Italy Box Office: Local Hit ‘Quo Vado?’ Sets Opening Records

'Quo Vado?' still - H 2016
Courtesy of Taodue Film

The new comedy started the new year off with a three-day gross that nearly matched the three-week gross of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'

Italy started the new year off right with a huge box-office hit from local comedian Checco Zalone.

His newest film Quo Vado?, directed by Gennaro Nunziante, smashed previous opening box-office records in the country, pulling in $24.3 million (22.2 million euros) over the three-day holiday weekend.

International Weekend 1/3/16

Rentrak for Weekend of 1/3/16
Weekend Cume
1. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens $96.3M $770.5M
2. Detective Chinatown $45.0M $58.0M
3. Mr. Six $38.0M $92.0M
4. Mojin: The Lost Legend $32.0M $230.0M
5. Nuovo progetto $20.0M $20.0M
6. The Peanuts Movie $16.8M $77.1M
7. The Himalayas $11.0M $43.0M
8. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip $10.3M $24.3M
9. Little Door Gods $10.0M $12.5M
10. The Good Dinosaur $9.3M $129.1M

Zalone plays a man with a comfortable government job who has avoided change his whole life until one day he’s relocated to the North Pole. The film from Medusa had a budget of 10 million euros.

The film set a Sunday record of $8.4 million (7.77 million euros), beating previous heavyweights like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Opening day and Saturday brought in $7.8 million (7.2 million euros) each. And the star beat his own previous three-day weekend record for Sole a catinelle, which brought in 18.6 million euros in 2013.

Quo Vado? is on course to beat the total haul record for an Italian film in the country, currently held by Sole a catinelle at $56.7 million. Italy’s all-time best film Avatar made $71.5 million at the box office.

Even Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was seen at the theater with his family to watch the Italian phenomenon. And the country’s Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini tweeted: "Thank you #CheccoZalone. The success of #QuoVado is good for all of Italian cinema and is a great start to the 2016 theatrical season."

The film nearly made in three days what Star Wars: The Force Awakens made in three weeks ($24.9 million). Yet the latest Star Wars film stayed strong at number two with $5.8 million as fans continued to flock to theaters. That makes it the number three film of 2015 in Italy behind Inside Out and Minions.

Bridge of Spies also kept steady in the number three position with $3.6 million. The Little Prince opened at number four with $3.1 million.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip took the number five spot with $2.5 million.