ZAGREB: War biopic The General directed by Antun Vrdoljak and produced by Kiklop film in coproduction with the Croatian Television had 28,383 admissions and 137,971 EUR gross in the first week of distribution in Croatia, Blitz film and video distribution has announced. It is one of the top five film openings since Croatian independence.
According to the distributor, most of the admissions come from the coastal regions of Croatia which are featured in the film: Zadar, Šibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia county, as well as the Croatian capital Zagreb.
The number includes the opening weekend and three days of pre-premiere screenings, that attracted 8,000 cinemagoers on 5 August 2019 alone, which conveniently collided with the Victory Day celebrations. On that date in 1995 the Croatian Army took the city of Knin during the Operation Storm, led by The General’s main protagonist, general Ante Gotovina (portrayed by Goran Višnjić).
This year’s biggest openings of Croatian films included the zombie comedy The Last Serb in Croatia directed by Predrag Ličina and produced by Kinorama with 7,689 admissions and children’s SF feature My Grandpa is an Alien directed by Marina Andree Škop and Dražen Žarković and produced by Studio DIM with 6,024 admissions in the opening weekend.
With pre-screenings included, The General is in the second place among the biggest openings in modern Croatian history. The record is still held by the satirical comedy The Priest’s Children directed by Vinko Brešan and produced by Interfilm, which attracted 33,759 cinemagoers during its opening in 2013 (also including pre-premiere screenings).
The General is now followed by another film of Vinko Brešan, the dark comedy What a Country! (produced by Interfilm), which attracted 23,212 cinemagoers during its opening in 2018. The children’s film Šegrt Hlapić directed by Silvije Petranović and produced by Maydi Film & Video is in the 4th place with 21,693 admissions in 2013, and the period comedy People's Hero Ljiljan Vidić directed by Ivan-Goran Vitez and produced by Interfilm is 5th, with 14,327 admissions during its opening in 2015.
Following the 163-minute film, an eight-episode TV series The General will premiere on the Croatian Television in the autumn of 2019.