Cinema Attendance On The Rise in Poland

    25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda by Jan Holoubek 25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda by Jan Holoubek

    WARSAW: Polish cinemas registered almost 300,000 admissions during the third weekend of September 2020, with two local titles at the top of the Polish box office.

    The number is a 12 percent increase from the first weekend of September and 8 percent more than the second weekend. 

    In June this year, cinemas across Poland were visited by only 92,000 viewers (according to the boxoffice.pl website), which translated into EUR 325,126 / PLN 1.48 m in cinema revenues. During this period, there were only 51 titles in circulation, and the average ticket price was 16.10 PLN. For comparison, in June 2019 cinemas attracted 2.75 million visitors. In July, Polish cinemas were visited by approximately 532,740 viewers, compared to 4,861,647 people in the same month a year earlier. This is a year-on-year decline of 89.04% in cinema attendance. Full data on August is not yet available, but the cinemas are already noting an increase in attendance for September.

    “The recent premieres have contributed to this increase,” said Mariusz Spisz, board member of Multikino. In this cinema chain, the most popular titles last weekend were two Polish films: 25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda (TVN) directed by Jan Holoubek, and Pętla (Vega Investments) by Patryk Vega. Disney's Mulan and the pre-premiere screenings of the Trolls 2 animation, which will be shown in cinemas on 2 October 2020, were also very popular. Spitz predicts that Trolls 2 may be one of the most important titles of the coming month.

    Almost 180,000 people saw Vega's Pętla premiere on the first weekend in September. After the third weekend since the premiere, the film has almost 450,000 admissions. Thanks to this, the film already ranks in seventh place for admissions. The biopic about Tomasz Komeda is currently on the top of the Polish box office, with over 125 000 admissions in its opening weekend. In comparison, the best weekend opening in Polish cinemas in 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis, was 578,016 admissions for the local comedy Miszmasz czyli Kogel Mogel 3 (MTL MAXFILM) by Kordian Piwowarski, while the best opening of the last decade belongs to Smarzowski's Clergy (Profil Film) with 935,357 admissions it its opening weekend in 2018.

    “The right mix of Polish films, great Hollywood blockbusters and ambitious European cinema is necessary for the attendance to return to pre-lockdown levels. At the moment, mainly due to the situation in the USA, the premieres of several big Hollywood films have been postponed to the end of the year or even to 2021. Just look at how the date of the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 changed - it was moved from June to August, then to October, and at the moment it is scheduled for 25 December this year” Spisz said. “Only when the film repertoire stabilises, will American blockbusters appear on the screens of cinemas alongside large Polish films, and then will we be able to answer the question of when cinema attendance will return to pre-pandemic levels with a greater degree of probability.”