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‘Amelie’ hits Quebec mark

Pic becomes top-grossing French film ever released in province

MONTREAL — “Amelie” has become the top-grossing French film ever released in Quebec.

Gallic helmer Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain” has grossed C$2.4 million ($1.5 million) in the largely French-speaking Canadian province since its release Sept. 7.

That tops the previous French record-holder, “The Fifth Element,” an English-language actioner from Gallic director Luc Besson, which grossed $1.4 million in Quebec.

“Amelie” has been a strong performer in its original French version and with English subtitles in Quebec. The French original handled by TVA Intl. has sold $1.2 million worth of tickets, while the subtitled print distributed by Alliance Atlantis Releasing has grossed $296,000.

“The word of mouth is incredible,” said Simon Beaudry, VP at Quebec box office tracking firm Alex Films.

Alliance Atlantis will give the pic a platform release in the rest of Canada, beginning in Toronto on Friday. Miramax Films opened “Amelie” on two screens in New York and one in Los Angeles last Friday, grossing $136,000 over the weekend.

The whimsical tale of a waitress with good intentions in Paris has been submitted by France as its official selection for the best foreign-language film category at the upcoming Academy Awards.

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