2008 will be the best year for Danish films at the domestic box office since 1976. The Danish Film Institute (DFI) estimates that more than 4.3 million tickets will be sold for Danish films alone. "Flame & Citron", the year's most popular film, sold an impressive 668,000 tickets. Indiana Jones, James Bond, Batman – no one could touch Ole Christian Madsen's Danish World War II resistance fighters.With total admissions for both Danish and foreign films of 13 million, it is anticipated that 2008 will be the best year at the Danish box office since 1983. Admissions could move to some 10% over 2007, an increase owing largely to the strong interest in Danish films, which account for roughly a third of this year's admissions.Danish cinema matching up to other strong brandsWinning favour with cinema audiences is a tough challenge: the 20 bestselling films this year account for 56% of admissions, though they number less than 9% of the total volume of films. It takes a strong brand to make the top-20 list.No less than nine Danish films are found among the top 20, alongside such familiar brands as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Batman, Sex and the City, Abba, Disney and DreamWorks that have a big head-start when it comes to marketing.
Top-20 (as of 14 December 2008)
The year's number one film is "Flame & Citron", which has now been seen by more than one in every seven Danes over the age of 15. It is the bestselling Danish film since "Italian for Beginners" in 2000.In second, third and fourth place we find Indy, Bond and Mamma Mia, with admissions of around 500,000 tickets each. The Danish comedy "Take the Trash", selling 448,000 tickets, comes in fifth, ahead of Batman and Sex and the City. With the next Danish film, the hilarious sci-fi animation "Journey to Saturn" in eighth place, with 400,000 admissions, the top-20 list is packed with Danish films. On top of that, the list's non-Danish selections include Danish director Susanne Bier's US-produced "Things We Lost in the Fire", igniting interest among Danes and coming in at 18th place.
Releases first half year 2009
09.01.2009: The Escape, Kathrine Windfeld
30.01.2009: When Heaven Falls, Manyar I. Parwani
06.02.2009: Karla and Katrine, Charlotte Sachs Bostrup *
27.02.2009: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev **
13.03.2009: Heartaches (working title), Nils Malmros
20.03.2009: Blekinggade (English title tba), Anders Riis-Hansen ***
27.03.2009: Deliver Us from Evil, Ole Bornedal
03.04.2009: Curse of the Seeress, Mogens Hagedorn Christiansen *
12.06.2009: Sorte kugler (English title tba), Anders Matthesen
* children's films
** Swedish-Danish co-production
For a full overview of 2009 releases:Future releases
A varied selection of Danish filmsA considerable spread in ticket sales is seen among this year's 28 Danish films with theatrical releases, which also range widely among all genres, from blockbuster-type films with broad appeal over to documentary, and more experimental fare notably from the DFI's New Danish Screen talent scheme.
The first half of 2009 is lining up with a corresponding variety of Danish films at the cinema, including Katrine Windfeld's drama-thriller "The Escape", Manyar Parwani's drama "When Heaven Falls" from New Danish Screen, Charlotte Sachs Bostrup's family film "Karla and Katrine", Niels Arden Oplev's Swedish-Danish co-production, an adaptation of Stieg Larsson's acclaimed novel "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", Nils Malmros' drama "Heartaches" (working title), Anders Riis-Hansen's documentary about a Danish group of political activists, "The Blekingegade Gang" (working title), Ole Bornedal's thriller "Deliver Us from Evil", Mogens Hagedorn Christiansen's family adventure "Curse of the Seeress" (working title) and Anders Matthesen's comedy "Sorte kugler" (English title to be announced).
Danish features shine on the global stageOver the year, Danish films performed well on the international festival scene. Ole Bornedal's "Just Another Love Story" competed at Sundance. Omar Shargawi's "Go with Peace Jamil", a New Danish Screen production, won the VPRO Tiger Award in Rotterdam and took home the FIPRESCI award in Gothenburg. Four features were picked for Berlin International Film Festival. We skipped Cannes, but later in the summer Danish films were selected for all the top festivals, including Shanghai, Moscow and Karlovy Vary, where "Terribly Happy" took home the Crystal Globe. Christian Levring's "Fear Me Not", Ole Christian Madsen's "Flame & Citron" and Jan Troell's "Everlasting Moments" attracted attention in Toronto and all three films were picked up for American distribution. "Fear Me Not" also went on to compete in San Sebastian. Toward the end of the year, several features travelled to major festivals, in Pusan, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Cairo. Recently, "Everlasting Moments" was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. Over the year, Danish features were also invited to the increasingly important US festivals in Tribeca (New York) and Telluride.Danish cinema's strong international position in the last decade has had a profound impact beyond the festival circuit. There is a growing awareness of Danish directors and actors, many of whom are increasingly involved in international productions. In 2008, this is the case for Lone Scherfig, Nicolas Winding Refn, Susanne Bier, Jonas Elmer, Thure Lindhardt, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Jesper Christensen, Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Jakob Cedergren and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, among others.
Moreover, our neighbouring Nordic nations called on Baard Ove, Ghita Nørby, Trine Dyrholm, Simon Staho, Jesper W. Nielsen and Niels Arden Oplev, among others, while Danish screenwriters Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg scripted the Stieg Larsson trilogy.
For further information:Danish directors, actors working outside Denmark (links are to IMDB):
Lone Scherfig: An Education
Nicolas Winding Refn: Bronson
Susanne Bier: Lost in Words
Jonas Elmer: New in Town
Thure Lindhardt and Nikolaj Lie Kaas in "Engle og dæmoner"
Jesper Christiensen in "Quantum of Solace"
Ulrich Thomsen in Tykwer's The International
Mads Mikkelsen in Die Tür
Jakob Cedergren in Rage
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the television series New Amsterdam
Directors and actors working in Nordic countries
Baard Ove and Ghita Nørby in Norwegian "O’Horten"
Trine Dyrholm in Norwegian "De usynlige"
Jesper W. Nielsen in Norwegian "I et spejl i en gåde"
Simon Staho in Swedish "Himlens hjerte"
Niels Arden Oplev in Swedish "Mænd der hader kvinder"
Nicolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg writing the screenplay for Stieg Larsson's trilogy.
Danish Film Institute (DFI)
CEO Henrik Bo Nielsen, +45 3374 3501 / +45 4034 9996, email@example.com