This Life seats 750,000 Danes, followed by A Royal Affair’s 500,000
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
06/06/2012 - This month (June 3) Danish directors Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis’s This Life (aka The Hvidsten Group) and Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair [trailer, film focus] changed divisions – This Life became one of the 12 Danish features which has since 1976 sold more than 750,000 tickets, while A Royal Affair exceeded 500,000.
“It has never happened before that two domestic films have taken 1.2 million admissions within three months,” said Danish producer Regner Grasten (This Life), adding “since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was No 1 on the Danish charts in 2011 from 663,000 tickets, there is no doubt that This Life will win this year. Sorry, Batman, you were never that close.”
Regner Grasten Filmproduktion has previously been involved in two Danish above-750,000 performers, Per Holst’s Walter and Carlo – Up on Daddy’s Hat (1985) and Morten Lorentzen’s Crumbs – Santa’s Little Helper (2006). Meanwhile, This Life has been selected for the 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival between June 29-July 7, where US trade paper Variety has included Riis in the Ten European Directors to Watch sidebar.
Scripted by Ib Kastrup, Jørgen Kastrup and Torvald Lervad, Riis-Grasten’s historical drama depicts patriotic resistance in the small town of Hvidsten during Nazi-Germany’s 1940-1945 occupation of Denmark in World War II. In the same genre, somewhat earlier, A Royal Affair follows the 18th century love affair at the Danish court between the king’s physician-in-ordinary and the queen.
“It is rare that local historical dramas are successful in the Danish cinemas; as for the Arcel film, it has had a tremendously broad appeal to attract both young and older audiences in the big cities as well as in the province,” said Nordisk Film A/S CEO Jan Lehmann.
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander and Mikkel Bo Følsgaard, the Louise Vesth, Meta Foldager and Sisse Graum Jørgensen production for Zentropa Entertainments – which won two prizes at the recent Berlinale - will next open in the UK (June 15), where Metrodome Distribution will cater for the widest release so far for a Danish feature.