News / Highlights


Highlights - 19/04/2005


A very good start to the year for Danish cinema in Denmark


The beginning of this year has seen Danish cinema achieving very good results in its own cinemas, even though general attendance appears to be in decline, as in most European countries. According to the Danish Film Institute, in just two months Danish films have achieved a million admissions, a figure reached last year in six months, admittedly with a limited number of releases in comparison with 2005.

The two films of the beginning of this year which have attracted the most viewers came out on 11 February: Solkongen, by Tomas Villum Jensen, attracted 326,000 viewers with 68 prints, and Oskar og Josefine, a film for children by Carsten Myllerup, sold 246,000 tickets with 88 prints. Another film, released more recently, Nordkraft, a drama by Ole Christian Madsens, attracted 36,000 viewers on the weekend of its release and has attracted over 163,000 viewers to date with 54 prints. On the other hand, the new film by Thomas Vinterberg, Dear Wendy, while widely anticipated throughout Europe, has shown a disappointing result, with 13,700 admissions. Admittedly, the film was distributed to only 14 cinemas on the day of its release. It will be released in the Netherlands in May, in France in June and in the United Kingdom in the beginning of August.
Several films released at the end of 2004 have for their part continued to play their game well. Pusher II attracted 94,000 more viewers, making a total of 168,000 tickets sold. We do not yet know any European release date of the new thriller by Nicolas Winding Refn, whose previous film, Fear X, had a fairly wide distribution. The children's film The Fakir (Fakiren fra Bilbao), by Peter Flinth, is approaching 180,000 admissions. Lost Generation (Familien Gregersen) by Charlotte Sachs Bostrup has had a similar result.
The success of Danish cinema will not surprise. The market share of domestic films, which was slightly in decline, was already 24% in 2004 and four Danish films featured in the top ten. Among these, King's Game (Kongekabale) by Nikolaj Arcel, has again attracted more than 44,000 viewers in 2004, now approaching 600,000 admissions. Yet, the best film of the year, according to Danish critics, does not yet have a planned release date outside its country of origin. This is not the case with Brothers (Brodre). Susanne Bier's drama, against the backdrop of the war in Afghanistan, which has totalled 430,000 admissions in Danish cinemas, has actually been released in Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany and should be released in the United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary and Belgium. At the moment France is missing from this list. But it is probably in France that Villa paranoia, by Erik Clausen, another success from 2004 (over 200,000 admissions), will be distributed outside Danish cinemas for the first time.
Moviegoers can enjoy another Danish film in France. In Your Hands (Forbrydelser), last Annette K.Olesen' feature film, has been released Wednesday 13th April in 12 french cinemas. Among them, 6 are members of Europa Cinemas. In your hands was released in Denmark in January 2004 and was distributed in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Austria. It should shortly be released in the United Kingdom. Last year, the movie was seen by 25 000 people in theatres which are members of Europa Cinemas.
This short survey would not be complete without mentioning three Danish films to come this year. Manderlay, by Lars von Trier, will be screened in the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival and Dark Horse, second feature film by Dagur Kári after Nói albínói, has been selected at Un Certain Regard. Finally, we should also mention Allegro, the second film by Christoffer Boe. Reconstruction, which received the Caméra d'or in Cannes in 2003 and was the first film by this young director of 31 years, is said to have had worldwide distribution throughout. The film has just been released in Poland, shortly after South Korea. It has had many showings on the screens of Europa Cinemas. By way of example, Reconstruction was one of European cinema's successes in Hungary in 2004: it attracted 10,000 viewers in the country, 88% of whom saw the film in one of the network's cinemas.
Danish Film Institute :
Jb Selliez