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BOX OFFICE Czech Republic

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Czech box-office figures hit a five-year high

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- The most viewers since 2010 visited theatres in the Czech Republic last year

Czech box-office figures hit a five-year high
Life is Life by Milan Cieslar

Last year, the Czech box office saw the highest number of visitors since 2010 (when it notched up 13.5 million) with almost 13 million visits, a 12.11% increase compared to last year’s figures (read the news). The top ten of the highest-grossing films was dominated exclusively by US imports: the animated children's film Minions, the overhyped cinematic adaptation of lascivious book Fifty Shades of Grey and the long-awaited blockbuster of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, took the top spots, in that order. The Czech Union of Film Distributors calculated that net sales had slightly exceeded the threshold of 1.6 billion Czech crowns (approximately €61.8 million), a 14.12% hike compared to 2014. The average ticket cost 128.81 Czech crowns (€4.77). As the number of visitors and net sales grew, so did the number of screenings, rising by 4.32% in comparison with last year’s numbers.

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A total of 830,984 people saw Minions on the big screen (at 18,319 screenings), while Fifty Shades of Grey enticed 557,291 viewers (at 8,568 screenings) and the first film in the trilogy of Star Wars sequels attracted 478,261 cinemagoers (6,500 screenings, although the film is still unspooling in cinemas across the country, having drawn in 565,147 visitors after the fifth week since its premiere).

Domestic production, however, took spots in the lower half of the top 20. The highest-grossing and thus the most visited Czech film of last year was the comedy Life is Life [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Milan Cieslar (258,274 viewers), ranking 12th; it was followed by The Photograph [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the fictionalised tale of certain episodes from the life of controversial Czech photographer Jan Saudek, which attained the rank of the 14th most visited film of the year (201,053 viewers). Saudek is also credited as the co-writer of the script by Irena Pavlásková, who also directed the film. Commercial comedies Dodgeball [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Husband to Rent and Babovřesky 3 [+see also:
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film profile
]
came in 16th, 17th and 18th, followed by genre film Gangster Ka [+see also:
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film profile
]
in 19th position. The critically acclaimed domestic films and the frontrunners for the Czech Film Critics’ Awards (read the news) The Snake Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Prušinovský
film profile
]
and Home Care [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Slávek Horák
film profile
]
were seen by 94,015 and 93,350 cinemagoers, respectively, whereas Lost in Munich [+see also:
trailer
interview: Petr Zelenka
film profile
]
– the hottest candidate for the upcoming Czech Lion Awards, as it dominates the shortlist of hopefuls with 15 nods and has been unanimously praised by the critics – was visited by just 30,000 viewers.

The prospects for Czech cinema in 2016 are already positive at the beginning of the first quarter, with the long-awaited big-budget project Lída Baarová [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(international title The Devil’s Mistress), which revolves around the love affair between the eponymous Czech actress and Joseph Goebbels; the romantic musical Decibely Lásky [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Decibels of Love), based on the songs of Czech pop singer Michal David; and the fairy tale Řachanda [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. So far, there are 33 premieres of domestic movies lined up until the end of the year, and this number is likely to rise as both commercial and arthouse titles, including animation, fiction, documentary and genre films, are added to the schedule.

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