‘Loft’ takes half of Belgian box office

Van Looy follows up on 'Alzheimer' success

BRUSSELS — Flemish thriller “Loft” has broken records in its first weekend on Belgian screens, attracting more than half the total audience.

Distrib Independent Films claims a B.O. gross of E739,000 ($919,196).

Pic bowed last Wednesday on 32 screens, with theaters adding extra shows to meet demand over the weekend.

“Loft” is the first movie from helmer Erik Van Looy since 2003 hit “De Alzheimer Zaak” (Memory of a Killer).

Helmer’s reputation, the participation of noted TV scribe Bart De Pauw and a cast packed with local celebs ensured plenty of pre-bow publicity.

Pic tells the story of five married men who keep a luxury apartment for romantic liaisons. When a dead girl is found hand-cuffed to the bed, accusations fly and plots are hatched to avoid discovery.

The 126,400 tickets sold so far already make “Loft” the third most popular local film of the year, according to the Flemish Audiovisual Fund.

First and second are romantic drama “Moscow, Belgium” and kid flick “Samson en Gert: Hotel Op Stelten.”

With the market for Flemish films dominated by Kinepolis Film Distribution, “Loft” marks a Belgian breakthrough for Amsterdam-based Independent.

Release is the first theatrical feature from the TV production house Woestijnvis, which has Van Looy under contract. Helmer announced in August that this obligation meant he could not continue plans for a sequel to “De Alzheimer Zaak.”