May the 29th, 2023 – Film lovers have begun returning to Croatian cinemas in gradually greater numbers in the post-pandemic period, but we’re still nowhere near the numbers of cinema-goers we once saw before the coronavirus pandemic struck back at the beginning of 2020.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, for the second year in a row, people have gradually been returning to Croatian cinemas in greater numbers and more and more films are being watched, but those numbers still haven’t reached the levels they were at before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Croatian cinemas were of course closed due to epidemiological measures in force at the time which prohibited, among other things, the gathering of larger numbers of people indoors. According to the CBS data, compared to 2021, last year, the number of films shown increased by 9 percent, and the number of visitors to Croatian cinemas by 22 percent, while compared to the pre-pandemic results, the number of screenings almost reached the levels we saw back in 2019.
In accordance with the return of viewers to Croatian cinemas, income from ticket sales also increased by 25 percent. The biggest growth of all was recorded by concerts, plays and other alternative events, which increased by 138 percent compared to 2021, but they have the smallest share in the entire structure.
The number of Croatian cinemas has also increased, and the country is currently richer for three more than it was back in 2022. It’s also interesting to note that the City of Zagreb isn’t home to the largest number of Croatian cinemas. There are twice as many cinemas in Split-Dalmatia County, 16 of them in total, and 9 in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
However, Zagreb still has the largest number of movie theatres with the largest number of visitors. Of the 189 cinemas across the Republic of Croatia, 52 of them are located in Zagreb, 34 are in Split-Dalmatia County, and 20 can be found in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and the ratio of the number of films shown and viewers of them in those cinemas is similar. A total of 181.6 thousand films were shown last year, with 3,159 viewers, and of these, the most films shown (67.5 thousand) and viewers (1.4 million) were in Zagreb’s cinemas. Four Croatian counties – Krapina-Zagorje, Koprivnica-Krizevci, Pozega-Slavonia and Brod-Posavina – all have at least one theatre hall each, with Krapina-Zagorje having the smallest number of films screened.
Most Croatian cinemas boast between 200 and 300 seats, and only one has more than two thousand in total. It’s also worth noting that 508 people were employed in various Croatian cinemas, almost all of them on full-time contracts, and from the sale of tickets last year, Croatian cinemas earned a total of 111.2 million kuna gross, while alternative content brought them 1.7 million kuna kuna.
Back in pre-pandemic 2019, there was actually a record number of viewers recorded visiting Croatian cinemas, higher than in the previously record year of 1994, a total of 5.03 million of them, but as a result of the global public health crisis, that number fell to 1.5 million.
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