BOX OFFICE: Box Office in Hungary Falls by 70% in 2020

    Budapest Heist by Balázs Lóth Budapest Heist by Balázs Lóth

    BUDAPEST: Hungarian domestic box office fell by 62% in 2020. The total gross of Hungarian films was 838 million HUF / 2.3 million in EUR in 2019, but fell to 320.1 million HUF / 888,126 EUR in 2020. The admissions dropped from 595,587 to 224,763. The number of domestic premieres also decreased, from 26 to 16.

    The 2020 was a nightmare for Hungarian film theatres, which had to close two times because of the pandemic, first on 11 March followed by a reopening during the second half of June. Operations had to be suspended again on 11 November. Cinemas were closed for five months, and it's uncertain when they will be able to reopen.

    Many films, some with great gross expectations, were postponed to 2021, including Toxikoma, Bullhorn Lullaby / Becsúszó szerelem and Perfect as You Are / Így vagy tökéletes.

    The biggest Hungarian success of the year was Budapest Heist / Pesti balhé directed by Balázs Lóth and produced by FP Films. The heist comedy was released on 30 July, grossed 109.7 million HUF / 304,441 EUR and racked up 74,008 admissions. To put it into perspective, a similarly lighthearted film, Kölcsönlakás topped the domestic chart in 2019 with 218.9 million HUF / 607,262 EUR and 150,776 admissions.

    A couple other Hungarian films from last year are worth mentioning in terms of gross. Oscar-winner István Szabó's supposedly farewell film, Final Report / Zárójelentés ended its run with 43.9 million HUF / 121,809 EUR and 33,255 admissions. A romantic comedy called Foam / Hab collected 37 million HUF / 102,744 EUR and 26,271 admissions.

    Hungary's official Oscar-nominee, Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time / Felkészülés meghatározatlan idejű együttlétre reached 27.8 million HUF / 77,222 EUR and 19,430 admissions by the time that cinemas were closed again in November. It continued its run at one of the domestic streaming services, Cinego, on 1 December.

    The general box office suffered an even bigger blow, it decreased by 70,1% from 2019 to 2020. The total gross was 21.3 billion HUF / 59.2 million EUR in 2019, and only 6.4 billion HUF / 17.7 million EUR in 2020. A total of 293 films came out two years ago, only 89 tried their luck last year. The American action comedy Bad Boys for Life was the highest grossing film of the year with 570.7 million HUF / 1.6 million EUR and 345,915 admissions.

    Final Report was produced by Film Street and Filmkontroll and released on 27 February, Foam was produced by AGA Media and A Company Hungary and debuted on 10 September, Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time was produced by Poste Restante and released on 24 September.

    The data was provided by the Association of Film Distributors and the Hungarian National Film Office.