MOSCOW -- The proportion of local movies' admissions at the Polish box office reached 30 percent in 2011, which became the highest figure in Central and Eastern Europe.
According to data from the European Audiovisual Observatory, Poland surpassed the Czech Republic (29 percent), which for several years had been the leader among Central and Eastern European countries, but was behind France (41.6 percent), Italy (37.5 percent) and the United Kingdom (36.2 percent).
The successful performance of the local fare was largely achieved thanks to several Polish box office champions. Piotr Weresniak's comedy Och, Karol 2 (Oh, Karol 2), a sequel to a popular 1985 movie, reported an impressive 1.7 million admissions. Sala samobójców (Suicide Room), a youth drama by Jan Komasa, generated 800,000 admissions, which was an extraordinary performance for the first-time feature director.
Meanwhile, Wyjazd integracyjny (Integration Trip), by Przemysław Angerman set the year's record as the best performing local movie during the opening weekend. This comedy, focused on corporate life, reported 277,451 admissions over its opening weekend in November.
Among other local hits were Czarny Czwartek (Black Thursday), a historic drama about brutal suppression by communist authorities of a popular unrest in Gdynya back in 1970, directed by veteran Antoni Krauze, and Weekend, a directorial debut by well-known actor Cezary Pazura.
The Polish film industry also has one of the strongest public-sector funding systems in Central and Eastern Europe.