Chileans flocked to the cinemas last year in record-breaking numbers, according to new data from Chile’s Committee for Cinemagraphic Distribution, making annual attendance in 2012 the highest in more than three decades.
Over 20 million ticket sales were recorded, surpassing the population of Chile itself. The last time this many Chileans packed the cinemas was in 1978 when just over 23,000,000 tickets were sold.
“We have recuperated the custom of going to the movies, that ten years ago was rarely considered. Now it’s more habitual, despite the array of cultural offerings,” Alejandro Caloguerea, manager of the Committee of Multiplexes told La Tercera. “Plus the movie-going experience has improved – with 3D, going to the movies is a spectacle. That helps as well.”
2012’s records are in stark contrast to tickets sales in 2005 when just 10 million tickets were sold.
Besides the increase in sales, the committee found the percent of viewers watching domestic films had also increased from prior years.
“Chilean films generally represent three or four percent of annual admissions,” Hernán Viviano, general manager of Fox Warner Chile, told La Tercera. “This year they accounted for 13 percent.”
Viviano attributed this great increase to the Chilean film Stefan v/s Kramer, a slapstick flick riddled with Chilean humor and colloquialisms. According to Viviano, the film accounted for more ticket sales than the last 51 Chilean films combined.
Earlier in December the Chilean Ministry for Arts and Culture released similarly positive statistics for the prior year of 2011. Besides the increase in moviegoers, the government recorded higher theater attendance, more concert goers and concerts, and more recorded visitors to museums for 2011.
“The data showed a positive overall picture during the last years,” Culture Minister Luciano Cruz-Coke told the press. “If we consider the results from 2011, it is easy to say that it was a very positive year for culture and the arts in our country.