Coronavirus Hits Romanian Box Office

    Miami Bici by Jesus del Cerro Miami Bici by Jesus del Cerro

    BUCHAREST: The Romanian box office fell from 1.25 m EUR in the week of 2-8 March 2020 to 276,375 EUR in 9-15 March 2020. The domestic hit Miami Bici directed by Jesús del Cerro had 32,941 admissions from 9 to 15 March 2020, compared to 150,994 admissions from 2 to 8 March and 213,883 admissions from 24 February to 1 March 2020.

    Miami Bici, which is a Romanian coproduction between Studio Indie Productions and Watch Me Productions, had a glorious opening with 154,420 admissions on 21-23 February 2020, according to Cinemagia. The film was released by Vertical Entertainment on 129 screens, but after the introduction of measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the number was reduced to only 57 screens from 9 to 15 March 2020.

    Representatives of Cinema City, the biggest exhibitor in Romania, told FNE that it is impossible to assess the losses of their trade at this moment. Antoine Bagnianinchi, the CEO of Independența Film, a leading distributor of art house cinema, told FNE that he has suspended all releases till further notice and is not able to estimate how much money his company will lose.

    Just one new film was released on the weekend of 13-15 March 2020. Bloodshot by David S. F. Wilson is distributed by InterComFilm, one of the leading distribution companies in Romania. The film had 10,541 admissions and 53,423 EUR / 258,191 RON gross in its first weekend. “Bloodshot cashed in one fifth of what we’d expected. Everything happened so quickly that when part of the cinemas closed, we had already secured advertisement for the film and we couldn’t cancel it”, Andrea Comănici, General Manager of InterComFilm, told FNE.

    “We have cancelled both our releases till June, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway by Will Cluck, which I think would have been more successful in April than in August, and Greyhound by Aaron Schneider, for which May would probably have been a better release date than June”, Andrea Comănici also said.

    Dan Chișu’s 5 Minutes / 5 Minute, a Romanian coproduction between Anamaria Antoci through Domestic Film and Dan Chișu through DaKINO Production, postponed its release planned for 27 March 2020. Both director and producer spoke in a press release about the importance of respecting the authorities' request to stay home.

    Three international projects expected to shoot at Castel Film Studios in the near future have been cancelled, representatives of Castel Film Studios told FNE. Clickbait, produced by Stampede Ventures for Quibi, was expected to be shot in Romania from 12 March 2020 for six weeks, but the producers decided to hold it till the Coronavirus situation is solved. Miramax’s project Limbo, directed by Chris Peckover, was also suspended. It was supposed to start shooting in Romania at the end of April 2020. Around the World in 80 Days, a drama miniseries directed by Steve Barron and produced by Slim Film + Television, already started shooting in South Africa and was supposed to come to Romania to be shot from 27 April till the end of June. For the time being the producers decided to postpone the shooting and wait for the situation to improve.

    One of the most important Romanian producers Ada Solomon (HiFilm Production, microFILM), whose new project Man & Dog / Om Câine, the debut feature of Ștefan Constantinescu, is expected to start shooting on 15 May 2020, told FNE: “We haven’t decided to postpone the shooting for the time being”.

    Coronavirus didn’t prevent the theatrical release of Ivana Mladenović’s sophomore feature Ivana the Terrible / Ivana cea Groaznică, which was coproduced by Ada Solomon through Romania’s microFILM and Ivana Mladenović through Serbia’s Dunav 84. The film was released by HiFilm Production as planned on 13 March 2020, but without an official premiere and special screenings.

    Romania declared a state of emergency on 16 March 2020 for 30 days. No specific instructions were issued concerning cinemas, though. Earlier, on 11 March 2020, all mass gatherings of more than 100 people were banned, causing a shutdown of state cinemas till 22 March 2020, while the multiplexes continued to operate with less than 100 spectators per screening. It is expected that all cinemas operating till 16 March will close eventually.