BOX OFFICE: Bulgarian Box Office Collapses By Over 70% in 2020

    Ivan Barnev in The Father by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov Ivan Barnev in The Father by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov

    SOFIA: Bulgarian admissions decreased by 72%, while the box office fell by 73% in 2020, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Total admissions were 1,337,951 and total box office was 6,485,835 EUR, compared to total admissions of 4,801,045 and total box office of 23,895,950 EUR in 2019. US films had 5, 074,515 EUR gross, European titles had 651,014 EUR gross, and domestic films had 596,640 EUR gross.

    Aa total of 169 films were theatrically released in 2020, according to Bulgaria’s NFC. Those included 63 US films, 2 European films, 29 domestic films, and five films from other countries. Total admissions for US films were 1,024,215, admissions for European films were 143,003, and domestic films got 135,984 admissions.

    The top film was the US Bad Boys for Life with 126,690 admissions, followed by five other American titles. The Bulgarian holdover Wildlings ranked eighth.

    During the first two months of 2020 Martin Makariev’s Wildlings (Spirit Production House) had 42,478 admissions and 192,435 EUR gross. Andrey Andonov’s Yatagan (A Plus FIlms), which premiered on 21 February 2020, did not have enough time to attract more than 34,158 admissions and 153,160  EUR gross. Viktor Chouchkov’s 18% Grey (Chouchkov Brothers) premiered on 21 January 2020 and had 199,83 admissions and 86,790 EUR gross, while Yana Titova’s A Dose of Happiness (No Blink Studio / bTV Studios), another holdover from 2019, had 9,374 admissions and 41,606 EUR gross.

    Radoslav Iliev’s entertaining Action (Incomes Project), which premiered on 29 January 2020, ranked fifth with 5,127 admissions and 20,479 EUR gross. The third Bulgarian holdover from Julian Vergov in Ashes Over Sun by Bogomil Kalinov2019, Niki Iliev’s Reunion (Silver Light Pictures) had 4,729 admissions and 17,245 EUR gross. Bogomil Kalinov’s debut Ashes Over Sun (Invictus) premiered on 29 October 2020 and had 4,328 admissions and 19,321 EUR gross, while Georgi Kostov’s The Rest is Ashes (Korund-X) premiered on 5 March 2020 and had 3,629 admissions and 18,788 EUR gross.  

    Ivaylo Spasov’s Relationology (Spasov Brothers), which premiered on 14 February 2020, had 3224 admissions and 14,847 EUR gross. Scheduled to start commercial release on 4 April 2020 Kristina Grozeva’s and Petar Valchanov’s Bulgarian/Greek The Father (Abraxas Film / Graal Films) had to wait until 24 July 2020, when it attracted 1,914 admissions and collected 7,187 EUR gross.

    All culture and entertainment venues including cinema halls in Bulgaria were closed from 31 March till 31 May 2020 and from 27 November through the end of the year. The rest of the time they were allowed to open but only with a limit of 30% of their halls' capacity. A total of 65 theatres were partially functioning during the year. Six new digital theatres started working, two of them as open air and one as a drive-in cinema.