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Last year, Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian films triumphed with local audiences, fueling general attendance. In Sweden, local fare also upped their share of an overall sluggish market, while Finland had a quieter year after a record 2017. Everywhere “Mamma Mia-Here We Go Again” was number one except in Denmark where local films were back in favor.

After two years of slide, Danish films were back in favour with local crowds, and boosted general admissions to 13 million (up 4.6%) and box office to DKK 1.1 billion ($173 million). With 3.8 million admissions (up 34.2% from 2017), representing DKK 290.9 million ($44.5 million) in revenue, local titles claimed a 29% market share (calculated by tickets sold, up 9%), the success target just set in new Danish Film Agreement for 2019-2023.
“In a country like Denmark with a relatively small feature film production [21 films in 2018], the box office will inevitably vary from one year to the next,” commented Claus Ladegaard, CEO at the Danish Film Institute. The latter welcomed the healthier 2018 results due to a range of commercially-driven films, as well as “bold and accomplished low-budget films” like Gustav Möller’s “The Guilty” and “clever female-driven comedies.”
Three Danish films ranked in the top 3, including the biggest hit “The Purity of Vengeance,” (Pictured) the last opus in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q book to-screen series, which made history as the highest-grossing local film ever with DKK 76 million ($11.6 million). Directed by Christoffer Boe for Zentropa, the film beat the second title in the franchise “The Absent One” (2014), the second biggest Danish earner ever.

Two seasoned Danish directors -Bille August and Ole Bornedal -also scored with their respective films referring to national cultural treasures: “The Way to Mandalay” reviving the life of musician/singer John Mogensen, and “A Fortunate Man” adapted from a Henrik Pontoppidan’s major novel “Lucky Per.” Local animation film “Checkered Ninja” by Anders Matthesen was a surprise sleeper Christmas hit. With 222,760 admissions in four days, thanks to good reviews and word of mouth, the family film ousted “The Purity of Vengeance” as top Danish opener ever. Christmas film “That Time of Year” by actress-turned director Paprika Steen was another favorite, thanks to a strong cast (Sofie Gråbøl, Lars Brygmann) and its family theme.

The biggest foreign hits were Disney’s “The Incredibles 2” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” while Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” made the top six films, despite its November release. U.S. films’ market share slid slightly from 60% to 58% year-on-year.

DENMARK TOP 10 FILMS 2018 (source: Danish Film Institute)
Films, admissions, gross B.O. (1DKK=$.15 as of Jan. 20), distributors, release date
1. The Purity of Vengeance, 765,111, DKK76.05m ($11.58m), Nordisk Film, Oct. 4
2. The Way to Mandalay, 409,811, DKK30,63m ($4.66m), Nordisk Film, Aug. 3
3. A Fortunate Man, 394,876, DKK32.55m ($4.95m), Nordisk Film, Aug. 30
4. The Incredibles 2, 381,972, DKK33.70m ($5.13m), Disney/Pixar, Aug. 30
5. Avengers: Infinity War,363,843, DKK42.57m ($6.48m), Disney/Marvel, April 25.
6. Bohemian Rhapsody, 355,766, DKK34.91m ($5.31m), Nordisk Film/Fox, Nov. 11
7. Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again, 348,603, DKK30.50m ($4.64m), UIP/UNI, Oct. 7
8. Coco, 347,683, DKK28.99m ($4.41m), Disney/Pixar, Feb. 8
9. Checkered Ninja, 328,333, DKK28.83m ($4.39m), Nordisk Film, Dec. 25
10. That Time of Year, 327,756, DKK22.70m ($3.45m), Nordisk Film, Nov. 8


Cash injections in the exhibition sector of around €15 million ($17.0 million) to renovate existing screens and build new ones kept the Finnish film sector in good spirit, despite a 8.3% drop in cinema attendance.
Following the “extraordinary’” 2017 that saw local champion “The Unknown Soldier” capture 10% of the 9 million admissions, attendance climbed down to normal levels at 8.1 million in 2018 for a box office of €90.2 million ($103 million), according to preliminary figures from the Finnish Film Foundation.
Finnish films accounted for 23.7% of the market with 1.9 million tickets sold, worth €20.4 million ($23.1 million), a 27.5% drop from 2017. “Our market share was still very healthy in 2018 and a wide variety of domestic releases – from comedies and children’s films to historical dramas, to pop star biopics – were embraced by audiences,” stressed Reetta Hautamäki, head of communications & research at the Finnish Film Foundation.

The top local seller was Tiina Lymi’s “Happier Times, Grump,” the second-highest grosser after the U.S./U.K- “Mamma “Mia – Here We Go Again.” The follow-up to the 2014 hit “The Grump” was produced by Solar Films, together with Markku Pölönen’s war drama “Land of Hope,” last year’s No. 2 best-selling Finnish film.

Released on Dec. 21, the French/Finnish/Norwegian reindeer documentary “Ailo’s Journey” sold just south of 50,000 tickets and is expected to match “Tale of a Lake,” MRP Matila Röhr’s previous hit in the genre which ended up with 190,000 admissions.

U.S. films remained stable, accounting for 50% of Finland’s market share. A remarkable performer was Spike Lee’s Cannes entry “The BlacKkKlansman”, the sixth biggest film of 2018, thanks partly to the hype around the presence of Finnish actor Jasper Pääkönen in the cast.
European (non-Finnish) titles also stayed put at 24% of the market, edging down just 1% from 2017.

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Solar Films

FINLAND TOP 10 FILMS 2018 (Source: Finnish Film Foundation)
Films, admissions, gross B.O. (€1=$1.13 as of Jan. 20) distributors, release date
1. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, 371,503, €4.4 m ($5m) Finnkino, July 20
2. Happier Times Grump, 347,429, €3,89m ($4.4m), Nordisk Film, Aug. 24 (Pictured)
3. Bohemian Rhapsody, 299,906, 3.75m ($4.26m), Nordisk Film
4. Avengers: Infinity War, 234,354, €2.82m ($3.2m), Disney, April 25
5. The BlacKkKlansman, 225,554, €2,64m ($3m), Finnkino, Aug. 10
6. Incredibles 2, 225,421, €2.42m ($2.75m), Disney, Aug. 31
7. Deadpool 2, 200,140, €2.36m ($2.68m), Nordisk Film, May 16
8. Land of Hope, 191,510, €2.01m ($2.29m), Nordisk Film, Oct. 26
9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, 169,174, €2.10m ($2.39m), SF, Nov. 14
10. Johnny English Strikes Again, 162,449, €1.90m ($2.1m), Finnkino, Sept. 28.


With a stable four cinema visits per capita, Iceland remains one of the biggest filmgoing nations in the world, and in 2018, 74,000 more Icelanders out of 338,000 nationals, watched a film on the silver screen, up 5.4% from 2017. Total admissions reached 1,445,445 and revenues climbed by 6.4% to Kr 1,688,453,577 ($13.9m) according to the cinema association FRÍSK.
Ten years after the original Abba-centric film Mamma Mia, its sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again secured the top spot at the box office, with revenues of Kr 96.3 million ($792,821).
The second biggest hit was the local film “Let Me Fall” by Baldvin Z, a harrowing drama about drug abuse among Reykjavik youngsters. With 53,000 admissions, the Sena release was most watched Icelandic film since the 2012 crime thriller “Black’s Game”.

“Let Me Fall” drove local films’ trawl to 164,000 admissions: Icelandic films accounted for 13.3% of box office revenues, the best results since 2014.
Another four Icelandic films scored with the local crowds: Bragi Thór Hinriksson’s kids soccer movie “The Falcons” – timely released to coincide with the soccer World Cup- was the ninth biggest film of 2018; the animated film “Ploey, You Never Fly Again” was No. 15 and Iceland’s Oscar entry “Woman at War” number 16.
U.S. films’ slice of the market remained stable at 84.3% of B.O. receipts. Top-selling U.S. films were “Avengers-Infinity War”, “The Incredibles 2” and “A Star is Born,” all released by Samfilm.

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ICELAND TOP 10 FILMS 2018 (source FRÍSK)
Films, gross B.O. (1ISK=$0.008 as of Jan. 20) admissions, distributors, release dates
1. Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again, Kr 96,265,552 ($793,943), 79,861, Myndform, July 18
2. Let Me Fall, Kr 87,008,153 ($717,593), 52,901, Sena, Sept. 7 (Pictured)
3. Avengers: Infinity War, Kr 74,566,452 ($614,981), 57,018, Samfilm, April 27
4.The Incredibles 2, Kr 67.184.638 ($554,100), 57,916, Samfilm, June 22
5. A Star is Born, Kr 56,886,735 ($56.886.735), 45,097, Samfilm, Oct. 5
6. Bohemian Rhapsody Kr 55,524,759 ($457,936), 42,167, Sena, Oct. 5
7. Black Panther, Kr 52,332,130 ($431,605,) 39, 739, Samfilm, Feb. 16
8. Deadpool 2, Kr 48,157,369 ($397,174), 37,797, Sena, 16.05.18
9. The Falcons, Kr 47,712,654 ($393,5060), 35,465, Samfilm, March 23
10. Mission Impossible Fallout, Kr 40,943,483 ($337,678), 32,175, Samfilm, Aug. 3


2018 was a good year for cinema attendance in Norway which increased year-on-year by 3% to 12.1 million admissions, above the 11.9 million average of the last decade. Revenues climbed by 9.1 to NOK1.37 bl ($160.6 million), bolstered by higher VAT on cinema tickets (12% against 10% the previous year).

Norwegian films largely contributed to the buoyant 2018 and posted the second-best results in modern times after 2016 (“The King’s Choice” blockbuster year) with gross box office of NOK 326.6 million ($38 million), up 61% from 2017. Total admissions also increased, by a robust 34.5% to 3,049,058. “This has been a record-breaking year for Norwegian films, which posted a market share of 25.2%. It has never been higher in modern times,” commented Guttorm Petterson, head of cinema association Film & Kino.
After “Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again,” last year’s champion, three Norwegian films landed in the top 4: John Andreas Andersen’s disaster film “Quake,” Harald Zwart’s “The 12th Man” about WWII resistance hero Jan Baalsrud (released late 2017); and Rasmus A. Sivertsen’s franchise-based animation film “Louis & Lucas-Mission to the Moon.”
Another two local films made the top 15: Arild Fröhlich’s comedy “Opportunity Knocks” (263,819 admissions) which beat Disney’s “Black Panther” (261,107 admissions) and “Coco” (258,167 admissions), and Erik Poppe’s Berlin competition title “U-July 22” about the Utøya massacre, watched by 250,044 Norwegians. All five top-selling Norwegian films were Nordisk Film releases.
In contrast to Norwegian films’ record market share, U.S. films lost ground, falling from 69.8% in 2017 to 61.3% in 2018.
“Mission Impossible-Fallout” was the second biggest Hollywood title of the year and posted the third-best box office results after “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and the Norwegian hit “The Quake”, thanks to a successful run in IMAX theatres with higher prices.

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NORWAY TOP 10 FILMS 2019 (source: Film & Kino)
Films, admissions, gross B.O. (1NOK=$0.116 as of 20.01.19), distributors, release dates

1. Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again, 708,436, NOK87.64m ($10.23m), Nordisk Film, July 7
2. The Quake, 589,629, NOK73,87m ($8.62m), Nordisk Film, Aug. 31 (Pictured)
3. The 12th Man, 426,166, NOK50,16m ($5.85m), Nordisk Film, Dec. 25, 2017
4. Louis & Luca-Mission to the Moon, 422,741, NOK41.57m ($4.85m), Nordisk Film, Sept. 21
5. Mission Impossible-Fallout, 388,901, NOK52.18m ($6.09m), UIP, Aug. 3
6. The Incredible 2, 370,939, NOK38.49m ($4.49m), Disney, Aug. 24
7. Avengers: Infinity War, 345,579, NOK45.63m ($5.32m), Disney, April 25
8. Bohemian Rhapsody, 334,586, NOK42m ($4.9m), Fox, Nov. 2
9. The Grinch, 280,782, NOK27.72m ($3.23m), UIP, Nov. 9
10. Deadpool 2, 275,851, NOK35.2m ($4.11m), Fox, May 18

For the second consecutive year, general attendance dropped, in 2018 by 3% to 16.36 million, marking one of the lowest results in the last  four years. Box office remained relatively stable at SEK 1,94 bl. ($215.17 million). The Swedish Cinema Association SBF (Sveriges Biografägare Förbund) blamed the lack of blockbusters, a summer heat wave, and tougher times for local cinemas since the VAT increase on cinema tickets from 6% to 25%, introduced two years ago, which has forced some venues to close down.
Swedish films managed, however, to grab spectators’ attention and upped their share by 5% to 3,059,882, for a 18.7% total tally, the highest since the 19.9% of 2015.
As expected, in Abba home land, “Mamma Mia-Here We Go Again” dominated Swedish film charts – by a head, as more than one million Swedes watched the UIP/Universal release, twice the numbers of the second ranking film, Fox/Warner’s “A Star is Born.”
Hannes Holm’s “A Moon of My Own,” a biopic about former pop idol Ted Gärdestad, was the top-selling Swedish film with 413,817 tickets sold, followed by “Solsidan”, released in 2017, which added 387,435 admissions in 2018 to exceed a 1.1 million total.
Other comedies that scored with local crowds are Mikael Persbrandt’s vehicle “The Cake General “and “Sune vs Sune,” selected for the Berlinale’s 2019 Generation Kplus section.

The Cannes Classics selection “Ingmar Bergman-A Year in a Life,” by Jane Magnusson, drew 11,183 fans of the Swedish master.

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Stella Nova

SWEDEN TOP 10 FILMS 2019 (source: SBF, Filmägarnas Kontrollbyrå)
Films, admissions, gross B.O. (1SEK=$0.11 as of 20.01.19) distributors, release dates

1. Mamma Mia-Here We Go Again, 1,067,716, SEK131,52m ($14.58m), UIP/Universal, July 20
2. A Star is Born, 534,733, SEK66,21m ($7,34m), Fox/Warner, Oct. 5
3. Avengers: Infinity War, 504,671, SEK70,39m ($7.8m), Disney, April 4
4. Coco, 480,741, SEK50,37m ($5.58m), Disney, Feb. 2
5. Bohemian Rhapsody, 475,697, SEK59.23m ($6.56m), Fox, Oct. 31
6. Black Panther, 450,891, SEK60,83m ($6.75m), Disney, Feb. 14
7 A Moon of My Own, 413,817, SEK47,31m ($5.24m), Fox/Nordisk, Jan. 3 (Pictured)
8. The Incredible 2, 410,738, SEK46.58m ($5.16m), Disney, Aug. 31
9. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 391,021, SEK52,30m ($5.79m), UIP/Universal, June 8
10. Solsidan, 387,435, SEK44.71m ($4.96m), SF Studios, Dec. 1, 2017