The local success of two children's films has caused unforeseen problems for the Norwegian Film Fund, which administers the annual $28m in state subsidy for film in Norway.
Olsenbanden jr has so far recorded 350,000 admissions, while Summer Of Wolves has been seen by 210,000 Norwegians. In addition, the local low-budget horror Wilderness produced by Spleis Film, is now approaching 150,000 admissions.
However, their dual success has also created a headache for the Norwegian film industry because of a subsidy mechanism called 'the box office bonus'. Once their films have been released at home, Norwegian producers are entitled to this bonus, which can be as much as 55% of the box-office gross; children's films receive a 100% bonus.
In the case of these two recent hits, the upshot of this automatic bonus trigger is that there will be considerably less money for film production next year.
At a board meeting of the Norwegian Film Fund on Wednesday, it was decided that the allocated pool fund for the box office bonus will be increased from the budgeted $7.5m to $10.5m.
This, however, means that there will be $3m less for production purposes, according to the Fund.
The Ministry of Culture is now desperately trying to find a new support mechanism that will avoid potential negative impact every time there is a new local hit.
Even if they manage to find one, it is unlikely to be implemented before 2005. The local Norwegian production figures could therefore be seriously affected by the box office bonus for nearly three years.