Montenegro Cinemas Struggle To Recover From COVID-19 Losses

    Cineplexx Podgorica Cineplexx Podgorica photo: Film Centre of Montenegro

    PODGORICA: Cinemas in Montenegro are open but after being closed for months during the pandemic they face a rough ride on the road to recovery.

    Goran Škuletić, Executive Director of Cineplexx Podgorica, one of two multiplexes in Montenegro, said that the cinema had suffered major losses, with box office and admissions down by 50% or more. People are not returning to the cinema in the same numbers as before the pandemic, and Goran Škuletić fears the possibility of new lockdowns from September 2021 onwards.

    The multiplex, which has 10 screens, was completely closed for six months due to the pandemic measures, and left without any revenues. The cinema managed to re-open and survive thanks to some assistance from the mother company and state subventions.

    Goran Škuletić told FNE that he hopes for a full recovery, but is unsure how long it will take. It will depend, largely, on the films offered. While they were able to get enough films to fill the repertoire, most blockbusters, which are the main source of income for multiplexes, were delayed indefinitely, as only a few had distribution.

    As for regional films, only the Serbian films The Only Way Out / Jediniizlaz by Darko Nikolic, produced by Stankovi sinovi, and Weekend with Dad / Vikendsacaletom by Miroslav Momcilovic, produced by United Media, achieved some success, while others haven’t scored well with the audience.

    Beside the two multiplexes, there are also eight one-screen cinemas in Montenegro. All cinemas, like other cultural venues, were closed for six or more months starting in 2020, re-opening and closing again depending on the rate of infections.