Beat Käslin • Swiss Director of Marketing of 2 Days in Paris
by Mathieu Loewer
16/10/2007 - Why did Xenix Filmdistribution decide to distribute 2 Days in Paris [trailer, film focus] ?
When we saw the film for the first time, at the Berlin Film Festival, we thought that its theme of culture shock would go down particularly well with Swiss audiences. Word-of-mouth publicity worked very well. I should add that comedy is an easy genre to sell and that Julie Delpy has been quite well-known in German cantons since Before Sunrise and Before Sunset were released there.
What was your distribution strategy?
We positioned 2 Days in Paris as a big auteur film – on the same scale as a Woody Allen comedy – and tried to distribute it in the best arthouse cinemas. In German cantons, we placed large advertisements in the national press and posters on public transport, which is not done very often for films like this one. In French cantons, preview screenings were held in open-air cinemas and there was a partnership with a free newspaper. Julie Delpy also travelled to Zurich and Geneva to give interviews.
How did you set the release dates in German and French cantons?
The film opened in German cantons on May 17, as in Germany and Austria. This enabled us benefit from foreign distributors’ promotional campaign and release the film before the summer. On the other hand, the release in France in mid-July, bang in the middle of summer, didn’t suit us at all, so we postponed the release in French cantons until mid-August. Distribution in Italian-speaking Switzerland is also planned.
How many prints of the film were distributed?
It was released on 15 to 18 screens in German cantons and 12 to 14 in Swiss cantons, but we made 21 prints because there is almost always a delay of a few weeks between releases in each city and the original subtitled versions in German and French are used in both regions. It’s an “average” release for Switzerland, where small films are released on three to five screens and big US productions, on up to 120 screens.
Did 2 Days in Paris have more success in German or French cantons?
By the end of September, the film had garnered 78,000 admissions: 65,000 in German cantons and 13,000 in French cantons. I won’t try to explain why a film directed by and starring someone French works better in German cantons. Although less French films are released there, there are other examples like Not Here to Be Loved [trailer] that have attracted fifteen times more filmgoers in German than in French cantons!