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.
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.
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:
Holy mother of god! Iron Sky was absolutely mental! It’s gonna take a few days until I’m back to reality I guess…
— Mary Dolce Vita (@MaryDolceVita) April 23, 2012
IRON SKY was a whole lotta fun! Clever jokes, some cool VFX, and just the right amount of absurdity for my taste. Plus, Udo Kier!
— And Cut! (Katia) (@andcutfilm) April 23, 2012
Iron Sky. Bästa självbiografin om USA ever!!!!
— Boffe Shorg (@DQF_) April 23, 2012
(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!
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.