Cable, Sat Tv Crimp Swede Cinemas

In general, 1990 was not a good year in terms of cinema-going in Sweden.

Most distribs felt the market slipping, in part due to the sudden popularity of cable and satellite television. But now many insiders see a change coming on, with business improving for the remainder of 1991, and especially into 1992.

What 1991 lacks, however, is the big summer blockbuster that has long been the big draw in July and August. There is no new James Bond or Indiana Jones pic, nor a local comedy, to generate interest this summer.

But according to Jorgen Wennstrom at Svensk, “I think the Kevin Costner starrer, ‘Prince Of Thieves,’ might become such a hit.

“It will, of course, be coming in the wake of the success of ‘Dances With Wolves,’ and seems to have the adventure film qualities that could turn it in to the summer’s big film,” Wennstrom observes.

He notes, however, that in general, 1990 was not a good year. Despite successes like “Pretty Woman,” business lacked luster.

“Even though the business in January and February wasn’t too good, right now we have ‘Dances With Wolves,’ ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ and ‘Godfather III.’ They do theirs to get the audience into the cinemas.

“And since we have several Swedish films with potential this fall, it could become a good year,” he adds.

Conny Planborg at Planborg Films agrees. “Last year, we experienced the quick growth of cable and satellite tv. For some reason, a lot of people in the industry seem to have been surprised by this. But it was there to be seen, if they just would have looked out of the window.”

“But I think all these new channels will just make people confused,” Planborg predicts, “and this will bring them back into the cinemas. And people are coming there, if we take care of them. And this, in turn, we do by, for instance, providing them with good cinema houses. Teenagers might enjoy going to small screen cinemas, but the middleaged audience doesn’t like that. These people want good cinemas, with big screens, good sound and comfortable seats. This we must give to them.”

Concludes Planborg: “I think ’91 will be better than ’90, and ’92 will be even better.”

According to Peter Possne of Sonet Films, “Cable meant a lot in 1990 – maybe not for us, since we work with somewhat different films than most other distributors. In my opinion, it will more and more come to the fact that a few films take more and more of the total grosses.”

At Sandrews, Bertil Sandgren reports: “For us, 1990 was quite a good year. The beginning of 1991 has so far been weak, but I hope for the fall. Then we willi have films like “Guilty By Suspicion” and the new film by Krytsztof Kieslowski, “Object Of Beauty” and Wim Wenders’ “Till The End Of The World.”

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