Acclaimed abroad, Romania films struggle at local box office

By Iulia Blaga
    Despite awards and international acclaim for Romanian films, the top drawing national film, Weekend with My Mother by Stere Gulea, in 62nd place, with 4,144 tickets sold in 11 weeks.
    U.S. cinema dominates the box office. After three weeks, Angels and Demons still tops Romanian chart, with $360,734 and 66,397 viewers. But the hit of the year is My Bloody Valentine 3D with $580,524.32 and 79,594 viewers. The film, however, sold less tickets than Yes Man - 1,414,475 lei revenues ($476,751.82) and 90,524 viewers - and even Fast and Furious 4 - 1,396,623.90 lei ($470,735.07) revenues and 88,794 viewers.

    Angling/Pescuit sportiv, the first feature of Adrian Sitaru, awardeds in Mons, Thessaloniki, Estoril and Buenos Aires, comes in at number 69, with 2,556 tickets sold, and 25,201 lei ($8,494.05) of revenues.

    And Radu Jude is not that happy since The Happiest Girl in The World (C.I.C.A.E. Award in Berlin 2009) sold just 1,330 tickets, gained no more than 17,703.30 lei ($5966.93), and ended up in 71st place.

    The last Romanian film in the local box-office is docu-drama Carol I, by the veteran Sergiu Nicolaescu, which reached the 77th place (from 81st) and sold 642 tickets.

    The major hit last year was another 3D movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth, which sold 117,314 tickets in 10 weeks, having 2,658,106 lei of revenues ($1,055,264.59).

    In 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ended up in first position with 94,120 tickets sold and 1,081,159 lei revenues $443,406.88.

    Cristian Mungiu said recently that he planned Tales from the Golden Age especially for the domestic audience. The 3-hour comedy will be released in Romania in two parts this fall.

    As for Corneliu Porumboiu, he will release his latest, Police, Adjective, in July 3. Usually a release during the summer holiday is almost suicidal, and Romanian directors wait for spring or fall. However Porumboiu told FNE nobody can really tell the fate of a Romanian film in the local theaters.