Schweiger in tune with tykes

If Til Schweiger is Germany’s hottest star, the combination of Schweiger and little kids is the super fuel that makes him burn even brighter. His latest film, “Kokowaah,” is a romantic comedy about a struggling screenwriter who is suddenly presented with an 8-year-old daughter he never knew he had, from a one-night stand he can’t remember. Debuting at No. 1, pic has already racked up over $18 million in its second week.

“Koko-waah” is the third in a string of Schweiger kid-themed hits that began with “Keinohrhasen” (“Rabbit Without Ears”) in 2007, which told the story of a cynical paparazzi journalist who is arrested and forced to work in a kindergarten in lieu of doing jail time. Despite debuting at the end of December, the film placed No. 16 in the Top 100 for the year, and after nine weeks in the Top 5, placed No. 2 for 2008. Pic was one of Germany’s biggest all time hits, with total box office of $50.4 million.

The sequel, “Kleinohrkucken” (“Rabbit Without Ears 2″), which focused a bit less on the kids and more on Schweiger’s relationship problems with the pretty kindergarten teacher, brought in a lesser, but still hefty, $40.2 million.

Schweiger’s 8-year-old daughter, Emma, who appeared in the two previous films, is his co-star this time around.

While these films don’t break out internationally, “Rabbit Without Ears” looked pegged for the Hollywood treatment when Newmarket picked up remake rights last year.

With a progress-to-production component that recently expired, a new deal with New Line is in the works.

Meanwhile the stuffed animal characters of the “earless rabbit” from the previous titles have been spun off as a children’s book, co-authored by Schweiger, and a 3D animation film being developed with Thilo Graf Rothkirch of Cartoon-Film.

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