Puenzo's 'XXY' a big box office draw

BUENOS AIRES — A hermaphrodite drama has done what few Argentine films do: It broke into the top 10 at the local box office.

Lucia Puenzo’s freshman pic, “XXY,” the story of a troubled teenage hermaphrodite, came in third with 40,806 admissions on 30 screens in the five days since its June 15 release, according to provisional ACNielsen EDI Argentina figures.

“XXY” stars Ricardo Darin, a strong pull thanks to his perfs in the big-selling “Nine Queens” and Oscar-nommed “The Son of the Bride.”  While it lagged behind “Shrek the Third,” which sold 683,250 tickets in its opening during the same period, and the 123,682 of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” in its fourth week, “XXY” posted one of the strongest opening results of a local movie this year.

So far, few domestic pics have drawn many viewers, with the strongest being Juan Taratuto’s romantic comedy “Quien dice que es facil” (Who Says It’s Easy). Released on 60 screens, it sold around 400,000 admissions in its February-April run.

Argentine pics generally take 10%-15% of box office receipts, far behind the 80%-85% that Hollywood captures with its heavily marketed and widely distributed releases.

Historias Cinematograficas, a local production house run by Lucia’s father, helmer Luis Puenzo of Oscar-winning “The Official Story,” co-produced “XXY” with Spain’s Wanda Vision and Pyramide Prods. of France. The latter is handling international sales.

Argentina’s Distribution Co. is handling local distribution.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more