German 'The Office,' Turkish Comedy Rule Teutonic Box Office
Germany's version of Ricky Gervais and the latest in a Turkish comedy franchise left George Clooney's star-studded The Monuments Men clinging to a distant fourth place in the German box office this past weekend. Even Oscar favorites American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street were no match for Stromberg, a feature film spin adapted from the German adaptation of Gervais' Brit sitcom The Office, which topped the local charts with a $3.3 million take.
That was enough to displace the previous champion, Vaterfreunden, another local-language comedy, which brought in $3.05 million in its second session.
Stromberg's out-of-the-gate success is also good news for its backers, which include the thousands of ordinary fans who backed the film in a crowdfunding effort that raised some $1.3 million (€1 million) in financing. The Monuments Men, which enjoyed its international premiere earlier this month at the Berlin International Film Festival, delivered a respectable $2.2 million on its first weekend in Germany. But that was only good enough for fourth thanks to the extraordinary success of another under-the-radar production: Recep Ivedik 4 (The Wolfman 4), the latest in the Turkish franchise featuring comedy star Sahan Gokbakar. Recep Ivedik 4 brought in $2.2 million in its first four-day weekend, marking the best-ever start for a Turkish movie in Germany, which has a large Turkish minority population. The film is all but certain to surpass the $3.4 million take of Recep Ivedik 3 in the territory. Distributor Kinostar, which bowed the film in a platform release across 8 European countries, said it took in $3.5 million in total over the past weekend.
Behind Monuments Men, two other U.S. imports: David O'Russell's American Hustle ( $1.35 million) and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street ($1.08 million) rounded out the top five.
The success of Stromberg, Vaterfreunden and several other recent German releases – including The Physician, which has earned $42 million in German so far and teen comedy Suck Me Shakespeer ($72 million and counting) – means the local industry is on track for a record or near-record first quarter.