‘Beautiful Day’ breaks Italo records

Laffer nabs $42 million at local B.O. in two weeks

Islamic fundamentalism-themed comedy “Che bella giornata” (What a Beautiful Day) has broken the Italo box office record for a locally made film set by Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” in 1997.

After just two weeks in release via Mediaset subsidiary Medusa, the mildly politically incorrect “Beautiful Day,” starring Mediaset TV comic Checco Zalone, has pulled in $42 million, slightly more than “Life’s” total take.

Helmed by Gennaro Nunziante, produced by Pietro Valsecchi and budgeted at around $6.6 million, “Beautiful Day” is about a security guard at Milan’s Duomo who becomes romantically entangled with an Arab girl who plans to bomb the Madonna statue on the cathedral’s spire.”These numbers are way beyond our most optimistic expectations,” Medusa topper Giampaolo Letta said Monday. “A phenomenon has exploded with this movie. It’s funny, it’s moving, but it also makes you think because it deals with an important topic.”

Letta noted that “Beautiful Day” is the latest in a string of more sophisticated Italian comedies, marking an important departure from the country’s customarily vulgar local laffers.

“There really is a new Italian comedy wave under way,” he said, “and this is something Medusa has been working on.”

Since October Medusa has grossed almost $130 million with four smart laffers which, besides “Beautiful Day,” include “Benvenuti al Sud,” a remake of Gallic megahit “Welcome to the Sticks,” and Christmas comedy “La banda dei Babbi Natale” (The Santa Claus Gang), starring comic trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content