‘Headhunters’ Helps Norwegian Features to Record Box Office

Headhunters - Movie Still - 2011
Cannes Film Festival

Local-language films take 58% of total box office in September.

COLOGNE, Germany – Headhunters, the Norwegian thriller based on the best-seller by Jo Nesbo, has become the most successful Norwegian title in history and has helped drive local box office figures to record heights.

Directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Aksel Hennie, the man-on-the-run drama has sold more than 500,000 tickets at home in Norway and 100,000 more in Denmark as it starts its international roll out. Almost single-handedly, Headhunters boosted the local-language share of the Norwegian box office to 58 percent in September. Magnolia Pictures will release the film in the U.S. and Summit Entertainment has secured English-language remake rights.

Even without Headhunters, Norwegian films are on a roll this year, with several crowd pleasers including Marius Holst’s King of Devil’s Island starring Stellan Skarsgardand Benjamin Helstad; the comedy Turn Me On, Dammit! by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen and family-friendly titles Totally True Love by Anne Sewitsky and Arild Ostin Ommundsen’s Twigson in Trouble.

And a slew of potential hits are still to come, among them Pal Sletaune’s Babycall featuring The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace, which opened last week, and Jackpot, a comedy-thriller from director Magnus Martens based, like Headhunters, on a story by Jo Nesbo. If the momentum keeps up, Norwegian films could take around 25 percent of the country’s total box office this year.