Norwegian cinema is garnering success abroad but attendance for national films has plummeted this year.
While Norwegian films are strong international performers, this year they face significant challenges at home, according to new figures released by the Norwegian Film Institute.
To date, attendance for local films has fallen considerably year-on-year and the industry now faces an uphill struggle to replicate the impressive 24% market-share achieved last year.
When the Norwegian Film Institute introduced the autumn season of local releases at Oslo’s Film House this week, the institute’s managing director Sindre Guldvog emphasised the international success of Norwegian cinema in 2015.
“For the first time in 36 years, Norway had a film in competition at Cannes - Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs. And when France’s Les Arcs European Film Festival (December 12-19) will focus on Norway, it will be the fourth international showcase in 2015 with special programmes on Norway,” he said.
But while Norwegian cinema conquers foreign markets, it has domestic problems: as of this week, local films including 14 new releases in 2015 have sold only 211,227 tickets out of 6.4 million (total sales are up more than 1% from 2014).
The ticket sales for local films account for only 3.3% of the market, a huge drop on last year’s final 24.4% market-share.
Only two Norwegian new films - Charlotte Blom’s Staying Alive, and Yngvild Sve Flikke’s Women in Oversized Men’s Shirts (Kvinner I For Store Herreskjorter) have taken more than 10,000 admissions (82,182 and 22,385 admissions, respectively).
However, the picture could look very different come the end of the year, particularly with anticipated Norwegian ‘blockbuster’ The Wave set to hit cinemas soon.
“I am sure local fare will strike back in the second half of the year, so we might even reach 2014 figures,” said head of communications Birgitte Langballe, of Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino. ”Many films on the autumn schedule have a strong audience potential, especially titles targeting family audiences.”
Besides Louder Than Bombs, this autumn’s Norwegian releases include Roar Uthaug’s The Wave (Bølgen), Arne Lindtner Næss’ Caspar and Emma on Safari (Karsten og Petra På Safari), Rasmus A Sivertsen-Rune Spaans’ Two Buddies and a Badger (Knutsen & Ludvigsen og den Fæle Rasputin), Arild Fröhlich’s Doctor Proctor Bubble in the Bathtub (Doktor Proktors Tidsbadekar), Thale Persen’sThe Christmas King - Full Armor (Julekongen – Full Rustning) and Rasmus A Sivertsen’s Solan and Ludvig – From Here to Pinchcliff (Solan Og Ludvig – Herfra Til Flåklypa).