German Box Office Drops 17 Percent in First Half

Soccer and sunshine kept audiences out of theaters, with just $472 million in revenue from the first six months of 2018.

Sunny weather and the soccer World Cup put a damper on box-office performance in Germany, which saw theatrical revenues drop 17 percent, compared with the year-ago period, to $472 million (405 million euros) for the first half of 2018, according to official figures released Wednesday.

The first-half drop was largely anticipated, as German box office always suffers in a World Cup year. Unseasonably warm and sunny weather has also hurt returns, with Germans more likely to hit the beer gardens than the multiplex.

Even the success of Avengers: Infinity War, which has grossed some $45 million in the territory to date and is the year’s top grosser in the country so far, couldn’t offset the decline.

Theaters are hoping to bounce back in the second half, which will see the release of several would-be blockbusters, including The Incredibles, Mamma Mia! and Fantastic Beasts sequels and new German films from local hitmakers Til Schweiger, Matthias Schweighofer and Michael Bully Herbig. Work Without Author, the new film from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) promises a similar box-office boost on the art house side.