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‘Hinterholz 8’ local hit with Austria auds

Pic's numbers rival 'Titanic'

VIENNA — Austrian movie audiences are turning a local comedy into a local success story. “Hinterholz 8” has just topped the 500,000 admissions point, making it “the most successful Austrian film in 30 years” and drawing more per print viewers than “Titanic.”

Entering its sixth week of release, the comedy about the joys and disasters of building your own home is breaking all the rules here.

In Austria, films typically bite the dust after just three weeks. “Hinterholz 8” is still going strong, and with 100 prints in circulation — a number that outdoes even your typical Hollywood blockbuster.

Production company DOR Film is in negotiations for a German release. Even with $4.5 million in box office, there’s no way the $1.8 million film can see a profit in Austria.

Nevertheless, the pic is the talk of the industry in Austria, with insiders united in their excitement over its commercial success.

DOR scores twice

It’s not the only success for DOR Film this week. The DOR-produced Austrian Oscar selection “The Inheritors” (“Die Siebtelbauern,” aka “The One-Seventh Farmers”) has been picked up for distribution by Stratosphere.

Following its opening at the New York Film Festival, the film is going onto several screens in N.Y. and L.A. It’s the first Austrian film to get a broad arthouse release in recent memory. The success of the films has earned DOR nearly $2.5 million in reward grants from the Austrian Film Institute, to go toward its next productions.

Seeking German financing

Hoping to break through the Austrian glass ceiling, DOR Film is establishing a Munich office to take advantage of Austrian-German co-financing possibilities and the greater fund of German public monies.

Danny Krausz, general manager of the 10-year-old company, told Daily Variety that he has two English-language projects in development, which could go into production late next year. Both are Austrian stories with budgets in the $4 million-$6 million range. Krausz says it makes sense to shoot in English.

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