The Berlin Film Festival may be heavy on art-house fare this year, but over at the multiplex, two German-language comedies are burning up the box office. And, they’re both produced by the local arms of a pair of Hollywood majors in a reteam with multi-hyphenate German talent. I’ve learned that Fox is in development on a U.S. remake of its locally-made Schlussmacher (The Break-Up Man), starring and directed by Matthias Schweighöfer, which opened in Germany on January 10 and has taken about $21M to date. After five weeks of release, the film that was made for about $5M, was number three at the box office this past weekend, selling more than 2M tickets so far. It’s a rare film that crosses the 2M admissions threshold – when one does, it’s often a U.S. blockbuster. Schweighöfer also wrote and produced The Break-Up Man about a guy who specializes in helping couples separate. He previously had a role in Valkyrie and starred in Fox’s 2011 German hit What A Man, which he also wrote and directed.
Also making waves is Warner Bros.’ family comedy, Kokowääh 2, starring and directed by Til Schweiger. It was number one in its debut last weekend, selling about 600,000 tickets and landing it ahead of Django Unchained. The original Kokowääh, which Warner also produced, was the top German film of 2011 with over 4M tickets sold. Schweiger is a big local star and is known to U.S. audiences for playing Sgt Hugo Stiglitz in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. He also has a role in Berlin competition title The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman which bowed here last week. Schweiger also wrote and produced Kokowääh 2, about an author navigating his combined family.
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