The Italian box office dropped 10% in 2011 earning an overall $844m (€661m), despite a banner year for Italian films led by Medusa’s What A Beautiful Day.

Day, which earned $55m (€43.4m) was also Italy’s top local film of all time. In 2011, that film and other projects placed Medusa as top distributor of the year.

But it was a series of local titles that earned a total of €235m, including co productions ($300m), helping Italy take a strong 37.51% of the market share, up from 2010’s 31.91%. Four local titles made it to the years top ten.

In addition to the Italian hits, the Italian motion picture organization, Anica’s president Riccardo Tozzi pointed out an additional 22 local films made more than $3.8m (€3m).

The 10% over-all drop came mostly from a lowered interest in Hollywood titles here. Still, six of the year’s top ten titles were Hollywood fare, such as like Warner Bros’ last episode in the Harry Potter franchise which became Italy’s second best grosser from a $28.3m (Euros 22.2m) run.

Admissions in 2011 dropped by 7.9% with just 101.3mil tickets sold compared to just over 110m sold year-on-year with 2010, according to Cinetel figures, which covers roughly 90% of the market.

Given the success of local films, in particular comedies  –Hollywood took a hit to the tune of 48.46% of the over all market share, down from their 2010 market share of 60.15%.

Despite this, six of the year’s top ten films were Hollywood pictures and they are expected to be stronger drivers in the upcoming year, with exhibitors expecting admissions to return to 2010’s numbers.

The data was handed out at a Rome news conference. At the same time, the industry named Universal’s Richard Borg as the new head of Anica’s distributors section.

Top 10 distributors

Distributor                             Box Office                  Admissions

1 Medusa Film                     $201m                         26 million

2- Warner Bros Italia             $153m                         17.3 million

3 Universal                            $122.4m                        13.7 million

4 01 Distribution                    $93.8m                          11.4 million

5 Eagle Pictures                    $59.5 m                         7 million

6 Walt Disney Italia               $56.8m                           5.8 million

7 20th Century Fox Italia       $43.3 m                          5.3 million

8 Filmauro                            $34.1 m                          4 million

9 Moviemax                          $17.34 m                        2.2 million

10 BIM Distribution              $17m                      2.1 million