Italo B.O. stays home

Despite rise in tix sales, indie pics still fight for screens

ROME — More Italians are going to homegrown pics than at any time since 1987, according to statistics released Friday by national exhibs association AGIS.

Four Italo films made it into the top seven box office slots between December and May, taking over 30.4% of the market share in ticket sales, compared to 19% for the same period last year. That calculates to 14.8 million tickets, almost double last year’s 7.8 million tix.

Auds were drawn by comedies ”Christmas on the Nile” and “The Legend of Al, John and Jack” as well as the dramas “Facing Windows,” which won five David di Donatello Awards in April, and “Remember Me” the follow-up film to helmer Gabriele Muccino’s successful box office hit ”The Last Kiss.”

The last time Italo pics took more than 30% in the local market was when Bernado Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” dominated the B.O. in the 1987-1988 season.

However, despite the increase in ticket sales and national interest, many independent films encounter problems in distribution, finding limited space allocated in the marketplace.

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