Half-time for Slovakian films at the domestic box-office
by Martin Kudláč
- A promising year is shaping up in local box-office for domestic productions
The recent spike in admissions to domestic films (read the news) foreshadowed the fact that Slovakian films are picking up steam after the record-breaking year of 2017 (read the news) and a second successful run in 2018 (read the news). According to the Slovak Union of Film Distributors, domestic productions managed to attract 392,098 theatregoers in the first half of 2019. That is 141,000 more admissions sold to Slovakian films than the attendance of domestic productions for the entire 2018.
The top spot has been taken by mysterious thriller The Rift [+see also:
film profile] directed by Peter Bebjak, an adaptation of a novel by local author Jozef Karika that was turned into a miniseries then re-cut for theatrical release (262,411 admissions). The Glass Room [+see also:
film profile], an ambitious feature with an international cast (Czech and Slovak co-production) by Julius Ševčík, (read the news) came second (39,758 admissions). The feature-length debut by Teodor Kuhn, arthouse family drama and political thriller By a Sharp Knife, was seen in local theatres by 39,293 theatregoers, earning the third position. Two Czech films co-produced by Slovakia follow: The Lady Terrorist [+see also:
film profile] by Radek Bajgar has had an extraordinary theatrical longevity, as it is still being screened 18 weeks after its premiere (the current total number of admissions has climbed up to 36,593), and Jiří Mádl’s sophomore feature On the Roof rounds off the domestic top 5.
The top 5 of domestic films for 2019 is as follows: The Rift (262,411 admissions) on the first position, The Glass Room (39,758 admissions) on the second, By a Sharp Knife (39,293 admissions) on the third, The Lady Terrorist (34,769 admissions) on the fourth and On the Roof (4,767 admissions) on the fifth.
The soaring tendency in admissions to domestic films is expected to continue. Omnibus film Who’s Next? (read the news) will be released in a historically large number of domestic cinemas in its opening week-end: 86 cinemas (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was previously holding the record for the largest release in Slovakia with 82 cinemas). The month of September will be especially eventful in terms of premieres. Two documentaries will open at the beginning of the month – travel documentary Africa on Pioneer (Afrika na Pionieri) by Marek Slobodník and biopic Svetozár Stračiny by Pavol Barabáš. Czech-Slovak fairy tale Watchmaker’s Apprentice, by Jitka Rudolfová, and creative documentary Never Happened by Barbora Berezňáková, will be released before the expected domestic premiere of Venice competition title The Painted Bird [+see also:
film profile] by Václav Marhoul.
Four films will close September: thriller Casino.$k; documentary Jiří Suchý - Tackling Life with Ease [+see also:
film profile] by Olga Sommerová; Marko Škop’s family drama Let There Be Light [+see also:
interview: Marko Škop
film profile], which won the Best Actor award in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; and feature-length animated film The Websters: From the Life of Spiders. After 9 premieres of domestic productions, November will offer six more. The total number of domestic films released is expected to rise to 40 (8 fiction and 8 documentary features are entirely Slovakian productions).
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