Box Office - Poland
Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming
Cinema attendance is on the up in Poland
by Ola Salwa
In 2021, over 22 million tickets were sold for in-theatre screenings – up 5 million on 2020
The overall figures for the annual Polish box office, as well as those for the performance of individual films, are slowly growing. According to data generator www.boxoffice.pl, in 2021, cinemas took over 22 million admissions. This represents growth of more than 30% compared to 2020, when 17 million tickets were sold. Before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, audiences in Polish cinemas had been mounting up every year, with over 60 million admissions recorded in 2019.
The most popular film of 2021 was the latest instalment in the James Bond saga, No Time to Die [+see also:
film profile], with 1.6 million admissions, while the first runner-up was the local erotic drama Girls to Buy, directed by Maria Sadowska, which sold just over 1 million tickets in 2021 (and continues to draw in audiences in 2022). Dune [+see also:
film profile] came in third, also with slightly more than 1 million admissions. Two more Polish films landed in the annual top 10: Furiosa by Cyprian T Olencki (500,000 admissions) and The Wedding Day [+see also:
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile] by Wojciech Smarzowski (487,000 admissions). In general, Polish films secured over 25% of the market share in 2021.
In 2022, the most popular film so far is proving to be the Polish comedy Kogel Mogel 4, directed by Anna Wieczur, with over 700,000 tickets sold during its first four weeks on release. Regardless of the high numbers of COVID-19 cases, the cinemas remain open, with limited capacity available for the non-vaccinated.
How will the box office perform in 2022? Krzysztof Spór, who analyses the figures for his blog sporwkinie.blogspot.com, says that the prognosis is optimistic, with the decisive battle to get audiences to return to cinemas set to happen in spring and the subsequent months. The indicator of how far the annual numbers may rise will be, according to Spór, the performance of The Batman, which opens in Poland on 4 March. “As long as the release date isn’t pushed back,” he adds.
As for Polish films, he highlights the submarine thriller The Last Mission by Jacek Bławut, Johnny by Daniel Jaroszek (a biopic of priest Jan Kaczkowski) and the Guy Ritchie-style period piece Dangerous Gentlemen by Maciej Kawalski. This journalist would be inclined to add local romantic comedies to the mix as well. “2022 will be a transitional year, 2023 will be a year of restoration, and maybe in 2024, the box-office numbers will return to their peak performance from 2019,” concludes Spór.
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