Country Focus: Bulgaria
First half of 2010 brings 105% increase over 2009
by Stefan Dobroiu
16/07/2010 - 3D blockbusters and an extremely popular domestic release brought an outstanding increase in Bulgarian admissions figures in the first half of 2010, compared to the same period of 2009, according to data released by film distributors.
During the first six months of 2010, 1.9 million tickets were sold in Bulgarian cinemas, an 85% increase over the previous year 1.05 million. The increase is even greater in terms of box office gross, thanks to several new cinemas opened throughout the country, as well to very highly popular titles like Avatar and local hit Mission: London [trailer].
Overall box office for the first half of 2010 amounted to 16.75m leva (approximately €8.4m), a 105% increase over 2009, with revenues of 8.14m leva (approximately €4.07m).
James Cameron's Avatar is the most successful film of 2010, with 473,118 admissions in 23 weeks. But the second most popular release of 2010 is also a success for the local film industry: released in April, Dimitar Mitovski's Mission: London has garnered 362,989 admissions in 13 weeks, becoming the most popular domestic film ever screened in Bulgaria. The two films, distributed by Alexandra Group and A+ Films respectively, are responsible for 47% of this year's entire cinema box office so far.
Other popular releases of 2010 are Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, with 115,470 and 160,762 admissions, respectively, in 12 weeks. Both films are distributed by Forum Film Bulgaria.
According to the Bulgarian National Film Centre, in 2009 the total number of admissions rose to 3.1m from 2.8m in 2008. The numbers are expected to exceed five million in 2010.