Czech box office soars to post-pandemic rebound in 2022, topping 2 billion crowns

Despite Covid-19 restrictions that placed limitations on cultural events including cinema screenings through March of last year, the Czech box office saw a significant rebound in 2022, according to annual figures recently published by the Czech Republic’s Film Distributors Union.

The Czech box office nearly doubled last year compared to a Covid-afflicted 2021, and came close to catching up to a record-breaking pre-pandemic 2019. The box office rebound includes only two weekends from last year’s biggest film, Avatar: The Way of Water, which continues to dominate the Czech box office through the first month of 2023.

Czech cinemas hosted a total of more than 500,000 movie screenings in 2022 (up by more than 75 percent over 2021) and drew nearly 13.5 million visitors (up almost 90 percent over the previous year), according to the data published by the Film Distributors Union.

In total, Czech cinemas pulled in 2.1 billion crowns (about $97 million) from box office receipts in 2022. That figure was more than the revenue from 2021 (1.1 billion crowns, or $51 million) and 2020 (906 million crowns, or $42 million) combined.

It was also just 26 percent lower than the record-breaking 2019 box office of 2.6 billion crowns ($120 million), and third-highest in the country’s 30-year history. This is despite anti-pandemic restrictions that persisted through the first three months of last year.

Despite only seeing two weekends of release in 2022, Avatar: The Way of Water led all films at the Czech box office with a total of 152 million crowns ($7.02 million). Top Gun: Maverick came in second with 146 million crowns ($6.78 million). Maverick sold more tickets (809,977 to 763,477 for the Avatar sequel), however, owing to the latter’s prevalence on more expensive screening formats.

The Czech movie Vyšehrad: Fylm was the highest-grossing domestic release of 2022 with a total of 108 million crowns ($5.21 million), coming in at number four in the year’s top 10 at the Czech box office. It also scored the 15th-best opening weekend of all-time at 29.5 million crowns ($1.36 million). Avatar: The Way of Water, which opened at 47.9 million crowns ($2.2 million), scored the second-best debut at the Czech box office behind 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Two other local productions made the top 10 at the 2022 Czech box office: Tajemství staré bambitky 2 (The Old Blunderbuss Mystery), which came in at number 8, and the most expensive Czech film ever made, Medieval (Jan Žižka), which earned 55.6 million crowns ($2.56 million) to come in at number 9.

While Medieval didn’t come close to making back its reported 500 million crown ($23 million) budget at the Czech box office, it has also opened in foreign markets and continues to perform well on Netflix.

Family-friendly franchise films otherwise dominated the Czech box office in 2022, with Minions: The Rise of GruJurassic World DominionThor: Love and ThunderDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 rounding out the top 10.

These were the Czech Republic’s highest-grossing films in 2022:

Rank Name Gross (millions CZK) Gross (millions USD)
1 Avatar: The Way of Water 152.5 7.02
2 Top Gun: Maverick 147.4 6.78
3 Minions: The Rise of Gru 113.2 5.21
4 Vyšehrad: Fylm 108.3 4.98
5 Thor: Love and Thunder 83.2 3.83
6 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 64.9 2.99
7 Jurassic World Dominion 57.2 2.63
8 Tajemství staré bambitky 2 56.2 2.59
9 Medieval 55.6 2.56
10 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 52.9 2.43
11 Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 47.7 2.19
12 Spider-Man: No Way Home 45.0 2.07
13 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 41.8 1.92
14 Uncharted 41.1 1.89
15 Po čem muži touží 2 40.1 1.84
16 The Batman 39.1 1.80
17 Srdce na dlani 30.7 1.41
18 Střídavka 30.6 1.41
19 Vánoční příběh 25.9 1.19
20 DC League of Super-Pets 24.3 1.12

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