German B.O. takes a dive

The HdF, Germany’s exhibition organization, released depressing statistics for last year. Box office revenues and ticket sales were down significantly from the 1991 season.

Only 106 million tickets were sold last year, a significant drop from 1991’s high of 120 million. In Western Germany, exhibs saw a 12.55% drop in business; in the East, the downturn was 5.1%.

Germany’s 3,658 hardtops made a total of 891 million marks ($ 524 million). Ticket prices in the Western regions remained drastically different from those in the poorer Eastern sector: the average in the West was $ 5.10, up nearly nearly 3% from 1991. In the East tix cost $ 3.13, but that relatively low price was up nearly 9% from the previous year.

Germany’s 1992 ad boom benefited exhibs only slightly. While overall media buying was up 10.4%, cinemas saw an increase of only 6.8% in ad sales.

The Flebbe group’s Cinemaxx multiplex in Hamburg sold 326,348 tix, making it Germany’s most well-attended moviehouse. Overall, Hannover took the prize for the most tickets sold per inhabitant, followed by Munich and Frankfurt.

The HdF reports that the cinema situation in the East is stabilizing. More than half the 834 hardtops that existed before the Berlin Wall came down have closed. Now, number of new houses opening is roughly on a par with the number closing.