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Germans give thumbs up to movies

54% enjoyed U.S. pics, up from 49% in 2007

BERLIN — The popularity of both Hollywood and local productions is on the rise in Germany but for vastly different reasons.

A study by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) surveyed 4,056 moviegoers aged 14 and older between November and December last year. It found that 54% “enjoyed” U.S. productions, up from 49% in 2007, when the FFA published its first survey on the popularity of German film.

Yet the statistics were worlds apart on the factors behind the increased attractiveness of both U.S. and German pics.

The main factors behind the popularity of Hollywood productions among Germans? No surprise here: “Spectacular action,” according to 77%; “professional technical effects/special effects,” said 72%; and “stunning images” answered 55%.

While those qualities rated higher than two years ago, one tellingly negative characteristic of U.S. pics remained unchanged: 51% of those surveyed said the “American world outlook was too often in the foreground.”

By contrast, most people surveyed said the attractive characteristics of German films included “the quality of the subject matter” and “storylines that are close to reality” — factors that helped boost the popularity of homemade pics from 49% to 51%.

The study found that comedies, family pics and children’s films are the genres most closely linked to German cinema, while action, fantasy, horror and sci-fi are the least associated with local film.

The most “typical” German films, according to the survey, included new as well as older works such as Til Schweiger’s hit 2007 romantic comedy “Rabbit Without Ears,” Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 “Das Boot” and Michael Herbig’s 2001 Western laffer “Manitou’s Shoe.”

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