Comedy reaches No. 1 at box office in fifth week

BUENOS AIRES — A local romantic comedy about a control freak falling in love with a cultured and pregnant woman topped Argentina’s box office March 8-11, stealing first after four weeks of lagging in the charts.

“Quien dice que es facil” (Who Says It’s Easy), Juan Taratuto’s sophomore pic, surpassed previous leaders “The Queen” and “Night at the Museum” with 30,353 admissions on 60 screens, according to provisional Nielsen EDI Argentina figures.

“Queen” and “Night” trailed with 28,830 and 23,658 admissions, respectively.

“Easy” also outpaced the premieres of “Norbit,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Notes on a Scandal” and “Crank,” as well as strong draws like “Babel,” “Rocky Balboa” and “Blood Diamond.”

“People are taking about the film,” Pascual Condito, who is distributing “Easy” under his Primer Plano Film Group banner, told Daily Variety. The word-of-mouth buzz is “getting people to go to see it.”

“Easy” premiered Feb. 9 in fourth, and in the following weeks climbed to second and third.

“It is a film that is not very Argentine. It is an international comedy about an antiquated man and a cosmopolitan woman,” said Condito.

The film stars Diego Peretti, who headlined Taratuto’s freshman feature “No sos vos, soy yo” (It’s Not You, It’s Me), and Carolina Peleritti (“Sammy and Me”).

Hernan Musaluppi’s Rizoma Films produced “Easy” with Spain’s MPC and fellow Argentine outfits Primer Plano, Film Suez, Zarlek Prods and Huinca Cine.

Condito expects the film, which had pulled in 310,000 spectators by Tuesday to end its Argentine run with 500,000 admissions.

With “Easy,” Taratuto is continuing to carve out a reputation for fresh stories that are artistically risky and commercially appealing, a rare combination in Argentina’s auteur-dominated industry. His “It’s Not You, It’s Me” was a hit in Argentina and Spain, selling 500,000 tickets in Spain.

Helping to build buzz, the producers inked with Argentina’s top television broadcaster Telefe to pump up the release, a first for an indie pic in Argentina.

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