Aftera catastrophic first half to the year (that saw box office down 19%year-on-year) the German box office was dealt a further blow at the weekendwhen the most anticipated local film of the year failed to deliver up toexpectations.
Siegfriedis the new comedy from Sven Unterwaldt, director of one of last year's biggestGerman hits 7 Dwarfs (7 Zwerge) which grossed $46.2m (Euro 38m) afterlaunching on Oct 28. 7 Dwarfs opened number one for UIP in the country,knocking Hollywood titles like The Bourne Supremacy and Shark Taledown the chart, selling 1.57 million tickets on its opening weekend for an$11.2m (Euro 9.2m) four-day take from 777 screens.
Despitealso boasting Tom Gerhardt, who featured in 7 Dwarfs, in the title role Siegfriedpaled in comparison. Distributed by Constantin Film Siegfriedfinished third and unable to unseat this year's DreamWorks Animation title, Madagascar,from the top in its third week nor Kinowelt's Mr And Mrs Smith fromholding second place in its second weekend. Admissions of 261,597 saw Siegfriedtake a disappointing $1.9m (Euro 1.6m) four-day haul from 562 screens.
Theresult is a fraction of the July 22 launch of Constantin's 2004 summer triumph (T)RaumschiffSurprise - Periode 1 which opened number one with 2.2 million admissionsfrom 899 screens for a $15.9m (Euro 13.1m) opening gross.
Significantly,however, it fails even to match the launch results for the much more serious Downfall(Der Untergang) which Constantin opened top of the chart on Sep 16 lastyear, recording 483,585 admissions for $4.25m (Euro 3.5m) from 405 screens.
Withthree such high flying local successes in the latter half of 2004 it will be asevere let down that the most high profile local title of summer 2005 has notseen a better start.
Unterwaldtis currently working on a sequel to 7 Dwarfs scheduled for release onOct 26, 2006, mirroring the original's release strategy.