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Locals films end decade on the up

Swiss cinema has ended the decade on a relatively happy note – 700,000 tickets for local films have been sold this year, up from 550,000 in 2009 and 450,000 in 2008.

This market share of 5.2 per cent is up from 3.5 per cent last year and 2.4 per cent at the beginning of the decade.

Sennentunstschi, Michael Steiner’s folk horror, was the most successful Swiss film of the year, selling some 125,000 tickets, according to provisional figures released on Thursday by ProCinema, the national film distribution association.

The interim head of films at the Federal Culture Office described the past ten years as a “quantum leap” compared with the previous decade, praising the industry’s “successful breadth”.

A record 82 Swiss films were released in 2010, of which at least 17 sold more than 10,000 tickets. Documentary films remained very strong.

The fact remains however that Steiner – who also directed two of the most successful Swiss films ever, Grounding and My Name is Eugen – is the only Swiss director who can consistently attract large audiences. The second most successful Swiss film of 2010, Der grosse Kater, was watched by just over 50,000 people.

In general, Swiss cinemas were dominated in 2010 by Hollywood – even more so than usual. All of the ten most-watched films of the year came from the United States, led by Avatar (827,000 tickets), Inception (437,000) and Alice in Wonderland (388,000).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR