In 2007 Norwegian cinemas registered a 10% decline in admissions, to reach 10.8m, according to statistics from the Norwegian cinema association, Film & Kino. Local productions accounted for 1.7m admissions, to maintain last year's market share of 16.4% which (except for 2003) is the largest since 1975.
'The big international blockbusters simply weren't big enough,' explained director of communications Birgitte Langballe, of Film & Kino. 'Still five of the best-grossing pictures were launched during the summer season, to make it the best so far.
'Traditionally family fare is strong in Norway, and 2007 was no exception - it pulled in 33% of the audiences. Two Norwegian children's films made it to the list of Top Ten Films, and another three domestic movies were among the 20 most popular attractions,' she concluded.
Bjorn Hoenvoll, managing director of Nordisk Film Distribution, compared the performances of last year'sNo 1- Ice Age 2 - to this year's, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix which reached 890,000 and 560,000 admissions, respectively.
'Likewise the No 2s, which clocked in 665,000 and 550,000. You don't need many of those to reverse the trend,' explained the chairman of the Norwegian Distributors' Association. 'Adding to this local features didn't do as well as expected.'
'One of the reasons could be that cinema tickets have gone up, while at the same time the prices of DVDs have dropped and the hold-back periods have been reduced,' he said. 'A very unscientific analysis has shown that the audiences we are missing are teenage boys.
'They are increasingly spending time on video games. Maybe they have used too much money on their Playstations, and they have to save somewhere, so they skip the cinema and wait to see the film with five friends when it is out on DVD,' Hoenvoll added.
2007 Top Ten at Norwegian Box Office
1 Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix 558,462 admissions
2 Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End 483,916 admissions
3 Shrek 3 483,916 admissions
4 The Simpsons Movie 390,485 admissions
5 Ratatouille 383,139 admissions
6 The Olsen Gang and the Silver Mine Mystery (Olsenbanden jr. og sølvgruvens hemmelighet) (Norway) 297,507 admissions
7 Die Hard 4.0 293,729 admissions
8 Spider-Man 3 266,081 admissions
9 Mr Bean's Holiday 242,539 admissions
10 Elias and the Royal Yacht (Elias og kongeskipet) (Norway)234,137 admissions