Italian Comedy ‘Quo Vado’ Breaks Opening Record

ROME – Italian laffer “Quo Vado,” featuring local comic sensation Checco Zalone has scored a record-breaking Euros 22.2 million ($24.2 million) in its opening weekend at the Italian box office, a haul on a par with the total take-to-date in Italy of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” after more than three weeks.

“Quo Vado,” about a Southern Italian slacker hellbent on holding on to his parasitic government job even when he is transferred out of spite to the North Pole, has pulverised all Italian first-frame box office results since its January 1 release via Medusa on more than 1,200 screens, occupying roughly one-third of the country’s screen space.

Pic directed by Gennaro Nunziante pulled a boffo more than Euros 18,000 ($19,600) screen average. Expectations are now for “Vado” to be en-route to besting the all-time box office record for an Italian pic in Italy, held by Zalone’s previous pic “Sole a Catinelle,” which grossed a total Euros 52 million ($56.7 million). And also of beating the Italo record held by “Avatar,” which stands as Italy’s top all-time grosser at Euros 65.6 million  ($71.5 million).

“This result goes beyond anyone’s imagination,” enthused producer Pietro Valsecchi topper of Rome’s TaoDue, which is a Mediaset unit.

In “Vado” Zalone plays a government employee of a remote hunting and fishing office who has shunned responsibility and change his whole life. When economic cuts are implemented, he comes out fighting.

Daily La Repubblica called the pic “a comic hymn of sorts, with some bite, to the lost wonders of a locked-in steady job.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opened Dec. 16 in Italy came in at number three this weekend via Disney, dropping 54 percent, pulling Euros 2.6 million ($2.8 million) for a total Euros 22.3 million ($24.3 million) Italo take to date, which is better than expected and marks the top Italo gross ever for a “Star Wars” instalment in Italy.

Mark Osborne-directed animation adaptation “The Little Prince” bowed strong at number two at the Italo box office via local distributor Lucky Red, scoring Euros 2.8 million ($3 million).

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