The sequel to last year’s highest grossing local film has just set new records at the Danish box office. And that’s welcome news in an uncharacteristically soft year for homegrown titles thus far. The Absent One, the second installment in director Mikkel Norgaard’s adaptations of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series of novels, scored the best opening week ever for a local title (including previews) with 194,545 admissions after releasing October 2. Excluding previews, The Absent One (see trailer below) sold 131,480K tickets at the weekend, giving it the 3rd best opening frame ever for a Danish film. The biggest local movie at this point is comedy Klassefesten 2 – Begravelsen with about $9M in box office, but it is one of only two Danish movies in the Top 10. Last year, local pics sold 4M tickets with five sharing the Top 10 with Hollywood by the end. So far this year, Danish titles have about 2M in admissions.
The Zentropa-produced Absent One should help right the course some. A police drama, it bested the debut last year of the first installment, The Keeper Of Lost Causes, which went on to sell 725K tickets and take the No. 1 spot of 2013 in terms of admissions in the calendar year. Director Norgaard now has three of the top four best openings ever in Denmark with The Absent One, The Keeper Of Lost Causes and Klown – The Movie.
The trilogy of Department Q films is penned by A Royal Affair‘s Nikolaj Arcel – he’s also directing the third chapter which is due for release next year. They focus on chief detective Carl Mørck who’s banished to a basement office to run a cold case division. Nikolaj Lie Kaas (A Second Chance) and Fares Fares (Child 44, Zero Dark Thirty) star. The Absent One focuses on the brutal 1994 murder of a set of young twins. A number of clues point in the direction of a group of young upper class students from a nearby boarding school, but the case was closed when a local outsider pled guilty and was convicted. Lucy’s Pilou Asbæk and David Dencik (A Royal Affair) are also in the cast. Producer is Louise Vesth. TrustNordisk has sold The Keeper Of Lost Causes to about 90 countries and The Absent One to about 60. They are currently in negotiations for the U.S. Here’s the subtitled Absent One trailer: