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"Moderate" drop in cinema ticket sales for 2011

07 January 2012 / 20:01:30  GRReporter
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Pirates, witches, smurfs, wolves and vampires broke the box office records in 2011.

In Greece and internationally, due to the 2011 economic crisis a decline was reported in ticket sales of around 7 percent compared to 2010. As Irini Souganidou, president of the Association of Greek distributors said “the decline was expected and somewhat satisfactory".

"It seems that in comparison with what is happening in the Greek market the economic crisis has not hit cinemas as hard as it did other companies," stated Sotiris Georgopoulos, owner of a cinema and "Danaos" family firm for 40 years.

The fact is that despite the crisis and cinema competitors - cafes, football and television - the plunged into darkness hall offers an escape, albeit temporarily, from cruel reality. Something that always happens, as the older say. And even during the Great Depression in the '30s U.S. cinemas were on the rise.

Certainly the current trend to adjust ticket prices to pockets of the Greek spectators and promotional packages offered not only by multiplexes, but also by independent cinema as well, helped to attract viewers. For example, in the last three months of 2011 Ster Cinemas reduced the ticket price to 6.5 Euros. "Initially, in Thessaloniki and Larissa, and from December 2011 in Athens as well," says the General Director of the company Yannis Kounduris. And "we will maintain this reduction until we see signs of reviving of the economy," he adds.

Last year the big chains and independent cinemas sold 10.9 million tickets, almost 1.21 million tickets less than in 2010.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" was in the top 15 movies playing in Greece with 396,000 tickets sold, followed by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" with 347.000 tickets sold, the "Smurfs" for now with 283,000 tickets sold (screenings are still continuing), and the sci-fi thriller “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" with 270,000 tickets sold to date.

Number five in Greece is the "Tourist" with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp with 267,000 tickets sold, followed by “Hangover Part II” with 244.000 tickets sold and the Hollywood "Immortals" with 243.500 tickets sold so far.

Number ten in the list is the film "Black Swan" with 213,000 tickets sold and the latest Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris", which so far has sold 212,000 tickets, followed by "The King’s Speech" with 206.000 tickets sold.

As for Greek productions, for one month the film "Christmas Tango" by Nikos Koutelidakis reached 182,515 tickets sold and sales still remain stable. The same goes for the continuation of the "Island Part 2”. For two weeks of screenings, the film "In pursuit of lost treasure" by Antonis Angelopoulos sold 170,000 tickets, and "Sirens on land" by Nikos Perakis sold 155,000 tickets.

In 2011, 26 Greek productions were screened in cinemas.

What happens with films of small producers, films with artistic merit, which are not supported by the major cinema chains and are not intended for the general public? "Maybe we distributors are at fault as well, because we mix those films in the cinema programme for several days and this way there is not time for enough screenings", admits Irini Souganidou, president of the Association of Greek distributors.

Tags: Cinema Greek movies Pirates of the Carribean The Smurfs The Twilight Saga
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