‘Pirates’ pushes Belgian admissions up 5%

Local films fail to make top 10 at home

Belgian cinema admissions look set to post a slight increase in 2006, according to preliminary data supplied by local box office observer Le Moniteur du Film en Belgique.

“Looking at attendance in Brussels, we’ve observed a 4.77% increase in the first 11 months of the year,” said Valerie Bodson, editor of Le Moniteur, which focuses primarily on box office data in the Belgian capital.

In terms of admissions in Brussels, there were 3,690,457 entries in the first 11 months of 2006, against 3,522,384 in the same period in 2005, she added.

Not a single Belgian film made it into the country’s 2006 top 10, which was topped by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “The Da Vinci Code.”

The highest-ranking Belgian release was Jan Verheyen’s Dutch language “Buitenspel,” about a boy who dreams of making it into Belgium’s national soccer squad.

As of Dec. 7, pic was in 23rd place for the year, having grossed Euros 1.27 million ($1.67 million) with 213,290 admissions throughout Belgium. Verheyen’s previous films include the hit “Team Spirit” soccer comedies.

Other Belgian films to register more than 100,000 admissions included the Dutch language helicopter squad action movie “Storm Force,” drug-trafficking drama “Hell in Tangier” and the children’s fantasy movie “K3 and the Ice Princess.”

Not a single French-language Belgian pic attracted more than a 100,000 cinemagoers. Francophone Belgians went instead for productions from neighboring France, such as the slapstick vacation comedy “Friends Forever,” which posted 546,173 admissions and grossed $4.2 million.

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