Norwegian distributor Egmont Columbia TriStar (ECT) plans to give low-budget local mockumentary Get Ready To Be Boyzvoiced a blockbuster opening by releasing it on 52 screens across Norway this weekend.
In comparison, ECT released studio titles such as The Patriot and Hollow Man on 50 prints and its upcoming Charlie's Angels will be released on 54 prints.
Get Ready, produced by Nordisk Film & TV, stars Norwegian comedian Espen Eckbo, who invented the mock boy band Boyzvoice for a television sketch, accompanied by the Christmas pop tune "Let Me Be Your Father Xmas". Against all expectations, the tongue-in-cheek song became a local hit selling more than 30,000 CD singles.
Egmont was encouraged to go wide on the film because of Eckbo's popularity, the success of the song and the built-in audience awareness for the mock band. The company is also banking on a short-run strategy to pull in big audiences in the run up to Christmas. "This is pretty much as large as it gets in Norway," said ECT marketing director Tom Erik Kolaasaeter.
The Norwegian Film Institute stumped up nearly half of Get Ready's $840,000 budget with the remainder supplied by local broadcaster TV2. The National Association of Municipal Cinemas is putting up funds to help 12 cinemas outside the main metropolitan areas screen the film.