figures on Thursday confirmed what everyone expected: box-office revenue for 2015 has blown past the previous mark set three years ago to hit an all-time high. Detailed data wasn't released.

Ticket sales surpassed the previous high-water threshold of €1.033 billion ($1.12 billion) before the Star Wars launch, helped by a combination of major U.S. releases (Fifty Shades of Grey, Minions, Spectre) and a pair of local blockbusters, German comedies Suck Me Shakespeer 2 and Look Who's Back

With expectations for Star Wars more than sky-high, local forecasts put the total German take this year at more than $1.3 billion, a figure 15 percent above the previous mark.

Germany's home-entertainment business, after having resisted the downward trends seen worldwide, has begun to show signs of weakness, so the surge in theatrical comes as a welcome balm for an industry in a state of transition.