ScreenDaily takes a look at the local and independent openings in key markets this week.
The reteaming of director James Huth and star Jean Dujardin has paid off wildly at the box office this week. Huth, who had the number one French film of 2005 with Dujardin vehicle Brice De Nice, is back with comedy Lucky Luke, a spin on the beloved character created by Goscinny and Morris. Dujardin plays the title gunslinger and helped give distributor UGC a big first day out with 112,053 admissions on 687 screens.
Cannes Palme d’Or winner The White Ribbon finally had its debut on Wednesday (October 21) and did not disappoint. The number two indie at the box office on opening day, it sold 17,298 tickets on 133 screens. Les Films du Losange, which sold the film internationally, also has French distribution. The film is a stark look at life in a German village on the eve of the First World War. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in the US this December.
Sin Nombre, from director Cary Fukunaga, was the third best indie performer on its first day out with 5,627 tickets sold on 52 screens. The thriller follows a pair of very different young people attempting to cross the Mexican border into the US. The cast includes Edgar Flores, Paulina Gaitan and Kristian Ferrer.
E1 Films UK is giving Lone Scherfig’s An Education a nationwide release from October 23. The coming-of-age drama, which stars Carey Mulligan, is set in 1960s London and follows a teenage girls encounters with an older playboy.
Indian-UK coproduction London Dreams has a limited release through indie distributor Studio 18. The film focuses on two childhood friends on their journey from a small village in India to London, to pursue their dreams of rock superstardom.
Famous undercover journalist Günter Wallraff disguised himself as the Somali Kwami Ogonno to see how racist contemporary German society can be in Pagos Pagonakis and Susanne Jäger’s Günter Wallraff: Schwarz Auf Weiss. X Verleih is releasing the documentary - which will also be shown at the International Hof Film Days next week - on five prints in Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt.
MaXXimum Film has a pan-European launch for Turkish director Levent Semerci’s action drama The Breath (Nefes) about 40 soldiers who are responsible for the protection of a military guard post located close to the Iraqi-Turkish border. MaXXimum booked the film in 60 cinemas in Germany, eight each in Austria and the Netherlands, seven in Belgium, three in Switzerland, and two screens in Denmark. In addition, the film will be showing at the Cineworld Wood Green and Odeon Lea Valley in London.
Constantin Film has high hopes for its nationwide release of Pope Joan by Sönke Wortmann, starring Johanna Wokalek, David Wenham, John Goodman, and Iain Glen after the film’s world premiere in Berlin’s Cinestar at Potsdamer Platz on Monday evening. However, German critics have been far from enthusiastic about Wortmann’s adaptation of the Donna Woolfolk Cross novel which sold over 4m copies in Germany alone.
Popular Spanish director Alberto Rodriguez’ new drama After will be showing on 123 screens through leading local distributor Alta Films. The film takes place over one crazy, drug fuelled night out on the town from the perspectives of three middle age friends all going through their own personal and emotional problems. Leading Spanish actors Tristan Ulloa, Guillermo Toledo and Blanca Romero take the central roles in the film, which was well received at the press screening and should match or better the $5.7m taken by Rodriguez’ previous film 7 Virgins.
Author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy continues on the big screen with The Girl Who Played With Fire showing on 355 copies in Spain, following the huge success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which took $13m in Spain alone. Daniel Alfredson replaces Niels Arden Oplev in the director’s seat, but the central character Lisbeth Salander, an intellectual bi-sexual investigator (played by Noomi Rapace) remains, this time as the suspect in a triple murder case. Vertigo Films will release the film, which has already outperformed its predecessor at the Scandinavian box office.
Fox will distribute Marc Webb’s romantic comedy (500) Days Of Summernationwide, following a strong poster and TV campaign. The film stars Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn, a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists until she meets Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
Finally, Filmax will release Josecho San Mateo’s thought provoking and challenging local drama Bullying, a low budget film about a young boy relentlessly under attack from his fellow students.