2007 sees increased admissions and success for local films
by Dorota Hartwich
Polish theatres have recorded excellent audience figures for 2007 with 32.6m admissions, representing a slight increase on last year’s 32m and only inches away from the best results of the past 20 years (33.4m in 2004).
The highest-grossing film of 2007 continued the trend set in 2006 with an animated feature appearing in pole position. Chris Miller’s Shrek 3 (3.35m admissions) followed in the footsteps of Ice Age: The Meltdown to become the biggest hit of the year.
This level of success is all the more impressive given that the 3m admissions threshold had not been exceeded since 2004 (3.5m for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ).
The most striking trend at the Polish box office in 2007 has to be the dominant position claimed by domestic titles, with five Polish films among the top ten (including three in the top five). This spectacular triumph is owed primarily to more mainstream films, with the exception of Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn [+see also:
interview: Andrzej Wajda
interview: Michal Kwiecinski
film profile], whose success (2.7m admissions) lies as much in its artistic merit as it does in its political subject matter.
Polish audiences, who regard cinema as a form of escapism, were won over in 2007 by Testosteron by directorial duo Tomasz Konecki and Andrzej Saramonowicz (1.4m admissions); Ryszard Zatorski’s Dlaczego nie! [+see also:
film profile] ("Why Not!", 1.1m viewers); State Witness [+see also:
film profile] by Jaroslaw Sypniewski and Jacek Filipiak (960,000 admissions); and Stanislaw Tym’s Rys (809,000 viewers).
It should also be noted that Polish feature U Pana Boga w ogródku ("In the Lord’s Garden") by Jacek Bromski (300,000 admissions) ranked as number 20 among the box office hits of 2007.
No change has been recorded in terms of the popularity of auteur films, which remain the preserve of a limited audience. The gap between big commercial hits and artistically oriented works is huge, with audience figures for the former reaching the millions while the latter draw only a few tens of thousands of enthusiasts, such as Cristian Mungiu’s Palme d’Or-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile], which garnered 26,000 admissions.
(Translated from French)
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