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Rising box office trend for Estonian film

Martin Aadamsoo 2009-05-31
Over the past half decade, the share of Estonian films at domestic box office has grown nearly fivefold from 47,000 ticekts sold in 2004 to 223,000 tickets sold in 2007.

The corresponding box office revenue from domestic films has grown from 166,000 EUR in 2004 to €897,000 in 2008, according to Statistics Estonia. The released figures vary from the national film agency Estonian Film Foundation's ones due to difficulties in collecting reliable data, but indicate a robust commercial and critical comeback trend for domestic films.

The growth trend reversed in 2008 but two domestic films still ended up in the overall TOP 10, the historic action thriller December Heat coming in 7th, and teen crime story I Was Here in 8th spot. The recovery is all the more remarkable as in the the rock-bottom year of 2000, no Estonian features premiered at all. There are more hopeful signs on the horizon as a second multiplex opens in the capital city of Tallinn in October 2009, offering more screentime for local product. A midiplex opened in the second largest city of Tartu last year.

This year's potential hit is the much-anticipated second feature Temptations of St. Tony from Veiko Õunpuu who won the 2007 Venice Horizons top award with his Autumn Ball. Õunpuu received the EU talent award for best script with his new film in Cannes in 2008.

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