Successful local films played a major part in a strong 2008 at the box office.
Norwegian cinema admissions rose 10% in 2008 to reach 11.8 million, strongly helped by local fare which sold 2.7 million tickets - 50% more than in 2007.
Local film's market share reached a record 22.5% of the market, according to early statistics published by Norwegian Cinema Association, Film & Kino. Gross box office receipts amounted to $130m (NOK 917m), up 15.9%
Preliminary figures from the Finnish Film Foundation show that in Finland domestic product accounted for 1.6 million admissions in 2008 - up 21.6% from the previous year - to command a 22.6% market share. Attendance totalled 7 million, a 7% increase on 2007; gross box office receipts of $71.9 million (Eu54 million) were 6% better.
In Sweden admissions went up to 15.5 million, an increase of 1.5% on 2007, while gross box-office receipts soared by 5.8%, to reach $151 million (SEK 1,249 million), partly due to rising ticket prices, according to the Swedish Film Institute. Local market share ended at 20% - the same result as in 2007 - controlling between 0.3% in July and 36.8% in October.
In all three countries the same two international features dominated the charts.
A UIP release in Norway, Mamma Mia! became the most popular film in Norway since Titanic in 1998, clocking in 1,109,791 admissions. It was followed by James Bond: Quantum of Solace (Disney/473,049).
Also distributed by Disney in Finland, James Bond: Quantum of Solace came in first on the list of Top Ten Films, selling 428,000 tickets. It was seconded by Mamma Mia!, from Finnkino, which registered 400,000.
On ABBA's home turf, Sweden, UIP's Mamma Mia! pulled in 1,889,291 spectators to secure thenumber-one position on the charts, followed by Sony Pictures' James Bond: Quantum of Solace, from 676,343.
Local top performers in Norway included Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Max Manus (403,053 admissions), Nils Gaup's The Kautokeino Rebellion (Kautokeino-Opprøret/343,615), and Bjørn Fast Nagell-Harald Zwart's Long Flat Balls II (Lange Flate Ballær II/293,057).
In Finland domestic front runners were Mari Rantasila's Ricky Rapper (Risto Räppääjä/210,000), Michael Hegner and Kari Juusonen's Niko & The Way to the Stars (Niko - lentäjän poika/199,000), and Matti Grönberg's The Subtenant (Kummeli alivuokrainen/180,000).
Best-grossing local features in Sweden were Peter Flinth's two films from Jan Guillou's Arn trilogy, Arn - The Knight Templar (Arn - Tempelriddaren/552,932), Arn - The Kingdom at Road's End (Arn - Riket vid vägens slut/520 708), followed by Ella Lemhagen's Patrik 1,5 (325,538).