Slovakia’s cinema going plunges
by Sakis Kontos
Slovakia’s audiovisual sector has added yet another chapter in its troubled history of late when it was confirmed that the country tops the list with the largest percentage drops in cinema visits in 2005.
The French Centre for Cinema (CNC) has published box office details from selected European territories for the first nine months of this year. According to it Slovakia has lost 30 percent on the number of people that had visited a film theatre in 2005 compared to that of last year.
Slovakia is far ahead of second placed Germany which the report has found out to have a 21 percent drop. All countries mentioned in the report had negative results but only Slovakia and Germany’s percentages are over 20 percent.
According to the Union of Slovak distributors the actual percentage of the drop is slightly corrected at 28 percent - 1 552 934 tickets this year from 2 157 887 in 2004 for the period January 1 to September 30 – but that does not alter the fact that the drop is more than significant, they admit. Many Slovak distributors attribute the plunge to the worldwide trend, blamed on the lack of major box office hits coming out of the US market. But Mária Pichnarcíková from the Association of Cinema Operators told journalists that it is the simple economics of Slovak society that prevent people from choosing what has become expensive entertainment. More and more small screens are disappearing and are replaced by multiplexes where ticket prices are well above the national average of nearly one euro.
Slovakia’s audiovisual output is one of the lowest in Europe with only two fully fledged Slovak films produced in 2004.
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