Boon’s ‘Declare’ nabs $2.5 mil on first day

Best opening for a movie in Gaul since 'Coco' in 2009

Dany Boon’s “Nothing to Declare,” the French actor-director’s follow up to phenom “Welcome to the Sticks,” garnered a boffo €1.8 million ($2.5 million) at the box office on Wednesday, its opening day in Gaul.

“Declare” bowed on 1,036 prints, the second biggest opening in history in France behind the 1,078-print run for “Asterix at the Olympic Games” in 2008.

Though significantly below the $4.6 million first-day trawl of 2008’s “Sticks,” which is Gaul’s highest-grossing film, “Declare’s” out-of-the-gate figure is the biggest earning debut for a French film since “Coco” in March 2009.

The romantic comedy grossed an extra $2.6 million from preview screenings in Boon’s native Northern France in the week running up to its Wednesday opening.

Set on the France-Belgium border in 1993, “Declare,” like “Sticks,” lambasts prejudice, turning on a cowed French customs officer (Boon) illicitly dating the sister of his anti-French Belgium counterpart (Benoit Poelvoorde).