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Box Office Sales Tank in Hungary’s Cinemas on Reopening Weekend

Péter Cseresnyés 2021.05.07.

At the end of last week, most services in Hungary, including cinemas, finally reopened after a long time. However, weekend ticket sales were at a record low.

Only a total of 496 cinema tickets were purchased in Hungary on the first weekend in May, the very first days movie theaters have reopened since last November, reported news site hvg.hu based on the latest information from the Hungary’s Film Distributors’ Association.

Last weekend’s most popular movie, the 2020 comedy fantasy The Witches garnered only 108 ticket sales.

The 2020 animated film Trolls: World Tour finished second with 78 people watching it, while the also 2020 animated film Scoob! was third with 83 viewers. (The ranking is based on the revenues generated from ticket sales, not on the number of tickets sold).

In comparison, more than 440,000 people went to the cinema on the first weekend of May two years ago, almost 900 times the current number. The most popular movie at the time was Marvel’s superhero movie Avengers: Endgame with 141,266 tickets purchased. (Movie theaters in May 2020 were closed in Hungary).

There are several factors behind the record low box office numbers. Firstly, many people are still cautious to visit potentially crowded places. Additionally, movie theaters are currently only open to people who have vaccination certificates.

Furthermore, only one new movie premiered last weekend. But the most important reason is probably the fact that so far, only a small percentage of Hungary’s movie theaters have opened their doors to moviegoers, excluding multiplexes.

Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI