From January 2006 to November 2006, Czech cinemas took in 10.38m admissions, an improvement of nearly 10% over 2005's 12-month total of 9.48m. Czech admissions in 2005 were the lowest since 2000.
Sales in the first 11 months of 2006 were at just over $92m, with current average ticket price at the end of November up nearly 3% over 2005's average. That figure may drop after a final tally, because successful discount promotions at Palace Cinemas in early December cut ticket prices more 50%.
Month by month, most of 2006 was an improvement on the previous year. Total monthly admissions surpassed 1m four times last year: in March (owing largely to Czech teen comedy Rafters) and April (Ice Age 2), May (The Da Vinci Code) and August (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest). Admissions crossed the 1m threshold only one month in 2005 - December, thanks mainly to Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
The full impact of the Borat-Bond effect on the Czech holiday bounce has yet to be seen. In November admissions were at 898,986, an improvement of 8% on the previous month. Casino Royale opened the weekend of Nov 16 with 53,257 admissions and contributed roughly 13% of the month's total.
Borat opened the weekend of Nov 23 with 25,504 admissions, making up less than 5% of the month's total. By Christmas Borat had 134,541 admissions, but by then Eragon, Deja Vu and Flushed Away had emerged atop the weekly box-office rankings.
Czech films performed well at the box office in 2006. The most-attended film of the year, foreign or domestic, according to the preliminary figures is Jiri Vejdelek's Holiday Makers. The film, a contemporary literary adaptation, saw more than 750,000 admissions, making it the most popular domestic theatrical release since Jan Hrebejk's Pupendo, which sold roughly 1m tickets in 2003. Two other Czech releases, Rafters and How To Ride Crocodiles, also bested the most-attended Czech film of 2005, From The Subway With Love, which saw nearly 600,000 admissions.
Perhaps surprisingly, Hrebejk's Beauty In Trouble, which won the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award in Denver and a Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary, did not fair particularly well at the local box-office, drawing only about 300,000 admissions. Although the film featured such well-liked stars as Ana Geislerova (Something Like Happiness) and Jiri Machachek (Up And Down), its awards aspirations and favourable reviews failed to impress local audiences.