Swedish films up market share

Oscar nommed 'Heaven' a big contributor to total B.O.

STOCKHOLM — Swedish films rule in Sweden.

That’s the conclusion of the 2004 year-end film statistics. While general admissions were down 9% compared to 2003, the admissions for Swedish films went up 7%. All in all, Swedish films netted nearly 4 million admissions.

The success of Swedish Oscar contender “As It is in Heaven” was a big contributor, with 7% of all admissions and 30% of the admissions to Swedish films. “As It is in Heaven” is Sweden’s most succesful film since “House of Angels” in 1992.

During 2004, the five most popular Swedish films were “As It is in Heaven,” “The Ketchup Effect,” “Little Jonsson-gang at Holiday Camp,” “Popular Music” and “The Threat.” Together, these five films (which all had more than 200,000 admissions) had 58% of the admissions to Swedish films.

“As It is in Heaven” has totalled 1.3 million admissions, and is still showing in theaters. The last time a Swedish pic topped the list of most popular films was in 2000 with Lukas Moodysson’s “Together” (849,134 admissions).

The market-share for Swedish films increased by 3.4%, from 19.9 to 23.3. During the year, 37 Swedish features and docus opened. Many of these, however, very limited distribution.

Most popular non-Swedish pics were “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Brother Bear” and “Spiderman 2.”

Although the total number of new films increased from 229 in 2003 to 298, admissions sank by 9% and total gross also sank by 7%, for a total of 1.3 billion kronor ($185 million).

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