KARLOVY VARY: Czech box office reached an all-time high in 2015, and attendance showed impressive growth, but Czech films registered their lowest market share since 2002.
The annual presentation by the Czech Audiovisual Producers Association, APA, at the 51st Karlovy Vary IFF painted a rosy picture for Czech exhibitors, but a disappointment for Czech filmmakers.
Cinema attendance was just under 13 million in 2015, an increase of 1.4 million or 12 percent over 2014, and the second highest since 1989. Box office rose 14 percent (helped by a 2 percent increase in the average ticket price) to a high of 62 m EUR / 1.67 billion CZK.
The large number of films being released means that more films were competing for audiences. Out of the 262 films that premiered in 2015, 51 were Czech films, including 24 feature films and 18 documentaries. In comparison, there were 31 feature films and 24 documentaries released in 2014. Czech domestic films, which traditionally have had some of the strongest support in Europe, dropped to a market share of just 18.4 percent, the first time the share has fallen under 20 percent since 2002.
It was also the first time that not a single Czech film made it into the annual top ten. By comparison, for nine out of the ten preceding years, a Czech film held the top spot at the box office, with attendance for the top film reaching from over 500,000 to 1.25 m. The top Czech film in 2015 (Life is Life/Život je život directed by Martin Cieslar and produced by his company Happy Celluloid) had attendance of only 258,000, landing it in the 12th spot. Overall, Czech films had attendance of 2.3 m and 283 m CZK in box office.