Record Turnover for Czech Audiovisual Industry in 2022

    Karel Roden during the production of Medieval (2022) Karel Roden during the production of Medieval (2022) copyright: Stanislav Honzík / Bioscop

    PRAGUE: The Czech audiovisual industry reached the highest yet turnover of 639.7 m EUR / 15.4 billion CZK in 2022, surpassing the 2021 record of 361.3 m EUR / 8.73 billion CZK, according to the Czech Audiovisual Producers Association (APA).

    For a second year in a row, the industry experienced a dynamic growth, having quickly recovered from the COVID-19 downturn.

    International productions accounted for almost 73 percent of the industry’s total revenues in 2022, climbing from 361.3 m EUR / 8.73 billion CZK in 2021 to 467.3 m EUR / 11.25 billion CZK in 2022.

    The highest year-on-year growth was in advertising, whose revenues increased by 30 percent from 77.3 m EUR / 1.86 billion CZK in 2021 to 101.82 m EUR / 2.45 billion CZK.

    Czech productions racked up 71.9 m EUR / 1.73 billion CZK turnover in 2022, compared to 52.3 m EUR / 1.26 billion CZK in 2021.

    The increase in the foreign production’s turnover is linked to the increased funding for film incentives. According to the Czech incentives system, 40 percent of the funds spent in the Czech Republic stays in the country’s public budgets. However, the incentives system has been suspended since the start of the year.

    In 2022, the Czech Republic attracted filmmakers from across the world due to its timely adoption of COVID-19 regulations which allowed safe filming.

    Box office in 2022 reached 87 m EUR / 2.11 billion CZK, which is an almost 100 percent year-on-year increase, while admissions rose from 7.14 m in 2021 to 13.49 m in 2022.

    The domestic films with the most admissions in 2022 were the football comedy Lavi / Vyšehrad: Fylm directed by Martin Kopp and Jakub Štáfek, produced by G*bang production and distributed by Bioscop, with over 690,000 admissions, followed by the fairy tale The Old Blunderbuss Mystery 2 / Tajemství staré bambitky 2 directed by Ivo Macharáček, produced by Fairytale Production and distributed by Bioscop, with over 460,000 admissions, and the most expensive Czech film so far, Medieval / Jan Žižka directed by Petr Jákl, produced by J.B.J. Film and Double Tree Entertainment, and distributed by Bioscop, with more than 350,000 admissions.

    A total of 96 Czech feature films were released in cinemas or at festivals in 2022.

    Domestic television production held its strong position with primetime share of between 20 and 30 percent across all TV channels. The popularity of Czech VOD platforms increased in 2022, which applied to both the largest streamer Voyo.cz and platforms specialising in art house films such as KVIFF.TV. Domestic films and series were popular across all streaming platforms (both Czech and international), and they appear regularly in the top 10 charts of Netflix and Voyo.

    However, the unprecedented success of the Czech audiovisual industry in 2022 might be followed by an economic downturn in 2023, as the film incentives system remains blocked due to problems in legislation. This could be resolved by new amendments to the Czech Audiovisual Act, which is currently in preparation at the Czech Ministry for Culture and the Czech Film Fund.

    The new amendments will make it obligatory for both local and international streaming platforms to allocate 2% of their revenues to the Czech Film Fund, as well as to invest an additional 1.5% of their revenues into commissioning domestic content or to pay a 3.5% fee instead.

    While the new law is estimated to take effect in 2025, the Ministry for Culture is “committed to unblock the incentives by September 2023”, as stated by the Minister for Culture Martin Baxa at a conference held by APA in July 2023.