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DISTRIBUTION Netherlands

Dutch crowd-pleasers do well Stateside

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Dutch crowd-pleasers do well Stateside

Very few Dutch-language films are released in the land of Hollywood, but two recent releases, Martin Koolhoven’s Winter in Wartime [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Bride Flight [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sombogaart
interview: Hanneke Niens
film profile
]
, directed by Ben Sombogaart have done admirably in the US during the first half of 2011.

Both films were huge hits when they were released in their own country - Winter in Wartime, a WWII drama told from a teenager’s point of view, was released in November 2008 in the Netherlands and sold more than 840,000 tickets locally. It was picked up for release in the United States by Sony Pictures Classics.

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Although it made the shortlist of foreign-language Oscar films in 2010 (for which films released between October 2008 and October 2009 were eligible), it did not make the final five.

It was released commercially in the US on March 18 2011 and has since amassed an impressive box-office total of almost $540,000, even though it was not shown on more than 26 screens. It is currently still playing on five screens, in its 20th week of release and is sold internationally by High Point Films.

Bride Flight, which opened six weeks before Winter in Wartime at home, tells the story of a small group of young Dutch people who emigrate to New Zealand in the 1950s. It sold over 360,000 tickets in the Netherlands.

The film was released on June 10 in the US by Music Box Films and has, in its seven-week run, amassed an impressive $365,000, with the number of screens oscillating between 17 and 24.

The result is markedly better than for Ben Sombogaart’s 2002 WWII drama Twin Sisters, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 and was released in the US in May 2005. That film made a paltry $1,563 during its theatrical release, though it did much on better on DVD. International sales of Bride Flight are handled by Beta Cinema.

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