An excellent first weekend for The Brand New Testament
by Aurore Engelen
- The new film by Jaco Van Dormael has not disappointed: it has shot to the top of the box office, taking more than 60,000 admissions during its opening weekend
Buoyed by a hefty promotional campaign, and unanimous approval by the critics, The Brand New Testament [+see also:
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile] by Jaco Van Dormael has drawn in more than 60,000 viewers over its opening weekend. These impressive figures are remarkable in more ways than one. First of all, the film has taken the top spot at the box office. Admittedly, only three new movies came out last week, but nevertheless, we still find big blockbusters like Mission Impossible 5, Ted 2 and the Fantastic Four reboot taking up Belgian screens, in addition to arthouse films such as Dheepan [+see also:
Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile] by Jacques Audiard and Irrational Man by Woody Allen, and even another comedy starring Benoît Poelvoorde (Family to Rent [+see also:
film profile] by Jean-Pierre Améris). The Brand New Testament has therefore taken full advantage of this first week of September, free from releases log jams, to beguile as many film buffs as possible.
Furthermore, the film, which was released on a few screens in Flanders, seems to have worked fairly well outside of its linguistic comfort zone, as it racked up 19% of its admissions in Flemish cinemas, while these only represent 15% of the theatres where the film was screened.
Finally – and this is by no means the least of its achievements – the movie is providing a substantial boost to the box-office results of French-language Belgian cinema, the theatrical performance of which is not always on a par with its success among the critics and artistically speaking. Thanks to a solid and charming cast, Van Dormael manages to reconcile audiences with critics, and the box office with (French-language) Belgian cinema. In light of the figures from the opening weekend, and if word of mouth works as well as it should, the film should be able to rival, or even exceed, the previous admissions record for a French-language Belgian movie – the one set by The Kid with a Bike [+see also:
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile] (142,000 tickets sold in 2011). It is certainly proving to be a shrewd deal for Belga Films, which released the film across almost 40 screens, a considerable number.
The icing on the cake is the fact that the film has also come out on top of the weekend box office in France, where it has racked up a total of 260,000 admissions in five days. While it will be difficult for it to reach the first-rate figures attained by The Eighth Day (3.6 million admissions), the movie has already doubled the results of Van Dormael’s previous opus, Mr Nobody [+see also:
interview: Jaco Van Dormael
interview: Jaco Van Dormael
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.