More than 100,000 Danes invaded the cinemas this weekend to watch Ole Christian Madsen's war epic Flame & Citron. In its first three days of release, the two-hour-plus project welcomed more than 101,101 cinemagoers.

The figures makes the film a contender to be the most popular Danish film at the 2008 box office, likely to beat more typically popular family fare.

Local experts predict the film could hit 400,000 admissions by summer, a good sign for Denmark as local films have underperformed lately.

Ole Christian Madsen is best known as the director of small art house films Kira's Reason, Angels in Fast Motion and Prague. His new film is his first serious move into the international mainstream with a budget of $10.16m (Euros 6.5m) and production in Denmark, Prague and Berlin.

The storyline centers around two famous and notorious members of the Danish resistance during the Second World War Played by Mads Mikkelsen and Thure Lindhardt. They are supported by German actor Hanns Zischler and local mainstay Jesper Christensen.

The film is produced by Nimbus Film, which raised the budget from more than 30 international sources including Germany's Wüste Film.

The Match Factory are handling the international sales, which will kick off in earnest at Cannes.

The film was financed without pre-sales except to due to Nordic Territories, Spain and Germany. Due to the big success on home ground the German distributors are now raising their number of prints and are aiming for a September release.