Let’s Talk Business!

April 24th, 2012 by Timo Vuorensola

It’s now been 3 weeks since the release of Iron Sky, and I thought I wanted to share some thoughts on the performance of the film worldwide. As you may know, the Moon Nazi mayhem we’ve been working on for six years has been rolling out in different parts of Europe after its’ initial screenings in Berlin, Oslo, Austin and 20 cities in Finland, and the numbers are looking very good so far. Before the film was released, we’ve only existed because of the potential the film about Moon Nazis offers, but nothing was clear or proven. It’s really the theaters where the potential is proven, the results that matter.

When looking at the results, there are three factors to look at: total admissions, amount of prints and screen average. Just to clarify quickly the way this distribution business works – each distributor estimates how many admissions the film could (conservatively) get in their territory, and based on this they make their decisions on how many prints they order. Based on the performance of the first weekend, which is always the most important one, they decide whether to order more prints or not. And eventually, week by week, the amount of screens goes down until it finally goes out from theaters, and then it’s time for the DVD/BluRay release.

More than 1500 people packed to a screening room in Brussels, Belgium, where Iron Sky was screened at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, where it eventually also won both Silver Méliès -prize and the Audience Award

First, the general performance of Iron Sky dictates that the film has been seen so far by approximately 600 000 viewers in the 9 countries it has so far been released in, in under 3 weeks.

Given that it’s a Finnish film, and the buzz has been biggest in here, it’s natural to start with Finland. We’ve managed to stay as the most viewed film in Finland for three weeks so far, fighting off such mega-budget behemoths as Battleship and Hunger Games. So far, the film has about 136 000 viewers in just under 3 weeks. This is an excellent result. The distributor’s official aim was 150 000, so they should be pretty happy. My personal aim is 250 000 – there’s a bit of a way to go there, but it’s not at all impossible. Iron Sky opened with 85 prints in Finland.

So far, the biggest amount of prints and admissions comes from Germany, where the film has been also performing way beyond its expectations – the distributor has bumped up the amount of prints twice to answer the requests. Germany has so far 344 000 admissions, and it’s going strong there constantly. It’s better not to start guessing where it could go, given that I don’t know the market that well, but things are looking good there. The film has been received by German audience extremely well, and this is a big boulder off our shoulders, because – given the subject matter, and the fact that Nazi comedies haven’t been popular there before – we jumped into an unknown territory. Iron Sky has 240 prints in Germany.

In addition to Finland and Germany, the film’s been opening strongly across Europe, although we are fighting with the fact that there’s not too many prints in any of the countries. Austria has now 30 000 viewers (20 prints), then comes German-speaking Switzerland, where the film has been performing excellently given the small amount of prints it has – now 28 000 viewers (16 prints). Norway has 23 000 viewers (24 prints), and Sweden opened strong last weekend, and has already 16000 (46 prints, first weekend), which is a very promising (and quite rare for a Finnish film) number there. Other areas include Denmark with 7000 viewers (15 copies, out also last weekend), Croatia and Iceland with 2000 in both (Iceland with 2 prints, Croatia with 7).

So far, the film has made about 5 million € (6,5 million USD) in box office.

So far, Iron Sky has been sold to over 80 countries, and it's coming to theaters in at least 70 of them.

We’re also excitedly following the upcoming releases for Iron Sky: Poland, a big territory, is opening next week (27.4.), and in May the Moon Nazis will invade such big territories as Australia, which is one of the co-producing countries, and had a wonderful opening and reception at Gold Coast Film Festival just few days ago. Also United Kingdom is coming soon – there was a bit of a setback with material delivery, which forced us to push the release date back almost one month, but now everything is settled, distributor has the material and they are doing the release Tetris, trying to nail down the perfect date for UK release. One more area which is coming up, and I’m excited about, is Slovenia, because Laibach – the musicians of the film – come from there, and it just as well could be a great release!

Rest of the world has still to decide the exact theatrical dates. We know that US is coming during the summer, and Japan in the fall, and we are negotiating with others — and still, there are few territories where we haven’t been able to secure theatrical distribution – or distribution at all – which we are working hard. You can view the current distribution status here, and if you want to help, Demand to see the film in your local theaters!

All in all, Iron Sky has been exceeding its expectations, and proven that it’s not just a film for small, obscure audiences, but a film that finds lovers among all kind of people, and that’s what we aimed for. We wanted to do a film that’s hilarious, plays well on big screen, takes the viewer on a good ride and leaves them with a thought somewhere in the back of their heads. I’ve been following Twitter and Facebook for audience feedback, and the film has been received extremely well wherever it’s been released so far; the audience seems to be able to see the film without trying hard to pigeon-hole it anywhere but just enjoy the experience as it is. To pick a few nice tweets from yesterday screenings around the Europe, here’s few:

(That’s in Swedish, saying “Best selfbiography on USA ever!!!”)

We’ve done a film that’s I believe going to last for many years, and one we can be very proud of, all of us, the cast, crew and community. We’ve also started to slam together a killer DVD/BluRay release(s) of the film, and future projects are getting clearer every day, so stay tuned for more news. We’ve also started a Wiki for Iron Sky fans to start filling up – if you are into this thing, we would really appreciate your help there! And don’t forget to give nice votes for Iron Sky on IMDB!

And don’t forget to get the Iron Sky soundtrack by Laibach, available now on iTunes, and as a physical copy on Laibach WTC!

Click here to buy the Laibach's Iron Sky -album on iTunes!

We’ve also released a book on the making-of of Iron Sky, titled “Näin tehtiin Iron Sky – eli kuinka lakkasin olemasta huolissani ja opin rakastamaan Internetiä” (Iron Sky – or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Internet) describing the process from script to screen, from Star Wreck to Iron Sky, as told by the core crew of Iron Sky - me, the director, Tero Kaukomaa the producer, Samuli Torssonen the VFX supervisor, Jarmo Puskala the community manager, Pekka Ollula the marketing manager and Janos Honkonen the publicist. Unfortunately, the book hasn’t been translated to English yet, but we are working on it – right now, it’s available in Finnish here. And, having said that, it’s a damn good book, we kinda emptied our years of challenges and hardships on the pages, and it was as therapeutical for us to write it as it is interesting for you to read it.

And last, but not least, we’ve also released the Iron Sky game for iPhone. It’s a fun shoot-em-up where you control U.S.S. George W. Bush and defend the Earth from the imminent Nazi invasion.

Iron Sky – The Game on iPhone

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • del.icio.us

29 Responses to “Let’s Talk Business!”

  1. Hi Timo and Team!

    I was really thrilled to see the result of your hard work! I’m very happy for all of you. It would have been even nicer to have been in the film, but perhaps another one in the future. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to coach Julia’s English for the film. Good luck with all the future releases!!! You should be proud!

  2. Great news indeed! Ordering the book. :)

  3. Erik Larsson says:

    So, haven´t seen the film yet, looking forward to it.
    Iron sky II in planning?

  4. Rick says:

    Can’t wait for it to be released in the USA – I already have the album and have been spreading the word!

  5. Hey Tim-OOOOOOOOh!,

    Thanks so much for all that info. We were getting tired of getting 10 emails a day from our F&F in the States wondering WHEN they could see Jim’s giant head on the big screen :)
    So Summer it is….

    Thanks again for the opportunity,
    Jim & Ally Quinn
    (James Quinn- the NYC news reporter)

  6. Fritz Lauterbach Johansson says:

    Saw the movie premiere last wednesday and it was Awsome!
    Very funny with stunning visuals.
    93 minutes was far from enough though, i want more :)
    Hoping for an extended directors cut dvd later.
    How are the comics coming along by the way?
    First part was great, any info on the second?

    Fritz Lauterbach Johansson

  7. Arne says:

    No Soundtrack in German iTunes store. :-(

    And I Hope wie do not have to weit so long for your next Movie. ;-)

  8. Daniel says:

    Saw the movie last week. AWESOME!!! Maybe a little bit too silly at some points, but the Palin-President was funny on many different levels (parody, apocalypse-prophecy, Question of the “ethics” of US Politics…) all in all your awesome!!!

  9. Daniel says:

    oh and the compatibility of moon nazis and the republican party… hilarious…

  10. Bernie says:

    I bought the soundtrack last week in iTunes. In the German iTunes store. Just search for Iron sky.

  11. jt donan says:

    i did see this open in Berlin. This is a good looking movie that must be seen on the big screen.

  12. Frank says:

    Thanks to all of you, guys! Up to now I’ve seen the movie two times – and I think I’ll do it once again in the original synchronisation. Took my 13-year old son with me as this is political education at its best ;-)
    Good luck and greetings from the unknown territory Germany!

  13. J. says:

    Nice insight!

    Given the enormous succes at the Imagine Film Festival in here in the Netherlands (the last two screenings moved from screen 2 to screen 1) I really hope these won’t be the only screenings in the Netherlands, as there is more demand for this film than the festival can provide. (extra tickets sold out in a matter of hours)

    Don’t know if I’m allowed to say what I’ve heard off the record (it isn’t certain either), but keep an eye on Kriterion’s (regular) program.

    Watching this film was a very strange experience. At first people didn’t laugh that hard, but when *SPOILER* Renate is doing her speech at the White House and the film cuts to the president continuing the speech and Vivian showing the propoganda posters, the crowd bursted out in enourmous laughter

  14. J. says:

    Nice insight!

    Given the enormous succes at the Imagine Film Festival in here in the Netherlands (the last two screenings moved from screen 2 to screen 1) I really hope these won’t be the only screenings in the Netherlands, as there is more demand for this film than the festival can provide. (extra tickets sold out in a matter of hours)

    Don’t know if I’m allowed to say what I’ve heard off the record (it isn’t certain either), but keep an eye on Kriterion’s (regular) program.

    Watching this film was a very strange experience. At first people didn’t laugh that hard, but when *SPOILER* Renate is doing her speech at the White House and the film cuts to the president continuing that speech and Vivian showing the propaganda posters the audience bursted out in enormous laughter, which is the moment in the film that an unsuspecting viewer knows the saterical tone of the film.

  15. Thoren says:

    Thank goodness I.S. is finally coming to the US this summer. This wait, seeing the rest of the world get to enjoy the movie before us (me) is killing my balls off.

    Great work on this thing.

  16. Iron Sky was the first time since Lord of the Rings that I got my arse up and went into a cinema again. On the opening night here in Bonn, Germany. I just liked the whole “Internet Crowd Support” idea and was curious what came of it.

    I wasn’t disappointed one bit. Initially I expected it to be much sillier – like a total over the top comedy like “Starship Surprise” from Germany, but actually it’s a clever polit-satire that – in my eyes – deserves to be named along movies like “Dr. Strangelove” – and given some time maybe even will, who knows?

    If you haven’t seen it and are undecided: Go see it.

    attention – spoiler:

    As for the DVD release: I hope more Udo Kier will make it onto the DVD – I might be mistaken, but to me it seems like his role started bigger and then was cut down (for time reasons, maybe?). I loved him playing the buffoon who reacts allergic to “Hitler” and I can’t get rid of the feeling that there was more shot…

  17. Uwe says:

    Hope to see the movie soon! Here in Germany, it seems that not all cinemas show the movie.

  18. Curtis Maloy says:

    As a fan “investor”, heavy on the fan, light on the investor, it is truly great news that the movie is doing good in Europe. In the USA we ( meaning everyone and anyone that I can tell) is looking forward to IRON SKY!

    Keep up the hard work and looking forward to seeing my name in the credits :)

  19. Jantteri says:

    Curtis, I think your name is in the middle on the credits (right under the headline “Fan Investors”, I think it’s the 29th name).

    Just so you won’t miss it. There are quite a few names. :)

  20. Jonas says:

    Congrats! Best wishes for your next 5M EUR from Sweden!

  21. Here’s a collection of replies:

    Kathleen: Thanks, and big thanks for your help on Julia, it made a big difference!

    Erik: It’s possible, for sure!

    Jim & Ally, thanks again, and keep up spreading the word, we’re working on hard to get the film out in states as well.

    Fritz: Thanks for kind words, good sir! The comics are currently in heavy work to get them out as soon as possible, there was a slight unfortunate lack of resources to finish them, but now we’re back on the wagon with that and we’ll get to know more on Kortzfleisch’s future very soon!

    J: Good to hear, I will keep my antennas up for Kriterion. It’s a shame that we still haven’t been able to confirm the Benelux distributor to at least *try* the film on theaters, while around everywhere it’s doing great.. We can’t of course force them, but I sure hope they’ll end up changing their minds in the end.

    Michael: Thanks for compliments, happy to hear the film works for you! There’s for sure more Udo to come in the special edition, so no worries there!

    Uwe: Yes, we have quite a good release in Germany, but it’s still not like the big H’wood blockbusters, so sometimes you may need to travel a bit to find the theater that’s showing the film. But it’s well worth it, take my word for it! :)

  22. J. says:

    Can’t you send Tero to Splendid’s office to show them some figures? :P
    Last Saturday I spoke with a random(!) person in a cinema whom heard of Iron Sky through Facebook and wants to see it!
    People want to see this film. I was lucky to see it at Imagine, but many weren’t.

    Time for a ”Kinoblitzkrieg” :P

  23. “Thanks for compliments, happy to hear the film works for you! There’s for sure more Udo to come in the special edition, so no worries there!”

    Sweet. :) Consider the special edition bought then. :) (as if I wasn’t going to get it in any way)

    I don’t even want to haggle, even though I was an Extra in “Star Trek: Shadowplay” and wrote the english subs for the youtube version – which makes us practically family. ;)

    (Do you know Schattenspiele / Shadowplay? That’d be a hoot! I’m the 1st Klingon and later one of the “lost engineers” ^^)

  24. Matthias says:

    Congratulations for your successful film. This was really great fun. I expected a film more like ” Starship Troopers ” but that a nice surprise. Looking forward for ” Iron Sky Part II”. There is already a discussion on the german Iron Sky Website with many ideas for a sequel.

    You guys really rock.

  25. Andrea says:

    I saw Ironsky on saturday night in Entre in Malmö. The cinema was full. It is a brilliant film.

    I was pleasantly suprised by the political take of Ironsky as well. It was good to see the people sitting in the back row in uniform.

    The film is really good.

    I hope that when the bluray comes out that there will be a lot of extra footage. An extended directors cut of 120 to 140 minutes, would be good :)

    I hope Ironsky is shown in Japan, Thailand, Korea, China, Brazil and Argentina soon as I think those audiences will love the film.

    I have friends in the UK and Ireland who are waiting to see it. I hope they can see it soon.

    I will be buying the bluray when it is released.

  26. Daniel says:

    Hi! I love the soundtrack! AWESOME! Anyways, to the point. Could you publish the choir lyrics to the song “Götterdämmerung Muss Fliegen”? I really like it!
    Ja sama Suomeks. Voitteko laittaa Götterdämmerung Muss Fliegenin tekstit nettiin?

  27. Daniel says:

    When is the digital release? :-) iTunes etc.

  28. brett coster says:

    Saw Iron Sky tonight in Melbourne, Oz. Good sized audience, lots of laughter at so many of the scenes (especially Peta Sergeant doing Untergang). Great work all round, like “Moon” it’s amazing how great the effects look. Loved the soundtrack. Roll on the blu-ray.

  29. CURTIS says:

    I have not seen this movie but i already want to own it on CD It will be a hit here in the U.S i can not wait to see this movie and part two with a bit of luck. thanks guys