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BOX OFFICE Slovakia

2018 turns out to be the second most successful year ever for Slovakian cinemas

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- Despite the impressive results, domestic productions were few and far between in comparison to the previous period

2018 turns out to be the second most successful year ever for Slovakian cinemas
Backstage by Andrea Sedláčková

After a record-breaking 2017 (see the news), Slovakian movie theatres have enjoyed their second most successful year since 1993, despite a shortage of domestic productions. In contrast, the triumphant 2017 saw plenty of local fare screening in the dark rooms. According to the Slovak Union of Film Distributors, compared to the previous year, attendance levels fell by 11%, meaning that 5,964,768 theatregoers attended local cinemas. Total box-office takings stood at €33 million (a 4.3% decrease in comparison to the previous period), while the average ticket price rose to €5.54 (from €5.16).

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The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody [+see also:
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film profile
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 secured the top spot in the chart of the most-visited films in local cinemas, drawing in 323,147 visitors, and it also retained a “kind of magic” in 2019, racking up a total of 378,000 paying theatregoers after a 13-week run. The remainder of the Slovakian top five was dominated by US imports, however: the animated film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation came in in second place (288,582 viewers), confirming the prevalence of children’s fare at the domestic box office, followed by A Star Is Born (245,785), Fifty Shades of Freedom (199,327) and Avengers: Infinity War (182,574).

The spike in the 2017 box office was attributed to domestic genre productions enticing 1,414,132 paying theatregoers, three of which ended up in the top five. Nevertheless, the most-visited domestic movie of 2018 ended up being a genre flick as well – the dance film Backstage [+see also:
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interview: Andrea Sedláčková
film profile
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, directed by Andrea Sedláčková, which was seen by 64,029 viewers. Another genre movie, Intimate Enemy, a thriller about a psychotic “smart house”, attracted an audience of 45,905 people, while the family kidnap drama Cellar [+see also:
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 and the period biopic Toman [+see also:
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 notched up 16,602 and 16,111 visits, respectively. 

Despite 2018 being a lacklustre year for domestic productions, 2019 is already starting to whet audience’s appetites. The thriller based on a real-life crime By the Sharp Knife (see the report), directed by newcomer Teodor Kuhn, comes out in cinemas at the end of February and shares certain attributes with the fourth most-visited film of 2017, Kidnapping [+see also:
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film profile
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 by Marianna Čengel SolčanskáThe Glass Room by Julius Ševčík, whose feature debut, A Prominent Patient [+see also:
film review
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film profile
]
, won 12 Czech Lion Awards, will premiere in the middle of March; the creative team behind the most-visited film of 2017, All or Nothing, will release their new movie, A Way Too Personal Liaison, on local screens in May; and a sequel to the popular 1985 fairy tale The Feather Fairy, which starred Giulietta Massina, will be added to the cinema listings before the end of the year, helmed by the original’s director, Juraj Jakubisko.

The new distribution year in local cinemas has already got off to a flying start, as the latest film by Peter Bebjak, the thriller The Rift, set a new opening-weekend record for a domestic production, attracting 83,266 paying theatregoers (see the news).

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