Country Focus: Czech Republic
Domestic releases boost admissions in Czech and Slovakian cinemas
by Martin Kudláč
- The year has got off to a great start for domestic releases, which have broken through to the upper echelons of the opening-weekend admissions charts. The Czech feature debut Hourly Husband [+see also:
film profile], directed by theatre director Tomáš Svoboda, a laid-back comedy revolving around the battle of the sexes and relationship crises, rocketed to third place during its opening weekend, racking up 14,132 admissions in Slovakia, only 882 admissions short of Ridley Scott’s Exodus, which opened the same week in the country. Hourly Husband also defended its advantageous position in the weekend admissions chart for the third week since its release, securing 8,544 admissions, and is still on a roll in cinemas, having sold 66,012 tickets in total so far.
The film followed a similar trajectory during its opening weekend at home, in the Czech Republic, amassing 32,771 admissions. However, the comedy did not have a chance to reach the top spot because of the theatrical release of The Photograph [+see also:
film profile], inspired by the Czech enfant terrible and controversial photographer Jan Saudek. The movie, directed by Irena Pavlásková and starring Karel Roden in the lead role, took 37,989 admissions in its opening weekend, thus heading straight in at number one. Hourly Husband scooped a total of 164,454 admissions after a five-week run on the big screen, while The Photograph boasted 114,218 admissions after three weeks.
The new Slovak feature Hostage [+see also:
film profile] by Juraj Nvota, currently nominated in four categories at the annual Czech Lions (see the news) and co-produced by the Czech Republic, entered the theatrical circuit on 8 January and came in in third place in the opening-weekend admissions chart (6,023), only 427 tickets behind Seventh Son, which premiered the same week in Slovakia. The film has so far been seen by 13,365 paying viewers. Moreover, Hostage will be screened at the European Film Market during the upcoming Berlinale. ALEF Film and Media handles the world sales.
Most recently, the opening-week admissions charts in both countries have unsurprisingly been dominated by the third instalment in Zdeněk Troška’s Babovřesky folk-comedy trilogy, ever since it premiered on 22 January. Troška’s previous effort in the village-comedy genre, Babovřesky 2, ended up sixth in the domestic top 50 of 2014, with 254,494 paying viewers and earning a total of €1.1 million at the box office. The third part took 54,165 admissions in its opening weekend in the Czech Republic and 26,880 in Slovakia.