Film debut rocks German boxoffice

Stand-up star beats out 'Slumdog Millionaire'

COLOGNE, Germany -- He's had a rough ride from critics but German comedian Mario Barth got the last laugh this weekend when his film debut "Mannersache" (Man's Business) triumphed at the boxoffice.

The comedy, directed by Gernot Roll and featuring Barth's phenomenally successful brand of gender gap humor, sold 703,000 tickets in its opening weekend for a bow of About $6 million.

It was the second-best start of the year in Germany, after "Twilight," and the best bow for a German production so far in 2009. And since "Twilight" was able to goose its German figures with substantial previews ahead of its first weekend, Barth can claim the best four-day bow (Thursday-Sunday) in Germany this year.

Coming in a distant second was Oscar champion "Slumdog Millionaire," which drew an audience of 210,000 in Germany in its opening weekend. But "Slumdog," which bowed on just 190 screens, compared with 630 for "Mannersache," still had the best per-theater average, boding well for the movie's long-term performance.

Both releases are good news for German indies Constantin and Prokino. "Mannersache" is Constantin's best start since Tom Tykwer's hit "Perfume -- The Story of a Murderer" in 2007, while "Slumdog" is the second-best opening ever for a Prokino film, just behind Tykwer's "Run Lola Run" (1998).