German films took almost 30% of the local box-office over the first quarter of 2009, according to figures from Nielsen EDI. It is down from 33% for the same period last year.

The latest figures show the local market took a 28.4% share between January and March, with box-office takings for German productions and co-productions rising to $87.9m (Euro 65.3m). Local films took a 29.6% share of admissions with 10.5m tickets sold over the period.

It compares to a strong first period of 2008, with long-runner Til Schweiger’s Rabbit Without Ears showing in the same period a year ago. The romantic comedy opened on December 20, 2007 and took over $49.9m (Euro 37m) between January and March 2008. Along with The Wave and Earth it grew the domestic industry’s market share to 33%.

The interest in local films has been driven by including Berlinale opener The International and the Oscar-winning The Reader. Other local successes also include stand-up comedian Mario Barth’s feature film debut Männersache, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s family entertainment film Lilly The Witch, Henrich Breloer’s Thomas Mann adaptation Buddenbrooks - The Decline Of A Family, and the teen comedy Wild Chicks And Life as well as the films by Tom Tykwer and Stephen Daldry.

The top five German films, including co-productions, over the first quarter of 2009 are The Reader ($15.2m, Euro 11.3m), Männersache ($11.7m, Euro 8.7m), Buddenbrooks ($9.8m, Euro 6.8m), Lilly The Witch ($7.4m, Euro 5.5m), Wild Chicks And Life ($6.7m, Euro 5m).