×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Turkish Blockbusters Do Gangbuster Business

Turkish audiences found respite from harsh everyday political realities at the movies, but only if they were Turkish blockbusters. In 2016, admissions for U.S. indies fell 3% to slightly over 59 million, according to comScore.

“The audience has dropped, and only Turkish blockbusters and American movies with a Marvel superhero still work,” says Pamir Demirtas, who heads Pinema, top distributor of American indies.

The year’s top title is thriller “The Mountain II” (Dag II), about a Turkish special forces squad on a mission in contempo Iraq.
“The Mountain II” was released by Mars Cinema Group, the local behemoth comprising Turkey’s top exhibition chain as well as production and distribution arms, which was bought in April by South Korea’s CJ-CGV.

Around the time of that purchase, Mars Group came under fire when a docu about its alleged monopolistic practices, titled “Only Blockbusters Left Alive,” opened the Istanbul Film Festival. Mars in 2016 released three of the country’s top five draws, all of which were Turkish.

“In 2016 [U.S.] movies became more expensive and expectations were higher; but all the incidents affected [cinemagoing in] the region,” Demirtas says.
Last year, Pinema became ever more crucial to ensuring the country’s cinematic diversity and, in turn, to driving admissions in the market. Meanwhile, with the dollar getting stronger against the Turkish lira, the cost of minimum guarantees is rising.

But despite all these drawbacks, Pinema did decent biz last year with “The Hateful Eight,” “London Has Fallen,” “The BFG,” “The Fifth Wave,” and several local pics including drama “Somuncu Baba: Askin Sirri,” based on the real life of Sufi dervish Somuncu Baba, known as a Muslim saint.

More Film

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Sets Pre-Sales Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” sets a pre-sales record, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits a milestone, and SAG-AFTRA promotes four executives.  PRE-SALES RECORD “Aquaman” has set a pre-sales record for Atom Tickets, topping “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.” “Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • The Quake Review

    Film Review: 'The Quake'

    Roar Uthaug’s 2015 “The Wave” revived the pleasures of the 1970s disaster-movie cycle in a form that seemed purer than the never-quite-dead genre’s recent Stateside incarnations — most of which seem to involve Dwayne Johnson in a generic pileup of CGI perils. “The Wave” wasn’t high art, but it was entertainment that delivered some standard [...]

  • The Mule trailer

    Film Review: Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule'

    From Dirty Harry to … dirty grandpa, Clint Eastwood certainly has a type of character that he plays best, and “The Mule” finds him squarely in his comfort zone, appearing as a surly old horticulturalist who, at age 90, has become perhaps the most reliable drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel, evading detection for nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content