For the first time, two Romanian films end up in the country’s yearly top 10 at the box office
- Local flicks such as Teambuilding and Mirciulică proved more popular with audiences than the usual superhero fare
Several years ago, reaching 100,000 admissions for a domestic release in Romania was considered a success. Not a financial success, but let’s not be picky. Over the last five years, the cinema landscape in Romania has changed significantly, as a string of comedies made independently and by filmmakers positioned closer to the new-media world than to the established filmmaking community have performed increasingly well in terms of earnings. And now, 2022 has turned out to be the first year (since box-office analyses started being carried out professionally in Romania) when not one, but two domestic films were popular enough to end up in the yearly top 10.
The most successful Romanian film of last year was Teambuilding, a satire on the corporate world directed by Matei Dima, Cosmin Nedelcu (also playing two of the main characters) and Alex Coteţ (also a screenwriter). The Vidra Productions release ended 2022 with 996,000 admissions and is now just a few hundred admissions shy of the one-million mark. After its successful run in cinemas, Teambuilding was released on Netflix in December, immediately becoming the most-watched feature on the platform in Romania. Interestingly, the film then hijacked the discussions on social media for days, with everyone seemingly desperate to explain why it should be loved or hated (mainly the latter among the filmmaking community, which most probably feels threatened by the film’s success).
In the yearly box-office charts, there is another Romanian flick in the top 10: Mirciulică, a comedy directed by Cristian Ilişuan, produced by Bravo Films and based on a popular comedic YouTube channel. Centring on a young man (Mircea Popa) dreaming of becoming a successful prosecutor but getting embroiled in small-town corruption after failing his magistracy exam, Mirciulică ended its stay in cinemas with a total of 327,000 admissions. Its popularity catapulted the film up to the seventh spot in the yearly box office, ahead of blockbusters such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion and Black Adam.
Another genre film, Victor Canache’s horror The Goat with Three Kids, based on a children’s story that every Romanian reads in secondary school, ended the year in 23rd place (out of 166), with 127,000 admissions, according to cinemagia.ro, the country’s leading film website. As expected, award-winning films by established Romanian directors fared less well: Cristian Mungiu’s R.M.N. [+see also:
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Judith State
film profile] racked up 33,000 admissions, Alexandru Belc’s Metronom [+see also:
interview: Alexandru Belc
film profile] almost 23,000, Paul Negoescu’s Men of Deeds [+see also:
interview: Paul Negoescu
film profile] 13,000, Bogdan George Apetri’s Miracle [+see also:
interview: Bogdan George Apetri
film profile] 6,000, and Monica Stan and George Chiper’s Immaculate [+see also:
interview: Monica Stan, George Chiper-…
film profile] 2,000.
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