Country Focus: Bulgaria
Bulgarian domestic earnings dropped by 85.6% in 2013
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Fewer releases meant that the 2013 Bulgarian domestic box office recorded a significant fall in earnings and admissions, with decreases of 85.6% and 83.3%, respectively.
The most successful local production of 2013 was Emil Christov’s The Color of the Chameleon [+see also:
interview: Emil Christov
film profile], which had 11,210 admissions. It was followed by Roseville (6,491 admissions), Faith, Love and Whisky (6,373), July (6,273) and Stoichkov (4,722). The total number of admissions amounted to 41,133 and the earnings to €119,541, according to data made available by the National Film Centre. In 2012, domestic releases took 245,250 admissions and earned €829,500, with three films being seen by more than 40,000 Bulgarian cinemagoers (The Foreigner, Rapid Reaction Corps, and Pistol, Briefcase and Three Stinking Barrels).
The domestic film market share decreased from 4.76% in 2012 to only 0.6% in 2013.
According to Marin Martschewski, executive director of the Bulgarian National Film Centre, the drop is caused by the fact that the number of domestic releases in 2013 was significantly smaller than it was in 2012 (falling from 26 to 16), which is a result of two cancelled funding sessions in 2010 and 2011. Martschewski also commented on the high number of auteur films in 2013 and the lack of popular independent productions that had impressed the local audiences during the previous years. Also, half of last year’s releases were documentaries.
The weak market share is down to the fact that 50% of Bulgarians do not have access to cinemas, says Martschewski. Also, the major cinemas are reluctant to screen domestic releases, preferring the much more successful Hollywood films. The market share for US films was 85.19% in 2013 and 81.48% in 2012.