Egyptian romcom “Bahebek” (“I Love You”) toplining local megastar Tamer Hosni has scored a smashing opening frame across West Asia grossing $4.2 million thanks to more than 300,000 admissions.
Hosni stars as a self-made businessman torn between the woman he’s about to marry and and old flame
The first four-day haul for “I Love You” marks the highest opening weekend in the region for an Arabic film, said Carlo Vincenti, head of distributor Italia Film. His company released the hit pic in Saudi Arabia, the region’s top market, where it opened at $2.3 million. This past weekend coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al–Adha.
Hosni, a multi-hyphenate who is a pop singer, actor, director, producer and more, also sings the main track in the pic, titled “Hadalaani,” which is also already a hit.
“Hosni has proven once again that his star power within Arab speaking communities is undeniably massive,” Vincenti noted.
The “I Love You” $2.3 million opening in Saudi tops the recent bow of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which opened in the kingdom at just under $2.1 million. It has also bested the “Minions: The Rise of Gru” first frame, which was $1.9 million. And it is only slightly under the Saudi bow of “The Batman” which was $2.6 million.
Hosni’s previous film, Egyptian comedy “Mesh Ana” (“Not Me”) in 2021 weighed in at No. 5 on the Saudi box office chart with an $8.2 million take.
“I Love You” is being distributed globally by Orient Films, the company behind recent Egyptian megahit “Waafet Reggaala” (“A Stand Worthy of Men”), which in 2021 pulled over $15 million in Saudi, making the Arabic-language “Hangover”-style pic the country’s top grosser ever since moviegoing was re-instated in the kingdom in Jan. 2018 after being banned for decades for religion-related reasons.
Italia Film has the film’s distribution rights for Saudi Arabia and Levant countries, which include Lebanon and Jordan, while Kuwait distribution rights are being handled by IFD.