The German and Swiss cinemas saw their local market shares shrink dramatically in 2007, according to provisional year-end figures.
After the euphoria of 2006 when German films had posted a market share of 23% thanks to such films as Perfume - Story Of A Murderer and football documentary Deutschland. Ein Sommermaerchen, the local industry was now brought down to the ground by the news that the market share had dropped year-on-year by over 30% to 16.8% of 2007's $1.1bn (Euros 743m) box office.
Michael 'Bully' Herbig's animated pastiche Lissi And The Wild Emperor was the most successful local release with takings of $20.2m (Euros 13.6m), followed by the fourth instalment of the Wild Soccer Bunch franchise ($16.9m / Euros 11.4m) and Til Schweiger's romantic comedy Keinohrhasen which opened just before Christmas and registered over $ 15.7m (Euros 10.6m) by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, the national films' market share slipped from 2006's 10% - when the political drama Grounding - The Last Days of Swissair and the comedy Late Bloomers had both notched up 370,000 admissions - to only 5.4% in the past 12 months as local releases failed to instill any excitement in Swiss cinema-goers.
For instance, the much-heralded comedy Tell - distributed by Universal Pictures in Switzerland, Germany and Austria - could only interest 55,000 cinema-goers.
While the year's new local releases failed to make any real impact, two hits from
2006: Vitus and Late Bloomers showed staying power. Late Bloomers finished 2007 for Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures with a total of 592,887 admissions, selling over 200,000 tickets from January to December 2007.
According to the industry association Procinema, admissions fell from 2006's record total of 16.6m to around 14m last year, Ratatouille being the top film with 742,831 tickets sold.
The Swiss industry will now be hoping that Frederic and Samuel Guillaume's animation film Max & Co, which is opening this year's Solothurn Film Days next Monday (Jan 21), will revive the local scene's fortunes. Billed at $ 27.5m (CHF 30m) as the most expensive Swiss film ever produced, the film will be released by Walt Disney in Swiss cinemas on February 13.
Top German Films of 2007
1 Lissi And The Wild Emperor, Constantin, $20.2m/Euros 13.6m
2 Wild Soccer Bunch 4, Walt Disney, $16.9m/Euros 11.4m
3 Keinohrhasen, Warner, $15.7m/Euros 10.6m
4 Warum Manner Nicht Zuhoren..., Constantin, $9.2m/Euros 6.2m
5 Neues Vom Wixxer, Constantin, $7.7m/Euros 5.2m
6 Vollidiot, Senator, $7.4m/Euros 5m
7 Mein Fuehrer, X Verleih, $7.2m/Euros 4.9m
8 Wild Chicks In Love, Constantin, $7.1m/Euros 4.8m
9 The Three Investigators, Walt Disney, $6.4m/Euros 4.3m
10 Heavyweights, Constantin, $5m/Euros 3.4m
Source: Nielsen EDI, Jan 1, 2007 - Jan 2, 2008