Brits, penguins and buses battle wizards and apes
by Boyd van Hoeij
24/01/2006 - The onslaught of American big budget productions dominated the Dutch screens in January with over half of them booked with either The Chronicles of Narnia (the current number one),King Kong, Harry Potter or the animated Disney release Chicken Little. These four titles, all of them November and December holdovers, will end up with around € 21 million between them.
Flemish children film Plop en het vioolavontuur (Plop and the violin adventure), released by Independent film, and the local Warner Bros frightener De griezelbus (The Horror Bus) are both near the end of their theatrical lives as each pushed past € 1 million. Warner Bros has done an excellent job at recouping some of its losses due to The Bus’s weak December opening by profiting from the extension of the Christmas holidays into this month.
As elsewhere, French documentary March of the Penguins [trailer] proved a break out hit with young and old alike and will probably score just shy of half a million when the month is over in what has been an exceptional box office run for both a French film and a documentary.
The January box office was also kind to British productions, including Woody Allen’s Match point, which debuted this weekend with almost € 6,000 per copy, the highest average of the top twenty. Brit horror was represented by The Dark, which did well with a € 3,250 average in limited release, while Shakespeare adaptation The Merchant of Venice [trailer] did over € 3,000 per screen. The dark comedy Keeping Mum [trailer] with Rowan Atkinson lifted its total cume to over € 500,000 as did the Ralph Fiennes thriller The Constant Gardener [trailer]. On the other hand, Mrs Henderson Presents, currently in its second week, seems headed for box office oblivion with a total gross of under € 40,000.