Kajinek sets Czech opening weekend record

By FNE Staff

    Kajínek, the action thriller based on a true story, set a new box office record for a Czech film with 119,602 admissions, and box office of 15,538,624 CzK on its opening week-end. The film debuted on August 5 in the Czech Republic, and opens in Slovakia on August 12.

    "As the admissions are very close to the full capacities of the opening cinemas we can expect another strong weekend," said Igor Konyukov, the head of the production and distribution company Hollywood Classic Entertainment (www.hce.cz). "This is the first movie in which we participated as equal co-producers. So we are very pleased that we had a greater success than we expected."

    The film was co-produced by JMB Film (www.jmbfilm.sk), the company of Kajínek writer/director Petr Jákl. Expectations were high due to the international cast. The title role is played by Russian actor Konstantin Lavroněnko, winner of the Palm d‘Or at the Cannes film festival; his lawyer is portrayed by the Shooting Star of the Berlinale 2003 Tatiana Vilhelmová; the charismatic Polish star Boguslaw Linda also appears in the movie, as well as the German actor Werner Daehn.The international cast is also surrounded by leading Czech actors Vladimír Dlouhý, Michal Dlouhý, Deana Jakubisková, and Alice Bendová.

    It was inspired by the story of Jiří Kajínek, who is considered to be the first hitman in post-communist Czech Republic. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his term in a high-security Czech prison. Following his escape from Mírov prison in 2000, Jiří Kajínek became an instant legend--as well as the most wanted criminal in Europe. The five weeks during which time he eluded the police are still shrouded in mystery.