The highest productions in the history of Polish cinema.  The most watched films by Poles have made millions

– This is the craziest project for me – this is what his director said about the film. In 2014, it was the winning picture in the “Kino Wolno” poll for the best film of the 25th anniversary, which was conducted among Internet users and listeners of the third Polish radio.

Two years ago, in 2020, more than a hundred experts from the “Word and Film” Association and the National Center for Culture were honored “Freak Day” for the best Polish film past 30 years. A year ago, it was recognized by the University of Humanities and Social Sciences as a Polish film of all time. In June, Marek Kotersky also celebrated the anniversary. The director turned 80 four days ago.

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The most successful Polish production is “Kler” by Wojciech Smarzowski. Since he entered the screens in September 2018, he has earned more than 105 million zlotys. The earnings could have been greater, but he had to return the entire 3.5 million PLN – a subsidy he received for productions from the National Film Institute. Nevertheless, “Kler” is the highest-grossing production in 30 years. The film was watched in cinemas by more than 5 million viewers.

The picture about church sins, including the cover-up of pedophilia scandals, was expected to be a hit before it hit theaters. The accusations that he was working against the clergy brought additional publicity. In terms of the number of viewers, the picture came in third place – after the film “With Fire and Sword” by Jerzy Hoffman, and Andrzej Wajda’s film “Pan Tadeusz”.

The aforementioned Hoffmann movie is the only movie to have broken the 7 million viewer mark in Poland. No domestic or foreign production broadcast in cinemas can boast of this success.

“With Fire and Sword” turned out to be not only a popular, but also a profitable one. He brought in more than 105 million zlotys of profit, 200,000 zlotys less than “Kler”. It was also the director’s last great work and a tribute to his career. Henrik Sinkiewicz’s novels, “Pan Wołodyjowski” and “The Flood”. Both productions were popular at the time.

The third place in the rating of Polish films was taken by the adaptation of the national epic “Pan Tadeus” by Andrzej Wajda. The film entered cinemas in 1999 and was watched by more than 6 million viewers.

– The author of Pan Tadeusz must be pleased with the film – this is what one esteemed critic wrote about the movie adaptation of the saga. Others indicated to the director that he places more emphasis on stage design and the looks of the actors than on faithfully presenting their characters. However, not everyone was criticized. Bogusław Linda, who played Jacek Soplica – priest Robak, received a lot of praise. For the director, the production of the national epic was a dream come true. It also brought significant profits – about 83 million PLN.

“Quo Vadis” took fourth place on the popularity list – another adaptation of the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz and Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s latest film. The production was watched by more than 4 million people, earnings from it amounted to 70 million PLN.

In the post-premiere ratings, the most highly praised were: Bogusław Linda, Franciszek Pieczka and Jerzy Trela.

The director of “Pharaoh” and “Mother Jan of the Angels” was treated worse than the actors. Critics remembered the film again four years later, after the premiere of “Roma” – a historical series known as the production of all time. But defenders of the film stated that the entire production of “Quo Vadis” cost $18 million (76 million zlotys). Roma earned $9 million for each of the 12 episodes.

The fifth and most watched Polish film in recent years is the third part of the groundbreaking Christmas movie Letters to M3″, directed by Tomas Könicki. Maciej Store and Roma Gsiorowska did not appear in production. Agnieszka Dejant, Thomas Karolak and Piotr Adamczyk were shown instead. In cinemas , the number of viewers exceeded three million, more than two years ago, watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

The next, sixth place was taken by “Letters to M. 2” – a film previously directed by Maciej Dejczer. As in the case of the first part, in 2015, the distributors also released the film more than a month before Christmas, and this time they broke the bank as well. The film had its best opening since 1999 and grossed over 75 million PLN. Overall, in theaters, the production came close to surpassing the 3 million viewership limit eclipsing The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The seventh and most popular film is “Pitbull. Dangerous Girls” – the third film of the popular series and the only film by Patrick Vega in the ten most popular productions in Poland.

“Dangerous Women” came close to reaching 3 million viewers (2.8 million) – a limit that has yet to be crossed by any of Vega’s pictures. The film earned 35 million Polish zlotys.

Eighth place was taken by “Katyń” – a film from 2007 that for many people was the culmination of Andrzej Wajda’s film career. Filming this picture was a personal matter for the director. The father of the artist Jacob and his grandmother were killed in Kharkiv during the war, which was discovered by the artist only in the 80s, and the film was watched in cinemas by more than 2.7 million viewers. Production was also shown abroad, including in Russia. “Katen” won 9 awards and 13 nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Film in a Language Other than English.

She occupied “Letters to M.” Ninth place in the Polish song list. – The first in a series of three films from this series. Slovenian director Mitja Okorna’s production has been described as a romantic comedy and has been praised for its well-chosen script, lead roles, and brilliant episodes by other actors. The picture was seen in cinemas by more than 2.5 million people.

The same number of viewers came to the cinemas for the 2008 film “Legdes”. It is the greatest success of Andrzej Saramonowicz and Tomasz Konecki, directors of, among others, “Pó-Serio” and “Testosteron”. However, “Legdis” did not have good reviews. As it sometimes happens, the audience liked the film more than the critics. The painting earned more than 50 million zlotys.

Ewa Wesoka

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