COLOGNE, Germany – Headhunters, the Norwegian crime thriller based on the novel by Jo Nesbo, continues to set box office records in its home territory. This weekend Headhunters receipts should pass the 50 million Kroner mark – around $9 million. That’s more than twice the $4 million earned by Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon in the territory and puts tiny Headhunters (budget $5 million) in a class with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, this year’s box office champ in Norway with a total take of $11 million.
In terms of admissions, Headhunters is already the most successful film released in Norway this year, with 535,000 tickets sold. That’s about 20,000 less than Potter 7.2 but ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which sold 508,000 tickets in Norway. Pirates has a greater gross, however, due to higher prices for 3D tickets.
Across the Nordic territories, Headhunters has earned more than $11 million and has still to be released in Sweden, the region’s largest market, where it bows next week. Sales group TrustNordisk, which is screening Headhunters at the American Film Market in Santa Monica next week, has already closed deals for the title on most major territories, including with Magnolia Pictures for the U.S.
The success of the film, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Aksel Hennie, has put author Nesbo at the top of the list of Scandinavian crime writers poised to inherit the mantle of the late Stieg Larsson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). Summit Entertainment has picked up English-language remake rights to Nesbo’s original Headhunters novel. And Martin Scorsese has expressed interest in directing the film version of the author’s Snowman, featuring Nesbo’s most famous character, the anti-authority, anti-sobriety Oslo detective Harry Hole. Nesbo is an executive producer on the Snowman project, which Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) are producing.