Winter cold at German boxoffice


COLOGNE, Germany -- It's been a gray winter for German theater owners, with boxoffice sales down sharply in the first quarter.

Only 27.4 million movie tickets were sold in Germany from Jan. 1-March 25, a 10% drop from the year ago period. At €166 million ($221 million), total boxoffice was some 9% below the €180 million booked during the same period in 2005, according to figures released Thursday by EDI Nielsen.

There have been no major blockbusters in Germany this year. The most successful film in the territory has been local kids production "The Wild Soccer Bunch 4," which has sold more than 2.3 million tickets for a total boxoffice of €11.3 million ($15 million).

The most successful U.S. production has been "The Pursuit of Happyness," which has sold 1.4 million tickets for a boxoffice of €9.1 million ($12 million) in the territory.

Theater owners are hoping for a rebound in the second quarter as a number of promising titles, including "Meet the Robinsons," "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and the highly anticipated "300," roll out.