As Scream 3 breaks records in the US, the horror genre is making its mark in Germany - and this time for a locally produced film. Anatomie, written and directed by hot young Austrian Stefan Ruzowitzky, attracted 320,000 cinema-goers over its opening four-day weekend. Making almost $2m (DM4m) from 386 screens, this beats previous opening highs for the original Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Ruzowitzky wrote and directed the 1998 international festival favourite The Inheritors (Die Siebtelbauern).
Juergen Schau, general manager of Anatomie's distributor Columbia TriStar is particularly proud with the film's performance since it is the first feature to come out of the major's German production arm Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion. The company was launched two years ago during the Berlin Film Festival with German-American Andrea Willson at the helm as managing director.
'The success of Anatomie shows that there is an interest from German cinema audiences in the German thriller market as well as wanting to see local stars,' said Schau.
Anatomie stars Franka Potente who played Lola in Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run and Benno Fuermann last seen in St. Pauli Night last year. Anatomie's success will also be encouraging for rival German distributor Concorde Film which has its own locally-produced thriller, Flashback - Murderous Holidays (Flashback - Moerderische Ferien), set for release on April 6.
Flashback features a raft of young acting talent including Valerie Niehaus, Alexandra Neldel, Simone Hanselmann, award-winning Austrian actor Xaver Hutter and veteran actress Elke Sommer. Directed by Michael Karen, the film has an impeccable horror pedigree having been scripted by Hammer horrormeister Jimmy Sangster.