Dany Boon's name gives heft to French comedy
PARIS — Pathe Intl. has closed a flurry of sales across Europe on Dany Boon’s latest comedy blockbuster “Superchondriac,” which has racked up the second-best first day box office – $3.2 million – of any French film since Boon’s own box office uber-phenom “Welcome to the Sticks” six years ago.
The movie, which marks Boon’s follow-up to mega-hits “Welcome to the Sticks” and “Nothing to Declare,” pre-sold to Prokino (Germany), Eagle (Italy), Volga (Russia), Eden (Israel), Vandetta (Portugal), Paradiso (Netherlands), Monolith (Poland), MTVA (Hungary), Spentzos (Greece), Megarama (Maghreb), Chantier (Turkey) and Gulf Films (Middle East).
Alternative released the movie in Belgium on Feb. 26. Pathe will distribute it in Switzerland.
Budgeted at €22 million ($30 million), the film centers on a middle-aged loser suffering from hypochondria (Boon) and his best friend, who is also his doctor (Kad Merad).
It’s produced by Pathe, Boon’s Les Productions du Ch’timi, TF1 Films Prods. and Belgium’s Artemis Prods..
Although the pic boasts considerable B.O. potential in French-speaking territories and in select markets, “Superchondriac” isn’t an easy sell for Pathe due to its big price tag and the fact that it belongs to the breed of mainstream comedies that are often too culturally specific to travel widely. Yet, the legacy of Boon (as a director) remains strong enough to enlist major distributors looking for what could be the next big French laffer hit.