Turkey drives local box office, TV ratings in Middle East

By Deniz Ziya Temeltas
    Turkish TV series are driving the TV ratings in Arab speaking Middle East while more producers line up projects featuring Turkish stars.
    Meanwhile, the Turkish industry faces cuts of 30% at TV stations, but while movie ticket prices remain the same.

    Ottoman Republic, despite negative reviews, opened with 376,957 admissions over the weekend, on its way to 1.5-2 million. It has already secured three times the price of the latest James Bond film in TV sales.

    Cagan Irmak's new tours de force Issiz Adam - Alone saw 80.000 admissions over the weekend. Mustafa, the controversial documentary on the father of modern Turkey held third spot.

    Eclipse of Love reached the 350,000 mark, pleasing comedy lovers, Three Monkeys passed 121,000 in an art house release, followed by Storm with 78,000 total in its second week.

    A.R.O.G., the most anticipated commercial film of the year, opens next week, while RECEP IVEDIK opens the third week of January 2009. Observers are wondering if this new Turkish Wave is a landmark of popular culture, or just a honeymooner before returning to Hollywood and European fare.