La comédie roumaine Teambuilding menace de détrôner le record d’Avatar au box-office national
par Ştefan Dobroiu
- Avec plus de 800 000 entrées en six semaines, cette comédie indépendante de Matei Dima, Cosmin Nedelcu et Alex Coteţ est le film roumain le plus populaire depuis 1994
Cet article est disponible en anglais.
If, ten years ago, someone had predicted that a Romanian film would rival the popularity of James Cameron’s re-released Avatar [+lire aussi :
fiche film] in the local box-office charts, it would definitely have been met with disbelief. And yet, Matei Dima, Cosmin Nedelcu and Alex Coteţ’s independent comedy Teambuilding has racked up 804,547 admissions in six weeks, earning circa €3.84 million.
In order to find a more popular domestic release, one would have to go as far back as 1994, when Mircea Mureşan’s The Second Fall of Constantinople ended its long run in cinemas with a total of 1.33 million admissions. There is a very slim chance that Teambuilding will exceed that number, but even so, the production company, Vidra Productions, can still brag about the film being the most popular release since 2009, defeating Hollywood blockbusters such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Endgame, Aquaman and Fast & Furious 8, all having topped the yearly box office in their respective years of release.
Teambuilding centres on a corporate mid-level manager (Matei Dima), whose boss (Şerban Pavlu) plans to replace the entire department with artificial intelligence. In a desperate attempt to save his team from being fired, the manager promises to win a competition at the company’s next teambuilding session, where the best people from the regional branches fight for the coveted Joy Cup.
Using the famous expression “kind reminder” (which has a not-so-kind meaning in the corporate world) as its tagline, the film playfully explores various issues involved in working in a corporation, mixing in a generous dose of regional stereotypes, in a manner made famous by Dany Boon’s superhit Welcome to the Sticks [+lire aussi :
Teambuilding is only the newest example of a different approach to filmmaking in Romania. If years ago, only a few people would have dared to make an independent movie, the industry being almost completely dependent on financial support from the Romanian National Film Center, now popular (and, more importantly, profitable) independent productions are not so rare any more. After a tipping point was reached in 2016 by Paul Negoescu’s Two Lottery Tickets [+lire aussi :
interview : Paul Negoescu
fiche film], which earned significantly more than its very small budget, several films tried the same method, with Jesús del Cerro’s Miami Bici [+lire aussi :
fiche film] being the most popular before Teambuilding, taking 552,000 admissions in four weeks (the film’s run in Romanian cinemas was cut short by the national lockdown in the spring of 2020).
Right now, there are as many as three domestic releases in the weekly top-10 box-office charts, another feat that the industry could only have dreamed of a decade ago. Besides Teambuilding, there is Mirciulică (279,000 admissions in five weeks), a comedy based on a character made famous by hundreds of sketches on YouTube, and The Goat with Three Kids, an independent horror that reached 66,000 admissions on its second weekend in cinemas.
(Traduit de l'anglais)
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