Czech cinemas headed for record year


    Czech cinemas and Czech distributors expect record cinema attendance this year after more than 10 million people visited Czech cinemas through October - already a 1.4 million increase from 2006.

    Revenues increased as well, according to Anna Černá from the Czech Union of Film Distributors (www.ufd.cz). Box office through October totaled 966 million crowns (€35.9 million), compared to 796.6 million crowns for the same period last year, she told the Czech news agency ČTK.

    Four highly anticipated Czech movies that were released this year are responsible for the uptake, Černá said. Czech viewes usually prefer domestic czech movies from the foreign titles in cinemas.

    Empties by director Jan Svěrák led the hit parade with 1.22 million viewers since its release in March, a domestic 10-year record. Empties made about 122 million crowns in cinemas. That compares withh big-budget Hollywood hit Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix which attracted about half as many viewers and earned 60 million crowns.

    I Served the King of England by director Jiří Menzel, the country's choice for an Oscar nomination, has drawn 828,00 Czech viewers who paid 80 million crowns for tickets, the distributors‘ union said.

    Teddy Bear by director Jan Hřebejk and High School by Tomáš Vorel are also doing quite well. About 400,000 people have seen Teddy Bear since its September release and about 250,000 viewers have seen High School, which was released a month ago.