Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Cinema plays a bigger role in the life of Icelanders than the other Nordic nations

By Staff

  • Bíó Paradís The last movie theater in downtown Reykjavík Bíó Paradís offers a friendly café and bar as well as showing a mix of classics, artsy movies and new Hollywood films. Photo/Stefán

Icelanders spend more time at the cinema than people in the other Nordic countries. Iceland also has more cinema seats per capita than the other Nordic countries, and the average price of a movie ticket is lower in Iceland. The Nordic countries are Iceland, Finland the Faeroe Islands, as well as the three Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Hollywood movies dominate
According to a new analysis of movie theaters and cinema consumption in the Nordic countries the cinema still plays an important role in Icelandic society. While the number of movie theaters, seats and cinema auditoriums remained nearly unchanged between 2010 and 2016. 

The report reveals that US movies dominate the Icelandic cinema market, with 90% of all movies coming from Hollywood. The share was smallest in Finland where just 48% of movies shown at theaters were American. Finland also seems to have the largest domestic movie industry, as 19% of movies premiered in Finland in 2016 were domestic. Only 2% of movies show at Icelandic cinemas were domestic. Nordic movies made up 3-7% of all movies shown in the Nordic countries.

A nation of movie goers
While domestic and Nordic movies are only a small fraction of the total number of movies show, the most attended films of 2016 were domestic movies.

The cinema seems to play a far larger role in the live of Icelanders than other Nordic nations. Each Icelander went on average 4.3 times to the movies in 2016, while Finns and the people of the Faeroe Islands are least likely to go to the movies. Finns went on average 1.6 times to the movies in 2016 and the Faeroese only 1.3 times.

Related content

Editor's Picks