Homegrown films enjoy growing b.o. share


COLOGNE, Germany -- German films are riding high, taking a 25.7% share of the local boxoffice so far this year, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen EDI. That compares to a 17% market share for local films in the territory for 2005.

On an admissions basis, a German movie has been No. 1 in the charts every week for the last 10 weeks -- the best such streak in 20 years.

The only film to challenge German hegemony at No. 1 was 20th Century Fox's "Borat," which sneaked into the top slot last weekend with a boxoffice haul of $2.3 million, about $1,000 more than local champ "7 Dwarves 2: The Forest Is Not Enough," which actually sold more tickets.

Three of the top 10 films in the territory this year are homegrown -- "7 Dwarves 2," Tom Twyker's "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" and soccer documentary "Germany. A Summer Fairytale," from Soenke Wortmann.

Other local achievers include "The Lives of Others," the drama about the former East Germany's secret police, and kids film "The Wild Soccer Bunch 3," both of which pulled in blockbuster-sized audiences.

Perhaps most impressive is the comedy "Grave Decisions," from first-timer Marcus H. Rosenmueller. The film spent 13 weeks in the top 10 and has sold more than 1 million tickets so far, despite being shown in only a handful of theaters outside Rosenmueller's home state of Bavaria.

The hot streak for German films shows no sign of slowing down soon. Last week, bad-taste comedy "Where is Fred?" entered the charts at No. 3, selling 225,000 tickets for a boxoffice haul of about $1.8 million.