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BUENOS AIRES – Damian Szifron’s Wild Tales made box-office history this weekend in Argentina when it opened with 450,000 tickets (approximately $2.5 million), according to numbers by Ultracine. The film’s performance on its first weekend established a new record for a local film and also marked the best opening of 2014 for any film in the country.
Warner had launched Wild Tales with 288 prints, the biggest landing for a local pic since Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar-winner The Secret in Their Eyes. The timing for the release was nevertheless a plan B, as the film was originally scheduled for release two weeks earlier. But the distributor decided to pull it off at the last minute due to a union conflict between cinemas workers and foreign chains Cinemark, Showcase, Hoyts and Village Cinemas.
Produced by Argentina’s K&S, Telefonica Studios and the Almodovar brothers’ El Deseo, Wild Tales is expected to be among the top films of the year. The film, which competed in Cannes this year, has had an unusually large marketing campaign (for local standards), which mounted on the popularity of helmer Szifron — who directed TV cult hits such as Los simuladores, as well as The Bottom of the Sea and On Probation — and a cast of huge local stars like Ricardo Darin (The Secret in Their Eyes), Oscar Martinez (Empty Nest), Leonardo Sbaraglia (Red Lights), Erica Rivas (Tetro), Rita Cortese (The Inheritance), Julieta Zylberberg (The Invisible Eye) and Dario Grandinetti (Talk to Her)
Featuring six different and unconnected stories, Wild Tales focuses on people’s busting reactions to borderline situations through a lens tainted by black humor and a taste for physical violence. Although Szifron has repeatedly stated these characters and their stories are universal, the film’s success has been partly attributed to the way it taps into the current mood of Argentina’s edgy middle class and society living with issues like high inflation rates, crime and corruption that are highlighted in everyday headlines.
Wild Tales has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for U.S. territories.
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