Swedish film heading for record 2009

Local-language titles set to grab a 32.4% market share

COLOGNE, Germany -- Swedish films are on target for a record year, with local-language titles set to grab a 32.4% market share in the territory, up from 19% last year. Such a performance would be the best ever for Swedish films since the Swedish Film Institute started gathering data back in 1963.

Final figures for December have still to be tallied and James Cameron's "Avatar" could dent the local success story somewhat but there is no doubt 2009 was a banner year for Swedish cinema.

Much of the credit for the local surge has to go to the Millennium trilogy of crime thrillers based on Stieg Larsson's best-sellers. The first two Millennium films: "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire" were number one and two at the Swedish boxoffice for the period from January to November. For the same period, U.S. films accounted for an estimated 53% of ticket sales in Sweden, British films 8% and French 1.2%.

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" had to make due with boxoffice bronze in the territory.

The final film in trilogy, "The Girl With Kicked the Hornet's Nest" is still on release. Sony Pictures is close to a deal to option the English-language remake rights to the Millennium series.

Sweden's other big homegrown hit was Staffan Lindberg's comedy "Summer with Goran," which made the year's top five.