Italian box office up 7.4%

Local fare take 35%

ROME — With Hollywood commanding a 55% piece of the pie, Italo box office grosses from January to May are up 7.4% year on year to $389 million. Local pics account for more than one third of B.O., their biggest slice in years.

Italo admissions are up 6.7% to 49 million for the first five months of this year.

But while the mood was upbeat as figures were announced during Rome exhib confab Giornate Professionali, the data show a slowdown since the first quarter, when grosses were up 23% and the Italo share was a boffo 43%.

Hollywood’s B.O. share is unchanged from a year earlier, while the 35% Italo share is up 8%; other Euro titles are hurting, especially titles from Blighty, which are down 6%.

The top Italo grosser to date is saucy cross-generational local romancer “Love Manual 2,” featuring a steamy Monica Bellucci sex scene, at $25 million, followed by “Spider-Man 3,” which has grossed $22.4 million.

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