A-Film flies high with sadistic Santa tale

Dutch helmer Dick Maas has a local hit on his hands with Santa slasher movie “Sint.”

Distrib A-Film claims opening weekend set a record for a Dutch movie rated 16 and older, dethroning Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book.”

Figures released Thursday by the Dutch Film Distributors’ Assn. show “Sint” easily scored the biggest opening week for a Dutch film so far this year, taking €901,132 ($1.3 million) off 96 screens.

That beats the opening weeks of “Jackass 3D” and “Due Date” and buries genre releases “Piranha 3D” and “Paranormal Activity 2.”

Holland celebrates the return of gift-bearing Sint Nicolaas each year in early December, with Sint-themed kid pics frequently released in late November to exploit the holiday. Maas reverses the formula with a deranged Sint (Huub Stapel) kidnapping children and cutting a bloody swathe through the adult population.

Helmer made his name in the Netherlands with comedy series “Flodder,” before moving Stateside in the late 1990s for “Do Not Disturb” and “Down.””Sint” cements his return to Dutch-language film making after 2007’s black comedy “Moordwijven” (Killer Babes). Both films were produced by Maas and Tom De Mol.

Pic’s status as 2010’s top-earning Dutch film may be challenged in December with the release of “Loft,” a local remake of the highest-grossing Belgian film of all time.

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