Controversial French title Baise-moi (Fuck Me) racked up 5,634 admissions from only 64 screens on its opening day in its home territory (June 28), despite the fact that France was playing Portugal that night in the semi-finals of the Euro 2000 soccer tournament.
French exhibitor UGC - whose CEO, Guy Verrechia, received the exhibitor of the year award at the Cinema Expo conference in Amsterdam last night - may come to regret refusing to screen the film. The Gaumont and MK2 circuits both agreed to carry it.
However, Baise-moi may have to face a lawsuit aimed at changing its rating, following a complaint by Promouvoir, an association promoting "judeo-christian and family values".
Virginie Despentes' extremely violent and graphic rendering of her best-selling novel, co-directed with porn actress Coralie Trinh Thi and featuring two former porn stars, Karen Bach and Raffaela Anderson, in the lead roles, has been given a PG-16 rating.
For all the media attention, marketing the film as an auteur title rather than a porn flick was no easy matter. Producer and distributor Pan Europeenne - which made extensive use of the internet prior to the launch - also designed a very tame poster, which features only the faces of the two actresses. But even the title had to be removed from posters which appeared on the back of buses in the main French cities.
Baise-moi outgrossed Bac Films' more mainstream Gangsta Cop which attracted 1,898 admissions on 76 screens on June 28, and compares well with Gaumont Buena Vista's comedy La Vache Et Le President which attached 6,516 admissions on 203 prints.