Director Steven de Jong's new film, The Skippers Of The Kameleon (De Schippers Van De Kameleon) swept into Dutch cinemas last weekend with a $414,743 (Euros 362,900) opening gross.
The Dutch-language film, released by Independent Film with Bridge Entertainment, sold 84,000 tickets in its first five days, setting an opening weekend record for a local family/children's title.
Kameleon is the biggest Dutch opening so far this year, ahead of Independent Film's Liever Verliefd ($285,851, March 13) and RCV's Godforsaken (Van God Los) ($236,051, April 24). These titles have gone on to gross $2m and $1.5m respectively, though pale in comparison to last year's local hits Peter Bell (Pietje Bell) ($5.3m, BVI) and Twin Sisters (De Tweeling) ($4.6m, RCV).
The Skippers Of The Kameleon is based on a book from the popular series of children's titles by late author Hotze de Roos, who, like de Jong, was from the Friesland region of The Netherlands.
This series has sold over 13 million copies since 1949 and follows the adventures of twins Hielke (Koen van der Donk) and Sietse Klinkhamer (Jos van der Donk) on their boat De Kameleon. The screenplay was co-written by de Jong and Jean Ummels.
The advertising campaign started way back in November last year which saw a trailer for Kameleon show with hit family titles Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets and Peter Bell. A sequel to Peter Bell, once again directed by Maria Peters and starring Quinten Schram as the title character, is set to open in The Netherlands on Dec 18 for BVI.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Belgium a local release from Cineart is delivering a strong performance. Any Way The Wind Blows, directed by Tom Barman, recorded 14,000 admission in its first week on release in the territory - the best local opening in the past 12 months.
After a first week gross of $87,981, the film took a second weekend (five days) amount of $39,810 - 35% down from its launch weekend - and has a cumulative score of $127,791 to date. Any Way The Wind Blows opens in The Netherlands for A-Film Distribution in October.