BOX OFFICE: Bulgaria Gets Back to Pre-COVID Admissions and BO Rates

    Hristo Shopov in In the Heart of the Machine by Martin Makariev Hristo Shopov in In the Heart of the Machine by Martin Makariev credit: Forward Pictures Entertainment

    SOFIA: Total admissions in Bulgaria in 2022 were 3,957,349 and total gross was 26,883,358 EUR, compared to 2,553,845 admissions and 12,616,137 EUR gross in 2021, according to the Bulgarian National Film Center. Two domestic films made it into the Top Ten.

    The year 2020 saw 1,337,951 total admissions and 6,485,835 EUR gross, while in 2019 total admissions were 5,016,079 and total gross was 25,058,170 EUR.

    A total of 222 titles were theatrically released in 2022, including 45 domestic titles (re-releases and holdovers) with 644,238 admissions and 3,823,029 EUR gross, 85 European titles with 317,829 admissions and 1,896,817 EUR gross, and 80 American titles with 2,957,434 admissions and 20,934,994 EUR gross.

    The yearly Top Ten consists of eight American and two Bulgarian titles with 1,415, 830 admissions, representing 35.78 % of the market. With 272,320 admissions Avatar: The Way of Water ranked the first, followed by Minions: The Rise of Gru (240,926 admissions), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (129,324 admissions), Thor: Love and Thunder (126,296 admissions) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (125,600 admissions).

    Martin Makariev’s period feature film In the Heart of the Machine, produced by Forward Pictures Entertainment and distributed by Silvernoise Frame, ranked 6th with 121,010 admissions, followed by Jurassic World Dominion (107,886 admissions), Top Gun: Maverick (100,806 admissions) and Ticket to Paradise (96,042 admissions). Alexander Kossev’s debut feature Petya of My Petya, produced and distributed by BOF Pictures, is closing the Top Ten with 95,620 admissions.

    Bulgarian films performed quite well in 2022. Martin Makariev’s In the Heart of the Machine headed the domestic Top Ten with 637,083 EUR gross, followed by Alexander Kossev’s debut feature Petya of My Petya with 442,740 EUR gross. Nikolay Garabedian’s privately financed sequel Bai Ivan 2, produced by Infinity Films and distributed by Alexandra, had 93,850 admissions and 458,871 EUR gross, while Niki Iliev’s also privately financed Reunion 2, produced by Phoenix Production and distributed by bTV Studios, had 88,503 admissions and 443,478 EUR gross. Nikolay Garabedian’s commercial comedy Bai Ivan - The Movie, produced by Infinity Films and distributed by Alexandra, ranked 5th with 72,328 admissions and 315,536 EUR gross, followed by Lachezar Avramov’s Yellow Oleander, produced by PREMIERstudio and distributed by bTV Studios, with32,210 admissions and 174,001 EUR gross. Maxim Genchev’s patriotic saga Botev, produced and distributed by Dema Film, had 25,411 admissions and 93,215 EUR gross.

    Georgi Kostov’s entertaining financing thriller Speculators, produced by Korund-Xand distributed by Alexandra, had 13,537 admissions and 72,609 EUR gross, followed by Ivailo Penchev’s Uncle Claus, produced and distributed by Urban Media, with 13,368 admissions and 57,028 EUR gross. The 10,921 admissions and the 42,058 EUR gross were most satisfactory for Veselin Dimanov’s socially engaged documentary Morality Is the Good, distributed by Afflatus Productions.

    With 49 titles released in 2022, Forum Film Bulgaria maintained its leading position on the market, followed by Art Fest with 24 titles, bTV with 23 titles, Alexandra Films with 22 titles, Cinelibri with 16 films, Beta Film with 15 titles, Pro Films and A+ Films with 13 titles each, and BS films with 12 titles.

    The average ticket price was 5.41 EUR with a tendency for a drastic increase in 2023.