Figures released last month by the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association of New Zealand show 2008 to have been a strong year. The 258 releases grossed a total of NZ$156.6 million, an increase of 3.2% over 2007.
Universal’s Mamma Mia! scored the biggest haul (NZ$7.6 million). Other top performers included The Dark Knight (NZ$6.8 million), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (NZ$5.0 million), Quantum of Solace (NZ$4.6 million) and Kung Fu Panda (NZ$4.5 million). Unfortunately no figures are available for the market share of New Zealand films.
In the same press release, the MPDA also noted that by the end of 2008 New Zealand had seven screens capable of projecting digital films and the MPDA predicts this will increase to 17 by the end of 2009.
Meanwhile SMAIS, the association of film rights holders in Iceland, reports the territory also saw a rise in box office gross in 2008, to KRO1.3 billion ($11.4 million), up 14.5% on 2007 despite the international banking crisis that brought the local economy to the brink of collapse. Given this context it must be some comfort that local films performed well, securing a market share of 10.5%, up from 9.0% in 2007.