'Potter,' 'Rings' double Warners market share
BERLIN — Germany had a record-breaking box office last year thanks to a dramatic end-of-the-year boost from “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”More than 163 million viewers went to the movies in Germany last year, an increase of 20% over 2000, according to ACNielsen EDI. Prior to the release of Warners’ double whammy, the German Federal Film Board had reported a 15% increase in the first nine months of 2001. Official figures from the board are due out in February. “Harry Potter” has grossed 64,771,662 euros ($57,816,787) since its release Nov. 22, while “Lord of the Rings” amassed $33,532,880 in its first 12 days. In addition to a record year, the weekend of Dec. 27-30 saw 4.25 million cinemagoers fill hardtops across Germany, the most business ever on a single weekend. While UIP held on to the top rung among the biggest distributors, Warner, with its two mega hits, more than doubled its market share to 18.8% from last year’s 8.3%. UIP saw its market share drop 1.7% to 20.5%. BVI came in third with 15.1%, up 5.6% from the previous year thanks mostly to “What Women Want,” which pulled in $35 million, as well as “Pearl Harbor’s” $28 million take. Comedy-western “Manitou’s Shoe,” meanwhile, kept local distrib Constantin in league with the big players and in fourth place with a 9.9% share, while modest successes like “Amelie,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Legally Blonde” helped Fox round out the top five with a market share of 7.8%.