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BOX OFFICE Czech Republic

Rafters on course to rewrite records


Less than a week from its March 9 release, Czech teenager comedy Rafters (Raftaci) is on course to rewrite the country’s box office record books.

Director Karel Janak’s second feature film had 104,473 admissions for the weekend of March 11-12, making it the most successful opening for a Czech film ever. Rafters took over the top spot from Jan Sverak’s Dark Blue World (Tmavomodry Svet), which had 84,066 admissions during its first weekend in May of 2001, and Jan Hrebejk’s Pupendo, which opened to 69,671 admissions two years later.

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“I was hoping that [the film] could make it into the Czech top 5 of all time list but this really exceeded all expectations,” commented Janak. His previous film, Snowboarders, garnered ‘only’ 47,305 tickets its first weekend in November 2004, although the film went on to record a total of just under 650,000 admissions.

Rafters tells the adventures and the love affairs of two youngsters, played by Jiri Madl and Vojtech Kotek, during a rafting holiday. Both actors and the vast majority of the production team behind Rafters worked on Snowboarders. In addition, the film’s general concept is very much based on the one that made Snowboarders a popular hit.

Rafters is also in the running for best overall box office admissions for a feature, as records are kept in the Czech Republic. Only the three Lord of the Rings instalments and the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , have recorded better openings in Czech theatres.

Rafters is being distributed by Falcon on 21 screens across the Czech Republic.

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