Arcel’s A Royal Affair breaks Danish records in Australia and UK
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
17/07/2012 - Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair [trailer, film focus], which was launched at this year’s Berlinale to win Silver Bears for Best Original Screenplay (Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg) and Best Actor (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), is likely to confirm Danish producer and Zentropa Entertainments chief Peter Aalbæk Jensen’s prediction: “It will certainly become one of the greatest successes in Danish cinema, both domestically and abroad.”
With 515,000 admissions and €4.9 million box office in Denmark, it has become one of the Danish top three historical films of all time, and according to preliminary results from Australia and the UK the Louise Vesth, Meta Foldager and Sisse Graum Jørgensen production for Zentropa has become the highest-grossing Danish feature in the two markets.
After two weeks in Australia, A Royal Affair has beaten previous Danish front-runners including Lone Scherfig’s Italian for Beginners (2000), Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding [trailer, film focus] (2006) and “is on track to grossing more than €800,000”, according to CEO Paul Wiegard of Australian distributor Madman Entertainment. “We are thrilled at the way it has enchanted local audiences.”
Also, in the UK it has also become the biggest Danish success so far, having overtaken Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen/The Celebration, Lars von Trier’s The Idiots and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen’s Mifune (all 1999). According to UK distributor Metrodome, it has so far – in its fifth week – collected €380,000 box office.
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander and Følsgaard, the 18th-century love affair at the Danish court between the King’s physician-in-ordinary and the Queen will be launched in the US in November by Magnolia. On the www.rotten tomatoes.com filmsite, it scored 96%: 22 out of 23 reviews are positive.