Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!, this year's winner of the Berlinale's Blue Angel award for the best European film, has become the top German opener at this year's local box-office and has been sold to more European territories by sales agent Bavaria Film International (BFI).
Becker's tragi-comic farce starring Daniel Bruehl and Katrin Sass was released by X Verleih through Warner Bros. on 175 prints and clocked up over 360,000 admissions in its first four days of release (from Feb 13-16), making it the best-ever opening for a film by production house X-Filme creative pool and the best German opener so far in 2003.
Apart from sales to Japan's Gaga Communications and France's Ocean Films, BFI has also signed deals with the UK (UGC), Spain (Wanda Film). Greece (Audio Visual), Denmark (Ost For Paradis), Russia (EA Cinema), Romania (Independenta) as well as the Czech and Slovak Republics (both Hollywood Classic Entertainment).
In addition, deals were closed with Hungary and - outside Europe - with Mexico (Cine, Video e Televison), while further South American deals and a US distribution are expected to be closed during the forthcoming AFM.
"No film has sold so well and so quickly since Run Lola Run", noted BFI head of sales Thorsten Schaumann. "Good Bye, Lenin! is thus already the most successful German film since Lola [which BFI had also handled] and we can expect more [success] to come.
With the success of Mostly Martha and the Oscar nomination for Nowhere In Africa a new acceptance has also developed in the US for German filmmaking so that Good Bye, Lenin! is certain to also be successful at the US box office."