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Hollywood dominates Swiss movie screens

A successful year for Swiss cinemas, but not for Swiss films Keystone Archive

Swiss cinemas recorded a 4.4 per cent increase in ticket sales last year, according to the industry association.

This content was published on March 13, 2005 - 14:44

But the share of Swiss films on the country’s silver screens slipped by more than half to just 2.6 per cent.

2004 was one of the most successful years of the past decade, said the cinema industry association, ProCinema.

A total of 17,706 million tickets were sold – up 4.4 per cent on the previous year, resulting in a 5.5 per cent increase in turnover.

The Hollywood blockbuster Harry Potter 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban, was top of the table with 608,204 spectators.

The animation film Shrek 2 and Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy with actor Brad Pitt came in second and third, ahead of the comedy Something’s Gotta Give (with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton) and Lord of the Rings 3: The Return of the Kings.

The documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 by the controversial United States film-maker Michael Moore attracted 350,695 people to Swiss cinemas.

German comedy

Only one European production, the German comedy, (T)Raumschiff Enterprise, was listed among the top ten.

The most popular Swiss production Sternenberg, a comedy in Swiss-German dialect, sold 122,396 tickets last year – which earned it a place in the top 50.

US productions accounted for 70 per cent of box office ticket sales, with films from European Union countries taking 22 per cent.

The share of Swiss productions nose-dived to just 2.6 per cent last year from 5.7 per cent in 2003. The one-off success was largely due to the box office hit Achtung, fertig, Charlie!

A record 1,510 films were shown on Switzerland’s 540 cinema screens in 2004. The number of movie theatres remained unchanged at 335, according to ProCinema.

Fribourg film festival

Meanwhile, the international film festival in Fribourg has recorded a slight drop in the number of spectators this year.

Organisers said 25,000 people attended the week-long event which was dedicated to films from the developing world.

About 100 films were screened during the festival, focusing on how the modern world is evolving.

At a ceremony on Sunday the festival's top prize went to La Nuit de la Vérité (The Night of Truth) by Fanta Régina Nacro from Burkina Faso.

The film tells the story of reconciliation between two ethnic groups of an imaginary country in Africa.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Most popular films 2004:

Harry Potter 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban (608,204 spectators)
Shrek 2 (553,148 spectators)
Troy (453,869 spectators)
Something’s Gotta Give (396,039 spectators)
Lord of the Rings 3: The Return of the Kings (392,114 spectators)

Most successful Swiss film 2004:

Sternenberg (122,396 spectators)

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