German box office drops 8.9%

Total gross for local films plummets 51.3%

BERLIN — A weak performance by German films, coupled with the World Cup soccer tournament, resulted in an 8.9% drop at the German box office last year.

German cinemas generated a total 2010 box office of Euros879.8 million ($1.15 billion), according to Rentrak.

Despite a strong showing from 3D blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Despicable Me,” the total amount of admissions between Jan. 4, 2010, and Jan. 2, 2011, plummeted 17.4% to 118.9 million compared with 144 million in 2009. Indeed, if not for the 3D premium-priced tickets, 2010 would have seen a steeper fall at the box office.

The lack of strong local pics had a major impact on overall figures. German films saw box office drop 51.3%, reflecting a 52.4% decline in admissions. U.S. films, by contrast, saw a 9% drop in admissions but gained 1% in revenue.

“Avatar” led the pack as the most successful film in Germany last year with a box office cume of $109.3 million, followed by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” with $51.5 million, “Alice in Wonderland” ($37.2 million) and “Inception” ($34.2 million).

Germany’s top local pic earners included Constantin’s Teutonic co-production “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” with $15.2 million, and Sony comedy “Friendship,” with $13.6 million.

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