Curling laffer breaks Canuck records

'Brooms' nabs best opening weekend for English-Canadian film

MONTREAL — Canuck curling comedy “Men With Brooms” has swept its way into the record books with the best opening weekend for an English-Canadian film.

The Serendipity Point Films production grossed C$1 million ($625,000) for distributor Alliance Atlantis Releasing.

French-lingo hockey comedy “Les Boys III” also garnered $625,000 on its opening weekend late last year.

“Men With Brooms” top-lines former “Due South” star Paul Gross, who also directed and co-wrote the pic with John Krizanc. It is a romantic comedy about a former curling star, played by Gross, who returns to his hometown in Northern Ontario and re-unites with his old team mates for one last shot at winning the Golden Broom, a major curling trophy. Pic’s cast also includes Leslie Nielsen, Molly Parker, Kari Matchett, and Polly Shannon. It is produced by Serendipity Point topper Robert Lantos.

“I think it’s great for the industry,” said Jim Sherry, executive vice-president and general manager of Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution. “It proves you can compete straight-on with the Hollywood films.”

“Men With Brooms” was the No. 4 film in Canada on the weekend, with “Time Machine” holding the top spot thanks to $1 million in ticket sales. “Time Machine” was followed by “40 Days 40 Nights” and “We Were Soldiers”.

The timing of the box-office success of “Men With Brooms” is particularly propitious for the Canadian industry because federal funder Telefilm Canada is just kick-starting a major push to make more commercial pics. It also comes following a long dry spell at the box office for English-Canadian films.

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