MEDIASALLES/A taste of Italy

26 million inhabitants who visit the cinema a couple of times a year, i.e. above the average for the Continent, account for a market of 50 million tickets sold at over 10 euros each, a considerably higher price than in all other European countries: these are the key figures for the three countries of the Scandinavian peninsula, which, as usual, are joined by Denmark.

Which Italian films were most widely viewed in these countries in 2019? Once again a coproduction appears in first place: if, in 2018, the lion’s share went to “Call me by your name”, in 2019, it was achieved by “Todos lo saben – Every- body knows”, coproduced by France, Spain and Italy.
Fahradi’s drama reached 20,000 spectators in Finland, where it was distributed by Finnkino, 20,000 in Sweden, 16,000 in Denmark and 7,000 in Norway – territories covered by Scanbox. As regards the other positions in the top ten, Finland and the other 3 markets reveal different characteristics.

In 2019 again, Finnish audiences seemed to show some preference for “classic” horror, thanks to the distributor Cinema Mondo, which brought to the big screen “Phenomena” (1985), “Suspiria” (1977), already released last year in the wake of Guadagnino’s film, “Tenebre” (1982) and “Profondo rosso” (1975), respectively in second, fourth, fifth and seventh place.
The other 3 markets have several titles in common, such as “Lazzaro Felice”. Distributed in Norway by Arthaus and in Denmark by Camera, this film comes second in both countries, with respectively 7,000 and 4,000 admissions.

Similarly, in Norway, “Quanto basta” closely follows Rohrwacher’s film, with over 5,000 spectators, whilst in Denmark it comes in fourth place selling about 3,000 tickets.
Here it comes after “A casa tutti bene”, which records a total of 3,500 admissions, a more flattering result than obtained in Norway, where it comes in seventeenth place.

Scandinavian markets do not respond in the same way to the same film: it is demonstrated by the results of “Loro”, decidedly better in Norway and Denmark (in fourth place in both countries with over 2,000 admissions) than in Sweden.
“Dogman” yields a similar result, but the other way round: second in Sweden with 6,000 admissions, fifth in Denmark and fourteenth in Norway, as well as “Bangla”, fifth in Norway but in the bottom few places in Sweden.
Instead, the success of “La paranza dei bambini” represents a uniquely Norwegian result, coming in sixth place with around 1,500 tickets.

Interest in films from a more classical Italian repertory is shown not only in Finland: “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” is in seventh place in Norway, as well as coming eighth in Finland. And, again in Norway, Dario Argento’s “Phenomena” and “Cesare deve morire”, Golden Bear in 2012, have also been released.

Lastly, it is interesting to observe how Italian titles are translated in Scandina- via: “A casa tutti bene” has become “Min italienske familie”, “Quanto basta” is “Smagen (taste) af Toscana” in Denmark. This reference to one of the regions best loved by northern peoples returns in the title of “Le meraviglie”, rendered by “Miraklene i Toscana”.

To sum up, the objective is to link the film to experiences that audiences wish to repeat or to what is known, sometimes in the form of stereotypes, about Italy and the Italians.

And so the rather enigmatic “Loro” has become the far more transparent and internationally comprehensible “Silvio og de andre”, whilst “La paranza dei bambini” in Norway becomes “Camorraens barn”. No need to be an expert linguist to grasp the meaning here!

Nella sezione: Focus on italy