Five Minarets Tops Turkish 2010 Box Office

By Kerem Akca

    In 2010, Turkish films continued to dominate the national box office in Turkey, claiming 186 Million Turkish Liras of a total 357 million TL in box income, once more staying within the 50-60% range. Leading the list was Five Minarets in New York (New York'ta Bes Minare), a terror-thriller directed by Mahsun Kirmizigul.

    In 2010, 66 Turkish films and 181 foreign films were released. The annual box office grew by some 20% over recent years, with Turkish films accounting for eight of the top ten spots, up from five in 2009, part of a growing trend in the Turkish film industry.

    The Recep Ivedik series, which was the market leader in 2008 and 2009, was beaten for the first time by Five Minarets in New York. Director Kirmizigul is best known as a director of tearjerkers. The film stars Robert Patrick, Gina Gershon, Danny Glover along with Turkish actors Haluk Bilginer, Mustafa Sandal, and Kirmizigul himself. The film examines the different points of view after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The movie had 3,455,089 admissions.

    Recep Ivedik 3 was in second place with 3,325,842 admissions. The next spots went to Eyyvah Eyvah (the sequel to the film was released in January 2011 and has drawn some 2.5 million admissions in its first two weeks) with 2,459,815 admissions; a pair of Cem Yilmaz films, the Western parody Yahsi Bati with 2,322,826 admissions, and crime film Av Mevsimi, directed by veteran Turkish director Yavuz Turgul, with 1,800,243 people; Cok Filim Hareketler Bunlar (1,133,714); Inception (1,100,649); Twilight Saga: Eclipse (1,041,920); Veda (1,028,032); and Dersimiz Ataturk (961.468).

    The main focus of Turkish cinema is still comedy. There were two biographies of Ataturk, one terror thriller, and one crime film. Two films were produced by BKM (www.bkm.com.tr), Turkish stand-up comedian Yilmaz Erdogan's company): Eyyvah Eyvah and Cok Filim Hareketler Bunlar. There were also two films produced by Fida Film (www.fidafilm.com): Av Mevsimi and Yahsi Bati. Boyut Film (www.boyutfilm.com) had two productions in top 20, Five Minarets in New York and Romantik Komedi.