Teutonic pix see Q2 spike

German pix grow at the B.O. in second quarter

COLOGNE — German pics in the second quarter fared significantly better at the box office vs. last year, and upcoming releases are fueling optimism for the year’s second half.

According to research institute Nielsen EDI, the second quarter saw a 40% increase in B.O. for German productions. The surge is due to the good performance of pics like Edgar Wallace thriller parody “Der wixxer,” teen comedy “Girls on Top” and indie road movie “Schultze Gets the Blues.”

Facing great expectations in the second half will be Michael Herbig’s “Traumschiff Surprise — Period 1,” a new pic by the makers of “Manitou’s Shoe,” Germany’s B.O. record holder. The “Star Trek” parody will bow on July 29.

Total number of tickets sold in the first half year was 70 million, up 2% on the first half of 2003.

Comparing the two half-years, the take of domestic pics out of the total B.O. was slightly down to 12% after 15% in 2003. The dip can be attributed to the early arrival of last year’s smash “Goodbye, Lenin.” “Lenin attracted 6 million viewers in the first half,” a Nielsen EDI spokesman noted.

In contrast, this year’s Berlin Golden Bear honoree, “Head-On,” sold 620,000 tickets through June.

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