Long, hot summer hits cinema ticket sales but Dutch films still less popular

Dutch films are losing their appeal to the public, with market share based on visitor numbers down from 12% in 2017 to 11.2% last year, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

According to figures from the association of cinemas NVBF and distributors FDN, fewer than four million people went to see a Dutch-made film last year. In 2006 Dutch films had a market share of over 20%.

FDN spokesman Hajo Binsbergen says the lack of interest in Dutch films is caused by an overwhelming number of foreign films. ‘The competition from America and England is huge, and they also have far bigger budgets,’ he told the paper.

The top ten of most popular films last year does not include any Dutch films. The highest entry, Bon Bini Holland, comes in at number 20 with 400,000 visitors. Bankier van het Verzet had roughly the same number of visitors but Bohemian Rhapsody, which is still filling Dutch cinemas, has so far attracted over three times as many.

A formerly popular genre in Dutch filmmaking, the romantic comedy, is also on the wane, Binsbergen said. ‘People seem to tire of them. But more diversity in Dutch film is a good thing,’ the FD quotes him as saying.

36 million

The total number of cinema tickets sold last year reached 36 million, slightly down on the year before. The warm summer months proved most unpopular for an evening at the cinema while the best scoring films, in the absence of big blockbusters, were musicals, such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Mama Mia II and A Star is Born.

Streaming services, of which Netflix is the most successful, are increasingly competing with traditional film studios but do not seem to have influenced visitor numbers, the FD said.

Ticket prices went up by 3.5%, which boosted revenue to a total of €312m.

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