Polish Producers Opt for VOD Premieres Due to Pandemic

    W lesie dziś nie zaśnie nikt by Bartosz M. Kowalski W lesie dziś nie zaśnie nikt by Bartosz M. Kowalski photo: Akson Studio

    WARSAW: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Polish film distributors and producers to move their cinema premieres to online streaming platforms.

    More and more film producers and distributors are deciding to change the distribution roll-outs of their newest premieres due to the outbreak of coronavirus and the closure of cinemas in Poland since 12 March 2020.

    Jan Komasa's film The Hater (Naima Film) has been available in the paid offer of Player.pl (TVN Discovery Group) and Canal + since 18 March 2020. The film opened in Polish cinemas on 6 March distributed by Kino Świat and was set for a strong run at the box office, with 142,968 tickets sold during the opening weekend. 

    The first Polish slasher, Akson Studio's W lesie dziś nie zaśnie nikt (Nobody Will Fall Asleep in the Woods Today) directed by Bartosz M. Kowalski, which had its premiere postponed in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, will ultimately not hit the cinemas. The distributor Next Film and producer Akson Studio decided that the film will be available on the Netflix platform. 

    The Vod.pl service, owned by Ringier Axel Springer Polska, broadcasts several local productions that hit the VOD market a lot sooner than they would have otherwise, including Mayday directed by Sam Akina and produced by JW Production, and Mr T. directed by Marcin Krzyształowicz and produced by Propeller Film. An accelerated VOD release will also apply to Roman Polański's An Officer and A Spy, which will be available on Vod.pl on 3 April 2020.

    There are currently several streaming services in Poland. One of the best known is Netflix, which according to data from November 2019 had over 3.73 million users in Poland. In November last year Vod.pl was the second most popular streaming platform in Poland with over 3.20 million active users, the CDA Premium service recorded over 3.12 million active users, Player.pl had 3.06 million users and the VOD platform run by TVP had over 2.66 million users. HBO Go has over 1.73 million subscribers in Poland. The Ipla platform attracts over 1.58 million users in Poland monthly.