‘Magnet’ proves top draw

Rapper Akhenaton penned, helmed youth-oriented pic

PARIS — A first film by a popular French rapper has discreetly scooped the best screen average, making nearly $8,000 per theater on 18 prints in the Paris region.

Across the country, “Like a Magnet,” written and directed by Akhenaton, has made $500,000 on just 97 prints. It went national five days ago, having first been released in Marseilles, the auteur’s native city and the film’s setting. Sales of the soundtrack, a collaboration between Akhenaton and Bruno Coulais, who composed the music for “Himalaya,” are also doing well.

Besides wowing a predominantly youthful public, “Like a Magnet,” which sympathetically portrays the everyday struggles of a gang of bored youths, has even won rather positive reviews from hard-to-please French critics.

Stephane Celerier, director of the distribution company Mars Films, said Monday the company is planning to release 10 more prints and will then “see what happens.”

Mars Films has recently achieved better-than-expected results with the French distribution of “Stir of Echoes,” which is still in the top 10 after its release a month ago and has so far made nearly $3 million.

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