As Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone sweeps across Scandinavia, few other films have had much chance of attracting any attention - with the notable exception of local titles. Danish films, in particular, continue to prove their appeal. Indeed, During the first 9 months of 2001, Danish films have sold some 2.4m tickets at home, pushing the local market share to a record 31%.
Danish romantic comedy from newcomer Hella Joof, Shake It All About, which opened one week before Potter, managed to outperform both Atlantis and Training Day with a strong 47,224 admissions or $320,500 (DKR2.7m) over its first weekend on 62 prints, and this weekend maintained an impressive screen average of 647, dropping only 15% and reaching 129,949 admissions.
Produced and distributed by Angel Films for actor turned director Joof, Shake It All About features an impressive line-up of popular Danish actors lead by heartthrob Mads Dittmann Mikkelsen as a homosexual who falls in love with his boyfriend's sister-in-law. The film, which is sold by Bavaria Film (GER), is looking at a slot in the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.
Meanwhile, local independent distributors have been enjoying a bumper year in Norway, Sweden and Finland, both with local and international product. Norwegian indies Arthaus and Europafilm are both reporting to have doubled their sales in 2001 compared to last year. For Europafilm the successes of homegrown Cool & Crazy ($3.4m) and French favourite Amelie ($600,000 so far) have helped increase sales to $2.2m by November, from 2000's year-end total of $1.1m. Arthaus, meanwhile, is currently enjoying the success of last week's release of Kandahar, having already more than doubled its 2000 sales total to $530,000.
Sweden's Trianglefilm has reaped the benefits of releasing both Danish feature Italian For Beginners and Amelie which together have boosted receipts by 20% over last year. The country's other indie, Folkets Bio, struck gold with French hit The Taste Of Others, which helped boost revenues by some 20% on last year, even though 2000 was its most successful on record.
Finland's major independent distributor, Cinema Mondo, has seen takings climb by 30% this year, largely due to the success of Amelie.
Additional reporting by Petra Buddrus