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Nordisk faces Danish competish.

COPENHAGEN In its own home territory, Nordisk boosted its screens just during the last year from 59 to 73, and is planning to slap together more than 100 more by the end of next year. Holding on to the receipts from those plexes may be another story.

The dominant player in its territory, Nordisk is getting its first major international competition from Belgian exhibitor Kinepolis, which plans to build across Denmark, starting with a 10-screener in Copenhagen, which is set to open in August 2000.

Competish crunch

Nordisk Film Biografen managing director Morten Anker Nielsen expects a scramble for profits once Kinepolis plants its roots. "It will hurt the box office of all players in this market," he says.

This same sentiment is being expressed by some toward AMC's new 24-screener, expected to open in August of next year outside Stockholm. Its location is practically in the back yard of Svensk Filmindustri's current corporate headquarters, which are slated to be moved in the near future.

The opening of Sandrew Metronome's 10-screener in Helsinki marked the first entrance of outside players into Finland and triggered a new building spree on the part of the dominant player, Finnkino.

Talking up Tampere

Finnkino opened a 14-screener in February and launched a 10-screener in the university town of Tampere in April.

Finnkino's parent group, Rautakirja, is now part of the recently launched Sanoma WSOY, a joint venture between the giant Sanoma media group and book publisher WSOY. According to Sanoma WSOY's new president and CEO, Jaako Rauramo, the company will be throwing even more money behind hardtopping in Finland and the Baltic states, where Finnkino already has two sites in Riga and two in Estonia.

Looking to Baltics

"We're finishing up our 80-screen chain and when we've finished, there won't be too much more room for growth," says Roy James, marketing director of Finnkino. "The Baltic states (are) a natural place for us to expand."

With players like SF and SM crisscrossing the playing field, and Kinepolis and AMC putting down roots for the first time, exhibition appears to be catching up to the distribution side of Nordic cinema, which for some time has had a panregional presence, dominated by the same media groups.

In multiplexing, however, pan-Nordic strategy seems be thin on the ground. "There is a lot of talk going on and some of it will end up in new cinemas, but not all," notes Sandrews CEO Klas Olofsson.


Box office:  $60.1 million
Admissions:  11 million
Screens:  328
Sites:  154


                          SCREENS   SITES
Nordisk Film                73        11
Sandrew Metronome           12         2
 All Right                  11         2

Source: Nordisk3

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Date:Jun 21, 1999
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