By Fabien Lemercier
The Hungarian company HungariCom, specialised in the distribution of national productions, has been surfing a wave of success in the Hungarian box-office since the beginning of the year thanks to Miracle Film (Csudafilm), Elemér Ragályi’s first feature, and Heads Off! (Le a fejjel!) by Péter Tímár. Under Pál Prukner, HungariCom’s strategy is to invest on art cinema as well as mainstream films, which is apparently a good choice considering this year’s success follows a very good month of December. Indeed, at the end of 2004, HungariCom was distributing A Miracle in Cracow (Csoda Krakkóban) by Diana Groó, The District (Nyócker! ) by Áron Gauderet, and Colossal Sensation (Világszám! ) by Róbert Koltai.
Miracle Film, starring Katerina Didaskalou, Rudolf Péter, and Kern Andras, was on top of the box-office for two weeks after the release of 25 copies on the 28th of January. In seven weeks, it has generated a $375 000 benefit. Nice score for the story of Nikos, who lives in the underground until he miraculously becomes the heir of a chain of luxury hotels in Crete, but finds his sudden wealth does not go without a series of unexpected events. Heads Off! is a somewhat crazy comedy. It was only released on the 4th of March on 11 copies, but has already gathered $150 000, a good start for this Hunnia Film Studio production set in the Middle-Ages.
Apart from HungariCom’s films, this year’s champion, so far, is Fateless ("Sorstalanság") by Lajos Koltai, distributed by Intercom, with over a million-dollar benefit since its release on the 10th of February. As far as non-national European productions are concerned, since the beginning of the year the German film The Fall by Oliver Hirschbiegel (distribution Best) has won 580 000 dollars in eight weeks, and the French trio, A Very Long Engagement (distributed by InterCom), L'Enquête corse (Best), and Les Daltons (Best) have won respectively 100,000, 270,000, and 120,000 dollars.
(17th February 2005)