Cinema attendance in Sweden reached its highest level in the first half of the year for five years. Admissions reached 7.6 million – up 26.8% compared to last year.

The success of Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (aka Men Who Hate Women/Män som hatar kvinnor), which sold 1.2 million tickets, helped to increase the share of local films to 32.4% compared to 18.6% for the first half of 2008.

Seven local features registered more than 100,000 admissions, compared to just three in 2008.

Thomas Bryntesson, head of statistics at the Swedish Film Insititute, said: “The figures confirm the recent trend of soaring ticket sales during the summer, also that cinema attendance usually benefits from times of recession.”

Meanwhile, admissions rose by 8% to 5.6 million in Norway over the first six months of 2009.

Local film Max Manus, which topped the charts for several months, helped local market share to rise 10% to 26.5% compared to the same period in 2008.

The second half of the year has also got off to a promisign start as July saw highest ever attendance figure with 1.6 million Norwegians going to the cinema. International blockbusters Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs andHarry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince accounted for 65% of total ticket sales.