German films increase market share

Local pics take 27% of box office

BERLIN — The German box office may have suffered a slump in recent weeks due to the European soccer championships and the hot weather, but local pics nevertheless markedly improved their performance in the first half of the year.

German films constituted 26.7% of the country’s box office in the first six months, amassing $150 million from 104 local pics, a 49% increase over the same period last year.

Overall, the B.O. reached $567 million in the first six months of this year.

Til Schweiger’s boffo romantic comedy “Keinohrhasen” (Rabbit Without Ears) led the pack with a whopping $62 million, followed by Dennis Gansel’s high school drama “The Wave,” which pulled in $23.4 million.

Doris Doerrie’s sleeper hit “Cherry Blossoms” surprised exhibs with its long legs, garnering nearly $9 million.

The latest tally by Nielsen EDI did not include Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield’s German-U.K. co-production “Earth,” which grossed $34 million in Germany, becoming the most successful nature docu not only in Germany but all of Europe.

A number of high-profile local pics hitting screens in the coming months are expected to continue the positive trend, including Uli Edel’s terrorist drama “Der Baader Meinhof Komplex,” which Constantin is releasing Sept. 25, and Heinrich Breloer’s adaptation of Thomas Mann’s “Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family,” which Warner Bros. releases on Christmas Day.

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