ONEMANSHOW: The Movie takes the Czech box office by storm
- The film by internet prankster Kamil Bartoška, aka Kazma, has racked up the second-highest opening weekend attendance levels in national cinema history
The Czech box office is abuzz with record-breaking numbers as ONEMANSHOW: The Movie, a local production by Czech prankster Kamil Bartoška, known under the moniker Kazma, became the highest-grossing film of the weekend. The film recorded 291,761 admissions and grossed 54.2 million Czech crowns (€2.2 million) during its opening weekend, according to the Czech Union of Film Distributors.
Bartoška gained attention for his elaborate pranks on his internet series One Man Show, including a stunt involving a Jim Carrey impersonator at the Czech Lion ceremony that went viral internationally. He later infused his pranks with social commentary, tackling issues such as raising awareness of Tourette's Syndrome. Bartoška continued to court controversy at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he tricked journalists into expecting an introduction of a high-budget period war film featuring local stars, which turned out to be another hoax. Given this background, the announcement of ONEMANSHOW: The Movie naturally led to speculation about whether it might have been yet another elaborate ruse.
Combining elements of documentary and fiction with a mix of heist, comedy and romance ingredients, ONEMANSHOW: The Movie centres on a prank-cum-competition involving a purportedly buried car containing one million Czech crowns (€41,521). Audience engagement is heightened by the film's unique selling proposition: each ticket includes a card that could reveal the location of a vault containing one million dollars. This gimmick serves as an inventive ticket-sales mechanism, suggesting that purchasing more tickets increases one's chances of unearthing the money. In addition to starring, Kamil Bartoška co-directed the film with a rising talent in domestic genre filmmaking, Andy Fehu (see the news).
The film's box-office success is attributable to strategic marketing and pre-release hype, which led to sold-out cinemas weeks ahead of the premiere. ONEMANSHOW: The Movie not only surpassed the opening-weekend numbers of leading domestic films such as Angel of the Lord 2 [+see also:
film profile] (188,000 admissions), Women on the Run [+see also:
film profile] (177,000, see the news) and Vyšehrad: Fylm (173,000, see the news), but also outperformed Hollywood blockbusters in the Czech Republic. The film's attendance levels eclipsed those of global hits like Fifty Shades of Grey (256,000 admissions), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 [+see also:
film profile] (248,000) and Avatar: The Way of Water (242,000). However, it just fell short of the all-time four-day attendance record still held by Avengers: Endgame, with 344,000 admissions.
ONEMANSHOW: The Movie was produced by Vojtěch Frič, of Czech production outfit love.FRAME. Television rights for the movie have already been sold to local commercial channel TV Prima. Bontonfilm is handling the theatrical release in Czech and Slovak cinemas.
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