After years of commercial disappointment, which earlier this year saw the closure of the studio, Norwegian state-owned production company Norsk Film last week-end found the success it had long been denied with the release of its final film, The Greatest Thing (Den Storste I Verden).

Ironically, the costume drama based on a classic novel by Bjornstjerne Bjornson turned out to be the success Norsk Film so urgently needed when the Norwegian Ministry of Culture made its fateful decision to terminate the studio and transmit the funds (c. $7m) to a more commercially oriented enterprise.

Directed by Thomas Robsahm and starring one of the country's foremost female singers, Herborg Krakevik, The Greatest Thing grossed $196,564 during its first three days, beating off competition from Cats And Dogs ($193,586) and Julia Roberts/Catherine Zeta-Jones starrer America's Sweethearts ($145,962).

It also grossed nearly as much over its first week-end as most Norsk Film-releases managed throughout their entire theatrical run. Among Norsk Films more recent releases where coming-of age drama Lime, which ended its theatrical run with a total gross of $209,536, as well as the company's foray into English-language production, Aberdeen, which neither received international distribution, nor the domestic gross the producers might have wished for.