Earnings drop $57 mil, 'Asterix & Obelix' a success

BERLIN — Box office earnings have dropped by $57 million in the first quarter of 1999 compared to the same period last year, according to researcher EDI.

While B.O. receipts added up to $273 million in the first three months of 1998, cinemas made only $216 million during the same time period this year, a drop of more than 20%.

The number of cinemagoers in Germany dropped by nearly 20% compared with last year, as some 35.7 million people went to the cinema in the time period, according to EDI.

U.S. films made up 74.5% of the market, compared to 83.1% in 1998. Other foreign pics saw an increase from 6.7% to 10.4% this year.

German films made up 15% of the total films seen, up from last year’s 10.1%. Only one Teutonic pic (albeit a co-production with French and Italian partners) — Constantin’s comic adaptation “Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar” — was among the 10 most successful movies so far this year.

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