'Vicky the Viking,' 'Pope Joan' among hits

Homegrown pics soared at the German box office in 2009, resulting in a robust 26% market share and boosting the take to $1.26 billion.

Michael Herbig’s smash-hit tyke adventure “Vicky the Viking” grossed $40.3 million, making it the most successful German pic of the year, followed by Soenke Wortmann’s medieval drama “Pope Joan” with $23.9 million, both from Constantin Films.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” was the top Hollywood moneymaker with $81.1 million, followed by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ($63.8 million) and “Angels and Demons” ($49 million), according to Nielsen EDI.

The country’s other big hits included Senator’s “The Reader” with $20.7 million and Warner’s romantic comedy “Rabbit Without Ears 2,” helmer Til Schweiger’s follow-up to 2007 megahit “Rabbit Without Ears.” Sequel has pulled in $18.3 million since Dec. 3 and looks certain to continue on long legs through 2010.

This year’s local market share is on par with that of 2008, when German titles made up nearly 27% of the overall box office, the highest share since 1991, thanks to boffo performers including “Rabbit Without Ears 2,” “The Baader Meinhof Complex” and “The Wave.”

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