German box office and cinema admissions boosted by 3D and local titles.

3D films Up, Avatar and Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (pictured) helped to make 2009 one of the most successful years ever for German cinemas, according to figures released by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) on Wednesday (February 10).

Peter Dinges, FFA managing director, revealed that admissions rose by 13.1% from 129.4m to 146.3m; while overall box-office revenues climbed by 22.8% from $1bn (€794.7m) to $1.3bn (€976.1m).

With screenings of 3D releases demanding a supplement of $4.10 (€3), the average overall cinema ticket price rose by 53 cents to $9.20 (€6.67).

Local productions attracted the largest number of admissions at 39.9m and the highest market share at 27.4% since FFA records began in 1991. Last year saw a record number of German films released theatrically at 216 although admissions were concentrated on the top twenty, including The Reader and Valkyrie, which amassed 75% (29.5m) of the tickets sold for domestic productions.

At the same time, he noted that last year a record 77 co-productions were released in Germany’s cinemas, which is up 20 on the previous year. “This is testament to German producers’ increasing ability and need to find international partners for the financing of their projects,” Dinges suggested.

He added that the final touches are being made to a trilateral co-production agreement between Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which would harmonise funding guidelines and facilitate cross-border cooperation. Plans for a new German-Russian co-production treaty are still being pursued.

Meanwhile, Christine Berg, project manager of the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), told ScreenDaily that only two projects have been funded by the “German spend” incentive programme so far this year. These are Corinna Belz’s painter portrait Gerhard Richter – Ohne Titel and Harald Bergmann’s musings on a film about Vladimir Nabokov, 37 Karteikarten Zu Nabokov.

Last year, the DFFF supported 104 projects – including international projects Inglourious Basterds, Black Death and Unknown White Male - with a total of $79.1, (€57.6m) funding.