Croatian Rom-Com Tops 'Rise of the Guardians' in Local Box Office

Sonja and the Bull h 2012

"Sonja and the Bull" from director Vlatka Vorkapic is about an animal rights activist who opposes bullfighting.

In a rare success story for Central European cinema, the Croatian romantic comedy Sonja and the Bull has topped the local box office, coming in ahead of big-budget competitors Rise of the Guardians and Cloud Atlas in its second week of release.

The feature, from director Vlatka Vorkapic, is the story of the vegetarian and animal rights activist Sonja (Judita Frankovic), who protests traditional bullfighting but faces a challenge when the persuasive Ante (Goran Bogdan) dares her to prove her love for animals by standing in front of a bull.

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Sonja and the Bull scored the best opening for a local film in 12 years in Croatia, bowing to $52 thousand (€40 thousand) on its opening weekend. In its second week in release, distributor Duplicato pulled in $74 thousand (€56.5 thousand), enough to claim the number one slot at the Croatian box office.

The tiny nation of 4.2 million inhabitants is hoping to continue its local-language winning streak with the release of two more Croatian titles early next year. The comedy Priest's Children from director Vinko Bresan (Marshal Tito's Spirit) bows January 3 and children's film Mysterious Boy, the sequel to this year's hit Koko and the Ghosts, which earned nearly $300,000 locally, goes out in early March. 

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