Eyeing an early 2016 release, Magnolia Pictures has taken U.S. rights to Norwegian disaster thriller The Wave. The film by Roar Uthaug is Norway’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar and has its international premiere tonight in Toronto. A box office smash at home, it’s the No. 1 movie of the year — after only three weeks in release — besting Hollywood titles Minions and Furious 7. It’s already sold 523,847 tickets. (Check out the trailer below.)
Billed as the first Nordic disaster movie, The Wave is based on a scarily plausible premise. There are more than 300 unstable mountainsides in Norway — one of the largest is Åkerneset, a system of expanding cracks 800 meters long. It is accepted fact that one day it will fall, and when it does, the resulting rockslide will create an 80-meter high tsunami that will hit the local community of Geiranger after just 10 minutes. At the center of the film, a geologist and his family race to survive the oncoming catastrophe.
John Kåre Raake and Harald Rosenløw Eeg’s wrote the screenplay. The cast includes Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro and Fritjof Såheim. Martin Sundland and Are Heidenstrøm are producers for Fantefilm Fiksjon.
Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles calls the film “an incredibly accomplished action spectacular with phenomenal special effects. But it’s also beautiful filmmaking with multi-dimensional characters and terrific acting. We’re excited that Norway has chosen the film to represent their country at the Oscars this year.” Magnolia is no stranger to Norwegian cinema, having previously released Headhunter, Trollhunters, Ragnarok, Pioneer and Happy Happy.
The Wave will play Fantastic Fest in Austin later this month and then hit the London Film Festival in October.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley with Susan Wendt of TrustNordisk.