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Italians flock to political satire

'Whatsoeverly' scores $7.4 million opening weekend

As Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi’s sex scandal snowballs, local comedy “Qualunquemente” (Whatsoeverly), about a flashy pol who loves sex and hates justice, has scored $7.4 million at the box office, the best opening weekend for RAI Cinema’s 01 Distribution.

Helmed by Giulio Manfredonia and produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango in collaboration with RAI Cinema, “Whatsoeverly” stars comic Antonio Albanese as a corrupt businessman who goes into politics using the campaign slogan “I have no dream, but I like a bit of tail.”

Massively marketed, “Whatsoeverly” pulled a $13,000 per-screen average on 551 playdates. The top Hollywood movie in Italy is “Little Fockers” at No. 4. Pic took $1.5 million in its sophomore frame for a $5.5 million cume.

Albanese has played down analogies between his character and Berlusconi, who is under investigation in connection to sex with a minor and other women during what wiretap transcripts depict as orgiastic parties at his mansion.

La Stampa critic Fulvia Caprara, commenting on the pic, underlined that “reality — now, more than ever — has vastly overtaken (cinematic) fiction.”

Berlusconi, who denied wrongdoingg, says the prostitution probe is a smear job by politically hostile magistrates.

“Whatsoever- ly” will play in the Berlin fest’s Panorama section in February. Fandango Portobello is selling internationally.

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