Just three weeks after its domestic release, Stere Gulea’s Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time has become the most popular Romanian film in the last 16 years, with as many as 154,137 admissions, according to statistics published by the country’s most popular movie website, Cinemagia.ro. The Libra Film production was distributed by Transilvania Film, so far earning circa €429,000 (against a €1.5 million budget).
The film’s popularity may be explained by the success of the original movie, which many consider to be the best adaptation in Romanian film history. Released in the second half of the 1980s, The Moromete Family, based on Marin Preda’s novel of the same name, was watched by 2.24 million cinemagoers, according to figures made public by the Romanian Film Center - CNC.
Given the fact that the numbers are now dwindling (only 18,000 admissions during the third weekend on release), it seems that the sequel is unlikely to surpass the popularity of Garcea and the Oltenians, a comedy produced by Media Pro Pictures, which is still the most popular Romanian movie since 1996. Released in 2002, the film was met with overwhelming enthusiasm (despite being panned by critics), reaching a total of circa 290,000 admissions.
The success of Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time was certainly bolstered by the most elaborate promotional campaign ever seen in Romania. The production company and the distributor started their promotion efforts as early as the summer of 2016, when the project received €330,000 from the Romanian National Film Centre. Every significant moment in the production process was accompanied by press events and press releases, all culminating in a long string of early screenings attended by the cast and crew, almost everywhere in Romania – even in towns that don’t have a cinema any more.
Source: Film New Europe
The new release may be the most popular in 16 years, but it is far from being the most profitable recent Romanian production: Paul Negoescu’s buddy comedy Two Lottery Tickets [+] (2016) earned a comparable amount with a budget of only €30,000 (read the news).