Finnish production Restless (Levottomat) has attracted 54,125 admissions in its first week on release, beating American Beauty to the number one slot with a box office gross of $372,337. The impressive opening is the biggest in Finland for a local film since the 1989 release of The Winter War which remains the country's most successful domestic production with total admissions of 628,767. Directed by Aku Louhimies, Restless is produced by Markus Selin for SolarFilms and distributed by Buena Vista International.

Finland's other openers suffered as a result with The Messenger: Joan Of Arc (pictured), opening with a disappointing $45,402 from 10 screens and The Cider House Rules, grossing just $15,446 from five screens.

The release of Restless is more good news for the Finnish film industry which is still celebrating after a healthy 1999. Following several years of domestic box office failures and decreasing per capita visits, it is hoped that last year represented a turnaround for the Finnish industry. Domestic films' share of the box office dropped to around 5% in the mid-1990s, but reached 25% in 1999. Per capita visits have risen 30% from 1 to 1.3 over the last two years.

Local distributor Finnkino is also having success with local fare. Return To The Plainlands has so far grossed $597,829 for Finnkino after four weeks on release.

Finnish releases (Feb 5, 1999 - Feb 3, 2000)

Film /Date/Distrib/Opening Week $(FMK)

1.Restless (Jan 28) Buena Vista International - $372,337 (FMK2,159,554)

2.Return To The Plainlands (Jan 14) Finnkino - $270,118 (FMK1,566,685)

3.Gold Fever In Lapland (Sep 10) Buena Vista Int - $243,444 (FMK1,411,976)

4.Swan & The Wanderer (Feb 19) Buena Vista Int - $175,358 (FMK1,017,076)

5.Long Hot Summer (March 26) Finnkino - $87,070 (FMK505,008)

6.Love & Crime (Feb 5) Kinoscreen - $65,741 (FMK381,300)

7.Geography Of Fear (Jan 21) Buena Vista Int'l - $53,909 (FMK312,672)

8.The Real McCoy (Aug 13) Finnkino - $45,810 (FMK265,696)

9.Kiss Me In The Rain (Sept 24) Buena Vista Int'l - $30,022 (FMK174,129)

10.Blindfolded (March 12) Buena Vista Int'l - $24,284 (FMK140,850)

11.Little Sister (Nov 26) Buena Vista Int'l - $19,642 (FMK113,923)

12.Juha (Feb 25) Senso Films - $14,385 (FMK83,435)

13.Nunnu-Nallen (Dec 10) CTSE - $8,794 (FMK51,008)

Source: Screen International ($1=FMK5.8)