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BOX OFFICE Netherlands

Domestic hits and misses at March box office


After a quiet first two months at the Dutch box office, local productions came out in force this month, though with varying degrees of success. The most successful so far has been A Thousand Kisses (Ik omhels je met duizend armen), which premiered on March 9 courtesy of A-Film and is still playing on 44 screens.

This adaptation of the Ronald Giphart novel by the late Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen has made over €270,000 to date, a modest accomplishment even by Dutch standards. One of the film’s recurring lines is “Nothing is as vulnerable as success”, which seems applicable to the Dutch box office as well.

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Less fortunate has been another fiction adaptation: Het woeden der gehele wereld (lit. "The Fury of the Entire World") by director Guido Pieters. His €3m version of the Maarten ‘t Hart bestseller was released on 40 screens on March 16 but attracted only 2,000 ticket-buyers in its first week, not enough for a place in the box office Top 20.

The film’s distributor UIP told Dutch daily "Algemeen Dagblad" that they “knew that the film was not very good,” but that they “never expected the numbers to be that bad”, given the novel’s popularity. It was precisely this popularity that led a distributor in Germany – where the novel has sold over a million copies – to scoop up German distribution rights.

Two smaller films came out last weekend: Gangsta Blues (Bolletjes Blues), a hip-hop musical, and Song from the Other Side (Het zwijgen), a magical realist mystery. The former hit 15 screens for a respectable €50,000 its first weekend, while the later, on nine screens, suffered the same fate as Het woeden... , not accumulating enough admissions for a place in the top 20.

Candidates for box office success next month are the sports-themed films Don and Sportman van de eeuw (lit. "Sportsman of the Century") and the feature debut by laurelled shorts director David Lammers entitled Northern Light [+see also:
film review
interview: David Lammers
interview: Jeroen Beker
film profile
(Langer licht), to which Cineuropa will soon dedicate a Focus.

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