Despite getting a critical mauling from the local press, Danish comedy, Polle Fiction, had the third highest ever opening in Denmark with 80,473 admissions, behind Anja & Viktor (157,000) and Olsen-Bandens Sidste Stik (100,000).
The first ever feature based on a TV commercial concept, Danish comedy, Polle Fiction, has made a huge impact on the Danish box-office. Released on a high 98 screens across the country last week, it achieved 114,191 admissions $700,000 (DKR 6m) during its first full week on release.
With a strong screen average, it swept past Ocean's Eleven, which in its 4th week has passed 200,518 admissions.
Polle Fiction is the first feature from new Danish production outfit FilmPeople, which consists of producers Thomas Lydholm, Peter Bose and Jones Allen, as a part of PeopleGroup, of which major advertising house Wibroe, Duckert & Partners holds the majority stake.
The $1.6m (DKR13.3m) feature, based on a TV commercial for Denmark's 2nd largest mobile phone provider Sonofon, Polle Fiction is a gross comedy about the nerdy Polle, who lives in a small village in the country. When a work accident sees him getting a huge compensation, an attractive single mother throws herself at him.
Polle is a classic underdog whose immediate popularity has been unprecedented. Dialogue has become instant catch-phrases, while the small town of Snave has had its city-sign stolen 18 times, and local businesses have seen a boom in visits and commerce.
The script was written by Jens Aage Pedersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen with additional ideas from Peter Stenbaek, Henrik Juul, Thomas Lydholm, Jonas Allen and director Soren Fauli. The latter, who also directed the commercials, made his feature debut with Count Axel (2001). In a move unlikely for the Nordic region FilmPeople financed the film with only private capital, with Sonofon putting up 45% of the budget, and with further backing from Ericsson, the Carlsberg-owned brewery Saltum & Neptun, SF-Film and Universal Music.
The popularity of Polle Fiction is mostly focused in the provinces, with capital Copenhagen only accounting for 16% of the box-office as opposed to the normal 30-40% for a Danish release.