Italy Box Office: Local Films Account for Slight Overall Rise in 2016

Courtesy of Taodue Film
'Quo Vado?'

Hollywood films edge out European films overall by just a few percentage points.

The Italian box office showed minor growth in 2016, according to film association ANICA, which released its data for the calendar year on Tuesday. Total sales rose 3.9 percent over the previous year to $706 million (661 million euro). And tickets sold increased 3.9 percent to 105 million.

But the rise in figures was largely due to local films, most notably comedian Checco Zalone’s Quo Vado? which poked fun at the Italian job crisis and the bureaucracy of government positions.

Quo Vado? brought in an incredible $69.9 million (65.4 million euros) for the year. By contrast, last year’s number one film in Italy, Pixar's Inside Out, grossed less than half with $27.7 million. 

The number two film of the year, the critically lauded local film Perfect Strangers, brought in $18.6 million (17.4 million euros).

Hollywood still had a strong year in 2016, rounding out the rest of the top 10 grossing films of the year, according to box office tracker Cinetel. The top 3-10 films, in order, for 2016 were Finding Dory, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Revenant, The Secret Life of Pets, Inferno, Suicide Squad, Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War.

But the overall box office haul of Hollywood films is just over half compared to Italian and European films. Because of the volume of Hollywood films released in Italy, American films still hold 55.65 percent of the overall market share, down from 60.97 percent in 2015. Hollywood films represent 55.19 percent of attendance sales, down from 60.01 percent in 2015.

Warner Bros. Italia represented the highest percentage of box office gross with 18.66 percent, followed by Berlusconi-owned Mediaset with 15.82 percent and Walt Disney Italia with 13.72 percent.

The number of films distributed in the country also rose in 2016 to 554, compared to 480 in 2015.

With almost 9 percent of the market share alone, Quo Vado? saved an otherwise floundering Italian box office year. The struggling numbers can be attributed to the low Christmas season, which showed a net loss of 6 million viewers from the previous year, as well as Italy's still outdated publicity and marketing system, which struggles especially during the summer vacation months.