Local hits heat up Norway B.O. biz

Local market share 15%

COPENHAGEN — Norwegian cinema is closing in on its best box office performance for the last 25 years, with a local market share of about 15%.

Boffo auds are mainly due to two domestic blockbusters, Petter Naess’ “Elling” and Knut Erik Jensen’s “Cool and Crazy,” which account for 1.3 million of the 1.5 million tickets sold for local product to date in 2001.

“A total of 1.7 million is within reach, and this has not happened since 1975, when ‘The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix’ and ‘The Olsen Gang’ sent every fifth Norwegian into the theaters,” said Norwegian Film Fund managing director Stein Slyngstad. “Furthermore, in 1975 there were 14 Norwegian premieres. We have had only seven.”

Slyngstad said it was a healthy sign that revenue from ticket sales now exceeds public support for feature film production. The seven films, which have grossed $9.4 million, have received $8.8 million in state funding.

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