Impressive year at the cinema

BOXOFFICE 2012. Cinema admissions were at their highest level in 30 years, and 2012 proved to be the second best year for Danish films at the national box office since 1981. Historical dramas were popular picks among the audience, whose preferences lead to two women directors heading the Danish Top 10.

Danish films sold 4.1 million tickets in 2012, which marks the second highest ticket sales for Danish films since 1981, surpassed only in 2008. This makes for a national market share in 2012 at 28%.

The total number of cinema admissions landed at an equally record-high level, securing the best result since 1982: 14.2 million tickets were sold in Danish cinemas in 2012, nearly 12% more than in 2011.

That today's level is comparable to the early eighties shows proof that the movie theatre continues to be a unique meeting place for the big film experience despite massive competition – unlike the media landscape thirty years back, when there was only one TV channel in Denmark and video was young.

"2012 was in every way remarkable," Henrik Bo Nielsen, CEO of the Danish Film Institute, comments. "Selling more than 4 million tickets, Danish films contributed significantly to an impressive year at the box office. The films also showed their strength internationally, winning awards at major festivals such as in Sundance, Berlin, and Cannes."

Two women directors top the list

"There are many individual results in 2012 worth noting," says Henrik Bo Nielsen. "For instance, it's interesting that this year's two best-selling directors are women: Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis, who is making her first feature, and Susanne Bier who has a lengthy string of feature films to her name."

Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis's "This Life" about Danish resistance fighters during World War II, opened in March and tops the list of the ten most popular Danish films with 765,000 tickets sold, while Susanne Bier comes in second with her romantic comedy "Love Is All You Need" reaching 645,000 tickets since its release in September.

History lessons on the big screen

The 21 Danish feature films that hit the big screen in 2012 show a wide range of themes and genres covering dramas, comedies, family films and animation.

Last year proved that historical dramas fare well among Danish audiences. In addition to Riis's resistance drama "This Life", Nikolaj Arcel's Oscar contender "A Royal Affair", about a key moment in Danish Enlightenment, drew more than half a million to the box office, while Bille August made a royal comeback with his first Danish production in 25 years, "Marie Krøyer", about the wife of a famous 19th century painter, drawing 296,000 to the box office. Equally inspired by true events, although in a more generalized sense, is Tobias Lindholm's modern-day piracy drama "A Hijacking", which reached 140,000 admissions.

Three Danish films each reached more than 500,000 tickets during 2012, which hasn't occurred since 1986.

Top 10 / Danish films 2012


Tickets sold

This Life 764,516
Love Is All You Need 644,729
A Royal Affair 528,425
Father of Four – At Sea 409,945
My Sister's Kids – Home Alone 310,556
Marie Krøyer 296,206
Almost Perfect 200,297
Jelly T (3D) 180,675
A Hijacking 140,464
Park Road – The Movie 100,806

Top 10 / All films 2012


Tickets sold

Skyfall 914,052
This Life 764,516
Love Is All You Need 644,729
The Dark Knight Rises 565,646
A Royal Affair   528,425
Father of Four – At Sea 409,945
Ice Age 4 354,226
My Sister's Kids – Home Alone 310,556
Avengers (3D) 303,407
Marie Krøyer 296,206

Note: A number of films are still playing in theatres. All figures are issued at year-end by the Distibutors' Organisation FAFID. The official numbers for 2012 will be released by Statistics Denmark in February-March 2013.