Local pics take 27% share

The German film industry had reason to cheer on the eve of the Berlin Film Festival, which starts today, with a record year for domestic films at the local box office.

The Federal Film Board on Wednesday announced box office figures showing Teutonic titles made up nearly 27% of the box office last year — the highest share since 1991 — thanks to boffo performers including “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” “The Wave” and the most successful pic of the year, “Keinohrhasen” (Rabbit Without Ears), which made a whopping $52 million.

Total box office revenue climbed 5% to $1 billion. Cinemas ticket sales rose 3.2% to 129.4 million, 4 million more than 2007.

International blockbusters included “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” which cumed $43 million, “Quantum of Solace” with $41.3 million, “Mamma Mia!” with $33.3 million and Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield’s hit nature doc “Earth” with $29 million.

Distribs released 471 films last year, 13 fewer than the previous year. German productions or co-productions accounted for 185 of the releases, with U.S. pics accounting for 154; non-Teutonic Euro productions 93, with the rest stemming from outside the U.S. and Europe.

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