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‘Untouchable’ touches off B.O. bonanza

Overseas hit will make its way to the States

Untouchable,” a buddy comedy revolving around the friendship between a quadriplegic aristocrat and a young man from the projects, has grossed €83.2 million ($115.4 million) as of Dec. 11. Pic has also performed well in Belgium and Switzerland, where it opened Nov. 2, taking $3.8 million and $4.3 million, respectively, in each territory.

With the Christmas holidays coming up, industry insiders are predicting the film could go as far as matching Dany Boon’s 2008 blockbuster “Welcome to the Sticks,” which had nabbed $193.7 million at the B.O.

Gaumont released “Untouchable” in France on Nov. 2 on fewer than 500 copies. Six weeks later, the film is playing on more than 800 screens throughout Gaul.

Gaumont bowed “Untouchable” during the Angouleme Film Festival in August. The distrib conducted a vast campaign in provincial towns, says Gaumont CEO Christophe Riandee, preeming the pic in many suburban regions before opening in Paris.

That strategy has paid off as “Untouchable” has played well outside Paris, accounting for 80% of ticket sales.

The $12.9 million laffer was produced by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun and Yann Zenou at Quad Films, the shingle behind Pascal Chaumeil’s hit “Heartbreaker.” Quad Films also produced Nakache and Toledano’s “So Happy Together” and “Those Happy Days.” Those films grossed approximately $11.5 million and $6.2 million, respectively, in France.

Repped by Gaumont, “Untouchable” has been sold worldwide. It will be released Stateside by Weinstein Co., which also picked up remake rights.

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