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International Newswire: ‘Fack ju Göhte 3’ Opens With $18 million in Germany

In today’s International Newswire, German comedy “Fack ju Göhte 3” sets fire to the local box-office; French movies dominate the box-office at home with a mix of genres; Germany’s Tiberius acquires Sharon Stone comedy “A Little Something for Your Birthday”; and Finland’s “Little Wing” wins Nordic Council Film Prize, one of Scandinavia’s biggest awards.

Constantin Film’s high-school comedy “Fack ju Göhte 3” opened Oct. 26 in Germany to a stellar box-office revenue of more than €15.4 million ($18 million) – by far the best start of the year.

The third installment in the hugely successful franchise from writer-director Bora Dagtekin follows a cynical ex-con-turned-teacher (played by Elyas M’Barek) as he tries to make sure his rowdy students pass final exams while facing the possible closure of his school due to its catastrophic conditions.

While the film had the biggest October start of all time in Germany and the third best start ever for a German film, it was still a tad weaker than that of “Fack ju Göhte 2,” which opened with €17.6 million ($20.5 million) in September 2015, but more than double the €6.85 million ($8 million) opening weekend gross of the first film, which opened in November 2013.

The original “Fack Ju Göhte” went on to earn nearly €54 million ($63 million) at the box office, while “Fack Ju Göhte 2” took in €62.7 million ($73.1 million), becoming the most successful German film of 2015.

The films have struck a nerve with moviegoers, particularly younger fans, with their mix of politically incorrect, laugh-out-loud comedy and burning social issues like poor education, bullying and immigration.

Plus ça change… Last weekend saw six French movies in France’s Top 10 box office. That’s unusual but not unknown. The new keynote, compared with 2016’s surfeit of popular French comedies, was a far broader gamut of French comedic hits and dramas, ranging from Studiocanal’s irreverent gagfest “Marry Me Dude,” which scored a first week 940,435 admissions (about $7 million) to Gaumont’s epic post WWI “See You Up There” and bittersweet chateau wedding slapstick of “C’est la Vie!,” directed by the “The Intouchables’” Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, and “School of Life,” from Studiocanal, a coming-of-age tale set in a magnificent 1930 countryside.

“When multiple French films bow well, it always creates a momentum for French movies and many different types add to audience, which is what happened last week, one of the biggest weeks of the year,” said Eric Marti, at comScore.

With French box office figures tracking on a par with 2016, at 150.4 million through September, French box office, Hollywood movies included, has a shot at bettering France’s final tally last year of 213 million admissions, the second-best in the last 50 years, Marti added.

As AFM moves into its final reel, Germany’s Tiberius Film has added three movies to its distribution slate: U.S. romantic comedy “A Little Something for Your Birthday,” starring Sharon Stone, French comedy “Aurore,” and horror film “Nightworld,” with Robert Englund.

“A Little Something for Your Birthday,” written and directed by Susan Walters, tells “a wonderful parable about friendship, life and the constant search of oneself.” Stone plays alongside Famke Janssen, Ellen Burstyn and Tony Goldwyn.

Blandine Lenoir’s “Aurore,” which is about new beginnings and the pitfalls of aging, stars Agnes Jaoui (“Look at Me”) as “a woman in the prime of her life, who is kept on her toes by her turbulent family, her job and a new love interest.”

“Nightworld” stars Jason London (“Dazed and Confused”) as a former cop, and is directed by Chile’s Patricio Valladares (“Hidden in the Woods,” “Wrong Trail”).

“Little Wing,” the feature debut of Helsinki-based Selma Vihunen, Academy Award-nominated in 2014 for short “Do I Have to Care of Everything?,” has won the 2017 Nordic Council Film Prize, one of Scandinavia’s biggest awards. Described by Variety as “a tender-hearted coming-of-age story shot in a low-key, realist style,” the road movie turns on a 12-year-old girl setting off in a car to track down her biological father. The prize marks further recognition for Vilhunen, whose second fiction feature, “Stupid Young Heart,” opens in Finland next year, and “Little Wing” producers Kai Nordberg and Kaarle Aho at Making Movies, whose “The Fencer” was a Golden Globe foreign-language film nominee.

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