Norway in cinema in 2010 and 2011

As we can look forward to a busy year in Norwegian cinema, we can also look back on 2010 which placed a children’s fantasy-comedy at the top of the theatrical statistics.

Knerten gets married (literal translation of Knerten gifter seg) was the most popular film among Norwegian cinema goers in 2010, in the pool of films that opened this year. Topping the cinema chart is no small feat for this movie, considering it’s a domestic children’s fantasy film about a boy and his relationship to a talking, living twig. In only 10 weeks (opening date was September 24th) the movie was seen by 360.000 people. The talking twig was more popular than any other movie opening in 2010, including Inception, The Twilight Saga, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3.

Knerten gets married is the second movie in a proposed series of films, based on the books and characters created by Anne C. Vestly, Norway’s most celebrated children’s author and the equivalent of Astrid Lindgren. The next film, Knertein in trouble, opens in the fall of 2011.

In the 8th place, with 254.000 tickets sold, was The Troll Hunter, the horror-comedy mockumentary which was seen by more people than Robin Hood and Toy Story 3. On the top 20 list, Cold Prey 3 was the third and last domestic genre film to chart, at the 18th position, with 151.000 tickets sold.

Ïn 2011, no less than 40 official Norwegian films will premiere in theatres. For a small country like Norway, this is a huge volume of films, so many that certain experts are worried about the quality, and box office potential when audiences have to choose. However, horror, sci-fi and fantasy is sorely missing. Unless you count two children’s fantasy films; Knerten in trouble and Blåfjell 2. There’s also the psychological thriller Babycall, directed by Pål Sletaune and starring Noomi Rapace (of the Millennium trilogy) and Kristoffer Joner, which has been labeled as “a sort of horror film”. The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) grants development and production funds to “official” films but it is nonsupported independent productions that hopefully will make next year tolerable for bloodthirsty fans; Inside the whore from Reinert Kiil and Dark Souls from Mathieu Peteul and Cesar Ducasse are both scheduled to open in January 2011, although they may not arrive in theatres. Big budget horror seems to be completely missing, which is notable since Norway has been in a strong horror tidal for a while. A low budget direct-to-DVD release is for example the slasher The thrill of a kill and then there’s Blodstien (aka. Blood Path) which is a no-budget forest slasher that may come out in 2011.

Watch this space for more on upcoming Scandinavian horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

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