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Animated film helps revive Turkish cinema

Turkish cinema Unsplash/Felipe Bustillo
The number of people attending cinemas increased by 188% last year, reaching 35,754,644
  • Children’s film Rafadan Tayfa: Galaktik Tayfa has earned $6.7m so far
  • Ticket sales for Turkish-made films up 477% in 2022
  • Statistics show industry still not fully recovered from Covid lockdown

An animated film about children who help aliens stranded on Earth return to their home planet has helped revive the Turkish cinema industry after it slumped during the Covid lockdown.

Rafadan Tayfa: Galaktik Tayfa, the third in a series of films spun off from a popular Turkish children’s TV show, has earned $6.7 million so far.

It is ranked as the second-highest grossing film in Turkish history, just behind James Cameron’s blockbuster sequel Avatar: The Way of Water.

Last year the number of people attending cinemas increased by 188 percent, reaching 35,754,644, according to figures released this month by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI).

Attendance is still about half of what it was pre-pandemic, but figures compiled by for the first half of 2023 show the industry is on target to surpass the $100 million mark this year.

This is compared to $71 million in 2022, but still short of the $158 million earned in 2019.

The success of the latest film instalment in the Rafadan Tayfa franchise is further evidence of the popularity of locally produced Turkish films.

Attendance at Turkish-made films surged 477 percent in 2022 as the number of national films released in Turkey in 2022 increased by 159 percent.

Sales of tickets for foreign films increased by 85 percent.

However figures from the TSI showed that the industry had still not bounced back completely.

The number of movie theatres open actually decreased by 1.3 percent last year to 2,366 and the total number of seats available was down 0.3 percent to 284,204.