Healthy 2006 Croatian box office figures have gone some way to compensate for slumps in other regions of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro, its biggest territory and richest market, saw a disastrous 43% decline in admissions and 36% in box office revenues in 2006 from 2005, while Croation figures are on the rise.
In the 4.5 million-populated territory, an estimated 2,678,000 admissions were reported, marking a 34% increase compared to 2005's 2,233,000. In revenues, the jump translates to 32%: $10,649,000 (HRK62,827,000), while in 2005 all released titles earned $8,696,000 (HRK51,304,000).
The substantial rise was fuelled by the remarkable success of What Is A Man Without A Moustache'(Sto Je Muskarac bez Brkova'). Directed by Hrvoje Hribar and based on Ante Tomic's popular novel set in a post-war environment, the romantic comedy about a Catholic priest falling for a girl from his village sold 157,166 admissions, earning $606,608 (HRK3,578,987). Due to unprecedented audience interest, the local film played even the smallest towns where cinemas work only on weekends, if at all. This lowered the average ticket price, resulting in less revenues than Borat which earned $630,160 (HRK3,717,944) from 153,649 admissions.
Besides Man Without A Moustache, two more local films had significant effect on the overall box office. The second best domestic grosser was Branko Istvancic's family adventure The Ghost In The Swamp (Duh U Mocvari) with 55,721 tickets and $167,163 (HRK986,261). The third was Rajko Grlic's Border Post (Karaula), also based on a novel by Ante Tomic, the first co-production of all former Yugoslav countries, sold 43,009 admissions, earning $173,587 (HRK1,024,162). Border Post was the second overall biggest grosser in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the third in Serbia and Montenegro.