Brazil’s box-office revenues increased 30% to a record $752.6 m (real 1.26 billion) in 2010, according to figures released by local company Filme B.

The growth was helped by higher ticket prices for 3D releases, increase of 20% in general admissions (totalling 134.8m tickets sold) and an excellent performance of Brazilian films. With 19% marketshare, local films achieved the second highest market hare since the Brazilian renaissance (behind 2003 figure of 22%).

With a gross of $61.2m (real 102.5m), Jose Padilha’s Elite Squad 2 (Tropa de Elite 2) [pictured] surpassed Avatar, with $43.4m (real 72.8m), and topped the chart for 2010. Still in theatres, the sequel to the Golden Bear winner at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival has become the highest domestic-grossing Brazilian film since the Retomada, in the 90s, beating the previous record holder, Se Eu Fosse Voce 2. [Elite Squad 2 will next month screen at the Berlinale.]

With 11m admissions, Tropa de Elite 2 is now the most watched Brazilian film of all time, surpassing Bruno Barreto’s Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos, which sold 10.7m tickets in 1975. Dueto several change sin Brazilian currency the comparison between movies from the 70s is made by tickets sold and not by box office revenues.

For the first time since the Retomada three Brazilian films surpassed the milestone of 3m admissions. In addition to Tropa de Elite 2, Wagner de Assis’ Nosso Lar sold 4m tickets and Daniel Filho’s ChicoXavier had 3.4m admissions.

The appeal of 3D movies also helped considerably boost movie ticket sales in the country. The Brazilian 3D circuit had only 97 screens in January 2010 and ended the year with 262 (an increase of 150%). As a result, 3D revenues and admissions have grownover 200%, compared to 2009.

Brazil’s top 10 films of 2010

1. Elite Squad 2 (Tropa de Elite 2) * - $61.2m  (real102.5m)

2. Avatar - $43.4m (real72.8m)

3. Shrek Forever After - $42m (real70.4m)

4. Eclipse - $32.1m (real53.8m)

5. Alice in Wonderland - $28.6m (real47.9m)

6. Toy Story 3 - $25.2m (real42.2m)

7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel - $23.1m (real38.8m)

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - $22.4m (real37.6m)

9. Nosso Lar - $21.5m (real36.1m)

10.Chico Xavier - $18.1m (real30.3m)

Source: Filme B

  *Still in theatres