Caught in the Net bounces back to the number-one spot at the Czech box office
- The documentary about online predators has helped the Czech box office to reawaken after local cinemas started reopening with restrictions in place
The shuttering of cinemas following the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the theatrical run of the Czech documentary Caught in the Net [+see also:
film profile] (co-produced by Slovakia) in domestic cinemas. Directed by Barbora Chalupová and Vít Klusák, the doc captures the unsavoury details of the online abuse of minors and became the talk of the town during its crowdfunding and pre-premiere promo campaigns. After the original premiere on 27 February, it took only seven days for Caught in the Net to become the most-visited Czech documentary at the local box office (enticing 179,139 paying theatre-goers), dethroning the movie that had occupied the number-one spot for years, Citizen Havel [+see also:
film profile] by Pavel Koutecký and Miroslav Janek.
In late April, Chalupová and Klusák’s film had a dry run for its big-screen comeback, as Caught in the Net was screened in local drive-in cinemas. It soon came to dominate the drive-in box office, beating Tarantino’s Hollywood comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the 2019 number one, the Czech mainstream rom-com Women on the Run [+see also:
film profile] (see the news).
After the Czech Republic eased the pandemic restrictions, enabling the reopening of cinemas on 11 May, Caught in the Net quickly rose up the ranks, topping the domestic box office and thus beating big-budget US imports to the top spot. The documentary shot to number one despite preventive measures being adopted, such as a maximum capacity of 100 people per screening. These results obviously delighted the movie's distributors, Aerofilms (Czech Republic) and Filmtopia (Slovakia), as well as its international sales agent, Autlook.
In addition, more local productions found their way into the top 20 after the reopening: Jiří Havelka’s 2019 chamber comedy Owners [+see also:
film profile] and Petr Zahrádka’s rom-com Chlap na střídačku [+see also:
film profile]. Curiously enough, the “softcore” cut of Caught in the Net, Caught in the Net: Behind School, a version for viewers older than 12, came in in the number-11 spot at the box office (the original cut is not suitable for audiences under 15 years of age). So far, Caught in the Net boasts total box-office takings of 48,328,452 Czech crowns (€1,758,466), while Caught in the Net: Behind School has grossed 4,189,526 Czech crowns (€152,438). The documentary’s budget was €365,000. Meanwhile, Women on the Run is still hanging on in a handful of cinemas after its 68-week-long theatrical run.
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