Verhoeven leads Dutch resistance

After 11% fall in 2005, admissions grew in 2006

The Dutch box office staged a modest recovery this year, due in part to the performance of Paul Verhoeven’s homecoming pic “Black Book,” after an 11.2% drop in overall admissions in 2005.

Up to the week commencing Oct. 19 total box office stood at Euros 117 million ($155.5 million) against $140 million in the same period in 2004.

The Dutch Federation of Cinematography is due to release its box office report for the whole of 2006 on Jan. 9. It will include data for the all-important Christmas period, which is traditionally the busiest time of the year for Dutch cinemas.

Homegrown fare would have posted a dismal year in 2006, meanwhile, had it not been for the runaway success of Verhoeven’s WWII drama “Black Book,” which stormed to the top of the box office charts on its release in September.

By the Dec. 17, the film had grossed $9 million, making it the third biggest grosser in 2006 after “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “The Da Vinci Code.”

Other Dutch films to make it into the top 10 included Ben Sombogaart’s children’s epic “Crusade in Jeans” about the child crusades of the Middle Ages, which grossed $1.84 million by Dec. 17, and “Zoop in India,” which made just over $1.9 million in its first 10 weeks on release over the summer.

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