3D pics, 'Inception' boost ticket sales

BERLIN — Despite a 7% drop in overall admissions, the German box office rose more than 5% in the first half of 2010 to E443.1 million ($562.9 million) largely on the strength of Hollywood 3D blockbusters. Of the 60.4 million admissions tallied in the first six months of the year, one in six was for a 3D screening, according to a report published Monday by the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

Counted separately for the first time in half-year report, the FFA said the success and higher admission price for 3D films played a decisive factor at the box office, which was up for the fourth consecutive half-year period. While only 14 of the total 486 titles released in Germany between January and June were 3D films, accounting for only a 2.9% share, they attracted 15.3% of moviegoers. Due to the higher price of 3D admissions, the average price of a movie ticket rose 13% to $9.33.

At 20.3%, the market share of German films achieved its third highest half-year peak since 1991 with some 12 million moviegoers having bought admissions for local releases. Top domestic box office hits included Markus Goller’s “Friendship!” which took in $13.2 million, and Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen” with a $10.8 million gross.

FFA topper Peter Dinges said the half-year figures clearly showed that cinema can easily hold its ground against World Cup soccer. Top Hollywood pics in Germany included “Inception,” with $22 million; “Shrek Forever After” with $24.1 million and “Eclipse” with $30.9 million.

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