The winner at Saturday night’s European Film Awards of the best European Animated Feature Film Award, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s “Loving Vincent” has smashed past $20 million at the worldwide box office, an impressive and rare achievement for an independent animated art film.
Sold by Edward Noeltner’s Beverly Hills and Paris-based Cinema Management Group, and painted in Vincent van Gogh hallmark impasto style, “Loving Vincent” opened Friday in China to a first-day $1,040,000, ranking No. 5 at the Chinese box-office, via Bright East Films/China Film Group.
In further recent releases, the Poland-U.K. co-production bowed No. 6 in Colombia over Dec. 1-3 via Cine Colombia, clocking up $75,000 off some 30 prints.
With the final box office tally in China hard it call, “Loving Vincent’s” biggest result to date has come at the U.S./Canadian box office where “Loving Vincent” opened at the Lincoln Center on Sept. 22, in its first commercial bow and, following a national expansion, has hit $5.8 million after 11 weeks on release. Produced by the U.K. and Poland-based Academy Award winners BreakThru Films (“Peter and the Wolf”) in co-production with David Parfitt’s Trademark Films (“Shakespeare in Love”), “Loving Vincent” is handled in the U.S. and Canada by distributors Good Deed Entertainment and Mongrel Media.
In further standout results, South Korea’s First Run Pictures has scored $2.1 million and Italy’s Adler Entertainment $1.9 million, a near $1.3 million of that off a three-day event run from Oct. 16 as part of a Nexo Digital season of Great Art to Cinemas movies.
“Loving Vincent” has also performed particularly well in Poland – director Kobiela is also Polish – where it punched $1.5 million for Next Film, and in the Netherlands, earning $1.2 million for Benelux distributor Cineart, which reflects the huge fan base of the Dutch-born Van Gogh.
In a further $1 million-plus result, the U.K.’s Altitude Film Distributors has nursed “Loving Vincent” to $1.2 million from an Oct. 13 bow. Perhaps the most disappointing result to date has been in France, where animated art films can perform strongly while “Loving Vincent” has pulled in 103,000 admissions – about $800,000 – for TF1/La Belle Company off an Oct. 11 opening.
Results for independent animated movies of singular artistic style – and the Oscar-nominated “My Life as a Zucchini” is no exception – tend to vary immensely from territory to territory. “Loving Vincent’s” total box office of over $20 million, as its sales to 130 territories worldwide, remains a standout result for an animated art film, one which was near seven years in the making and made on a budget of just over $5.5 million. Box office of over $1 million plus in non-domestic territories is indeed now rare on any art films.
A murder mystery plumbing the circumstances surrounding Van Gogh’s death, “Loving Vincent” stars Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Chris O’Dowd, Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Eleanor Tomlinson. Scoring very largely bullish reviews – Variety’s extended review called “Loving Vincent” a “truly awe-inspiring portrait of the great Dutch artist” – the film still has to open in Germany and Spain of potential major markets in Europe. Results for Brazil still have to come in.
At Saturday’s European Film Awards, Welchman, in his acceptance speech, paid tribute to Van Gogh who lived and worked in the Netherlands, the U.K., Belgium and France and spoke and wrote Dutch, French and English fluently. He went on to say that “without open borders among our European nations, we could not have made this film” pointing out that the “Loving Vincent” recruited its 125 painters from all over Europe and beyond to hand paint the 65,000 frames of the animated feature in studios based in Gdansk, Wroclaw and Athens.
“Loving Vincent’s” European Films Awards win this weekend adds to 13 audience awards, including at France’s Annecy Festival, the biggest animation event in the world where the film world premiered in June. It has been nominated for the February 2018 45th Annie Awards in the categories of Best Independent Animated Feature, as well as Outstanding Achievement in Music in an animated feature film in both Music and Writing.