Greek moviegoers opt for local films

Top 10 Recent box office figures – since the season’s «unofficial» start in late August – show that, so far, local audiences prefer to watch local productions as well as family films. Two of the three Greek films that have opened are currently in the box office top five, while the third, despite a generalized attack by the critics, made an impressive debut in the first four days of screenings. Despite initial hesitation, Yiannis Smaragdis’s «El Greco» has been recognized for its love of the subject matter and the quality of its production. Up to now, the film has sold more than 565,000 tickets. Olga Malea’s «First Time Godfather» is also on the right ticket path. An entertaining story coupled with recent political history references, the movie has attracted 189,000 viewers. Nikos Zapatinas’s «Kiss of Life,» which opened last week, is also expected to do well. Judging from the figures, it seems that audiences are eager to watch Greek films, when the latter are aimed at movie theaters, as opposed to being screened at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. The second element emerging from the recent figures is that family entertainment is a sure bet. The fifth installment of Harry Potter, for instance, reached 400,000 tickets, «Ratatouille» climbed to 270,000 tickets, «Shrek the Third» reached 190,000 tickets, «The Simpsons Movie» notched 125,000 tickets, while recently released «Surf’s Up,» has already surpassed 40,000 tickets. Film genres which have traditionally attracted large audiences to movie theaters, namely action, crime, science fiction or comedy, appear to be on a downward spiral. All this points to the changing habits of moviegoers. The cinema public’s basic core – young people – are now downloading movies from the Internet or picking up counterfeit DVDs. El Greco 565,000 Harry Potter 5 400,000 Ratatouille 270,000 Shrek The Third 190,000 First Time Godfather 189,000 The Bourne Ultimatum 170,000 Rush Hour 3 140,000 The Simpsons Movie 125,000 Zodiac 120,000