The Polish cinema industry is staging a vigorous come-back after disastrous results in 2000, that saw admissions and box office plummet by 29.8%. Three Polish films have already topped the national box office chart this year, and three forthcoming local titles are expected to boost the territory's box office to record levels.
While some of last year's decline can be put down to the extraordinary performance of just one film the previous year - the domestic epic With Fire And Sword, which took a staggering $26m in 1999 - a combination of increasing ticket prices and declining state subsidies for production were also contributory factors.
Now, however, there are positive signs that Polish films are gradually regaining some of their pulling power. Already this year two local films have achieved respectable, if comparatively modest, results: In Desert And Wilderness ($5.95m) and Springtime To Come ($5.03m), while last week saw new release Coyote's Morning top the charts with a three-day gross of $230,601 from 65 sites, and a total of $544,669 after 10 days.
Hopes for a blockbuster year are now being fuelled by high expectations from three other forthcoming films: Heritage Film's Witchman, Scorpion Art's biopic Chopin - Desire For Love and Jerzy Kawalerowicz's epic Quo Vadis.
The $18m Quo Vadis, which received its world premiere at a screening in the Vatican this week, gets a massive 150-print release on September 9, when all eyes will be on the title's opening gross to see if it has the potential not just to break previous domestic records, but also become the first Polish film to break out into the international market.