'Young people are going to see it and they are bringing their parents, who haven't been to the cinema in ages,' director Jan Sverak told Screendaily.com. 'I knew the film would do well because it is funny and touching, but I didn't expect it to do this well.'
Zdenek Sverak wrote the screenplay and stars in the film as a reluctant pensioner coming to grips with his mortality. The cast also features Tatiana Vilhelmova (Something Like Happiness) and Jiri Machacek (Up And Down).
Empties earned more than $680,000 in its opening weekend, the most successful opening ever for a Czech film.
Distributor Falcon released a record 40 copies of the film following a high-profile press blitz. The early success was not unexpected. In pre-release interviews, director Jan Sverak emphasised the bittersweet process of making the film, reportedly the last he will make with his father.
Broadcaster TV Nova, a co-producer of the film and the leading commercial broadcaster in the Czech Republic, promoted the film heavily. And Czech brewer Plzensky Prazdroj, a partner in the production, which released special packages of their Velkopopovicky Kozel brand beer.
Sverak told Screendaily.com that Empties will see its festival premiere at Karlovy Vary this summer.