‘Les Boys’ sets Quebec record

Comedy pulls in $385,000 in ticket sales

MONTREAL — A salty blue-collar comedy about a bunch of guys who blow off steam by playing hockey together has set a new record for opening-weekend box office performance in Quebec.

“Les Boys,” which was launched across the Canadian province on Friday, garnered the biggest numbers ever for a homegrown Quebec movie, pulling in C$540,000 ($385,000) in ticket sales.

Prior to “Les Boys’ ” boffo numbers, the top-grossing weekend tally for a Quebec film was $336,000, earned by “Ding et Dong: Le Film” back in 1990. The No. 3 spot in the Quebec cinema history books is held by the 1989 comedy “Cruising Bar,” which garnered $264,000 on its opening weekend. “Cruising Bar” went on to become the top box office success ever in Quebec, with overall ticket sales of $2.3 million.

“Les Boys” opened on 52 screens across the province on Friday — also a record for a Quebec movie — and it will move up to 57 copies this coming weekend. The French-lingo pic more than doubled the closest competition for the weekend, “Scream 2,” which grossed $190,000 in Quebec.

Directed by Louis Saia, the story by screenwriter Christian Fournier chronicles the ups and downs of a garage-league hockey team. The hapless squad, which is coached by a tavern owner (Remy Girard), features a motley crew of real estate agents, cops, mechanics, lawyers and stoned-out hippies. Most of the action takes place in the locker room and on the ice, climaxing with a decisive game against a bruising, tough team run by a small-time hood.

The cast includes a slew of well-known local stars, notably Marc Messier, Patrick Huard, Serge Theriault and Michel Barrette.

Producer Richard Goudreau, who runs Montreal-based Melenny Prods., came up with the original idea for “Les Boys.”

CFP Intl. has all world rights to “Les Boys” and will be launching the pic internationally at the AFM mart. Goudreau also said work has already begun on the script for “Les Boys 2.”

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