2008 attendance up at Czech cinemas

By Irena Zemanová
    Czech cinemas celebrated a record year in 2008. According to the Union of Film Distributors (www.ufd.cz), almost 13 milion people visited Czech cinemas last year, the highest number since 1995.

    Sales increased by CZK 20 million (€710,000) to €43 million, compared to 2007.

    Distributors, producers and cinema owners were pleased to see strong increases as they face a year that should be critical for cinemas in light of the global economic crisis.

    Despite the closing one multiplex, Cinema City in the Prague shopping centre Novodvorska Plaza in December because of a low admissions, other multiplexes produced the biggest share of sales and were responsible for increased attendance.

    Distributors credited the record admissions and sales to attractive movie titles in cinemas. According to UFD, the historical thriller Bathory by Juraj Jakubisko was the most successful movie of 2008, attracting more than 904,000 Czech viewers since its release in July. Among Czech production, Nestyda by Jan Hřebejk earned high admissions almost 450,000 people.

    Hollywood hits included The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull, Mamma Mia! and Sex and the City: The Movie.

    The ticket price continued to rise as well in 2008, with €3.55 on average for a ticket. The most expensive tickets are in Prague multiplexes, ranging from €4.25 to €5.70. In 2004, Czechs paid €3.25 crowns for a ticket on average, while in 2000, it was €2.40 crowns for a ticket.