The appetite of Polish audiences for home-grown blockbusters remains undiminished with Witchman (Wiedzmin), directed by Marek Brodski and produced by Warsaw-based Vision Film Production and Heritage Films, holding the number one position for the second week in a row with a gross of $1.37m (zlo5.7m).
The $18m Polish blockbuster Quo Vadis, directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz and distributed by Syrena Entertainment, also remains strong, comfortably retaining the number two slot after 10 weeks on release with a cumulative gross of $15.4m from a 133-print release.
Witchman, more modestly budgeted at $5m, is based on the enormously popular fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. Its distributors Vision Film have poured nearly $1m into a massive publicity campaign. The film, which was the first title to displace Quo Vadis from its top slot, claimed $701,262 in its first week on release for a resounding screen average of $9,877 and followed this up on its second weekend with $426,701 from 76.
Local producers and distributors have been anxiously watching the results of the two big Polish autumn releases to see if big-budget domestic films can still pull in the kind of audiences that Andrzej Wajda's Pan Tadeusz and Jerzy Hoffman's With Fire And Sword did two years ago. With an economic downturn over the past year-and-a-half in Poland and sagging box-office results, the Polish film industry has been holding its breath to see if the earlier successes could be repeated or if the local blockbuster was a one-off.