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BOX OFFICE Czech Republic

Football satire Vyšehrad: Fylm resuscitates the Czech post-pandemic box office

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- Jakub Štáfek and Martin Kopp's movie, revolving around a foul-mouthed footballer, dominated the local box office during its opening weekend

Football satire Vyšehrad: Fylm resuscitates the Czech post-pandemic box office
Vyšehrad: Fylm by Jakub Štáfek and Martin Kopp

The Czech box office has had a rude awakening from its post-pandemic slumber by the domestic brash football comedy Vyšehrad: Fylm. The film became the number one at the box office during the week of its premiere, grossing 30,681,835 Czech crowns (€1,260,345) and selling 181,154 tickets (173,470 of which over the weekend). Vyšehrad: Fylm was followed by Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which managed to sell 57,931 admissions over the Easter weekend. Distributor Bioscop/AQS rolled out the film in 211 theatres across the country during the weekend in question.

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“Looking at the Czech films that took over 100,000 admissions in the first weekend, only Zátopek [+see also:
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(108,000) in August 2021 and Karel (105,000) in October 2021 have crossed this threshold since the coronavirus outbreak began. Vyšehrad: Fylm can also compete with foreign films, as only Spider-Man: Far From Home reached almost 180,000 admissions during its opening weekend in December 2021. All other flicks, from the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die [+see also:
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, to Venom 2, remain far behind this mark,” Bioscop said about the film’s success.

Vyšehrad follows a talented (albeit not particularly bright) and vulgar footballer called Julius “Lavi” Lavicky as he forges a career. However, he spends more time boozing and partying than he does on the pitch. The film’s central story revolves around the protagonist finding out, on his wedding day, that he has a son, while also satirising domestic football goings-on and scandals. Jakub Štáfek, who portrays the protagonist – the “enfant terrible” of Czech football – co-directed the feature-length effort with Martin Kopp (3Grapes [+see also:
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, Bikers).

Vyšehrad originated as a webseries on the now-defunct Czech online television channel Obbod TV, where the series garnered a cult following (the platform also produced another fan-favourite webseries, the hockey comedy Lajna). As the producers from Gangbang Production, the outfit behind Vyšehrad: Fylm, decided to postpone its premiere owing to the coronavirus, the audience was able to get a taste of the movie experience when a “prequel”, Vyšehrad: Seryjál, was released in theatres in summer 2021. It comprised an edit of the online series into a feature-length format, improving the sound and image quality, and adding new footage. Vyšehrad: Seryjál ended up grossing €124,964, with 22,974 admissions in total.

Vyšehrad: Fylm came in in third place in the top 20 of the best opening weekends for domestic films, behind the fairy tale Angel of the Lord 2 [+see also:
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by Jiri Strach (188,005 admissions) and Women on the Run [+see also:
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by Martin Horský (177,682). In addition, it was 19th in the all-time top 20 of opening weekends, which is dominated by Avengers: Endgame, with 344,686 admissions (Angel of the Lord 2 occupies 14th place in this list and Women on the Run 17th).

Vyšehrad: Fylm will be released in Slovakia on 19 May.

The source for the data cited here is the Czech Union of Film Distributors.

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