'The Adventures of Tintin' to Bow in Quebec on December 9

It's a cultural thing: A strong opening in France has Paramount Pictures debuting Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's animated movie in the French-speaking Canadian province.

TORONTO - There’s no coincidence Paramount Pictures is giving a North American theatrical debut on December 9 to Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn in French-speaking Quebec - two weeks before a wide release in the rest of North America.

Ellis Jacob, CEO fo Cineplex, Canada’s largest exhibition chain, predicts the motion-capture animated adaptation of Herge's 1929-1938 comic book series will outperform in Quebec after opening strongly in France and elsewhere in Europe.

It’s a cultural thing.

“That (The Adventure of Tintin) will be huge in province of Quebec,” Jacob predicted.

In contrast, certain Hollywood titles like Captain America, Zookeeper and Cowboys and Aliens underwhelmed with Canadian audiences.

Another example is The Help, a movie about 1960s Southern-style racism in Jackson, Mississippi that to date has grossed around $165 million in North America.

Yet only around $10 million, or 6.3 percent of that total box office, came from Canada, which typically contributes around 10% of a Hollywood film’s domestic take.

“When you look at a movie like The Help, it didn’t work in English and French Canada,” Jacob said.

It’s not alone.

Tyler Perry titles like his three-film Madea franchise or House of Payne and Meet the Browns do little Canadian business.

And Hollywood theatrical comedies as a rule tend to underperform in French-speaking Quebec, while they connect well with English-speaking Canadian audiences more attuned to American popular culture.