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National films see a huge downfall in Hungarian cinemas

2011-12-17

By the end of November, the most successful Hungarian film among the premieres of 2011 reached about 20.000 viewers in the cinemas. The film Vad Magyarország (Wild Hungary) is a 50 minutes long nature film premiered in April, its success is mainly due to the schools that took their pupils to the screenings. It’s unprecedented that a nature film shot for television reaches the top rank at the national box office, but this year almost totally lacked the premieres of commercial Hungarian movies.

The most popular feature film has been the Cannes Fipresci-winner Adrienne Pál, that has arrived to the Hungarian cinemas almost a year after its international premiere. The national premiere was postponed twice due to financial problems, and then it sold more than 10.000 tickets by the end of November, which is a good figure in Hungary for an art house film.

The National Film Office (www.nemzetifilmiroda.hu) hasn’t published statistics since the end of March, so there are no official figures on the proportion of the national films at the box office, but according to the distributors press releases and unofficial estimates, 3-4% of the audience bought tickets for Hungarian films in the first 11 months of 2011. December might bring some change on the top list as there are two highly anticipated premieres in the month: Marcell Jankovics’s The Tragedy of Man (http://youtu.be/_8C6x5k52h4), an enormous animation project prepared and produced for almost 30 years that premiered on 8th December and Tamás Sas’s SOS Love! (http://www.soslove.hu) premiered on 15th December. The Tragedy of Man targets the art house audiences: it had a limited release, only one cinema plays it in Budapest, but the screenings are packed and the distributor predicts a very long lifetime for it. The romantic comedy SOS Love! – The Million Dollar Contract is the first Hungarian feature film shot in 3D, being the sequel of the 2007 blockbuster “SOS szerelem”! The film was partly shot in the US; it stars C.J. Thomason, Billy Zane and Daryl Hannah among Hungarian actors. The film is shown in every multiplex cinema in Hungary.