‘Untouchable’ challenging box office records in France

LOS ANGELES - “Untouchable,” a comedy about a rich quadriplegic and his black caretaker, has become a certified box office phenomenon in France.



By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 30 Nov 2011, 10:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:54 AM

Financed by French distributor Gaumont, the biopic has racked up $90 million since it debuted Nov. 2.

At this rate, it could unseat “Welcome to the Sticks” and “Titanic” as France’s top-grossing film ever.

“It’s extremely funny, but at the same time it’s melodramatic, and you have people crying at the end,” Cecile Gaget, director of international sales at Gaumont, told TheWrap. “It’s about two people who you would not expect to get along, getting together to put their lives back together.”

Gaget describes the film, which is known in France as “Intouchables,” as a hybrid of “The King’s Speech” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”

Thus far, the movie has sold 10 million tickets. In comparison, “Welcome to the Sticks,” a 2008 French comedy, sold 20 million tickets, while James Cameron’s 1997 drama “Titanic” moved 19 million tickets.

“Welcome to the Sticks” went on to gross $193.7 million in France, while “Titanic” made $129 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Working in “Untouchable”s’ favor, the movie is racking up repeat business. A third of French moviegoers who have seen “Untouchable” before said they intend to see it a second time, Gaget told TheWrap.

The Weinstein Co. purchased remake rights to the film last July and plans to release the French film stateside. A spokesman for the studio said a release date has not been set.

The deal gives the Weinstein Co. rights in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, South Africa and China, as well as distribution rights for pan-Asian satellite television.

Apart from France, Gaumont has sold the remaining foreign rights to the picture.

In the film, Francois Cluzet plays the wealthy man who is disabled in a paragliding accident, while Omar Sy plays the young man from the wrong side of the tracks who he hires to help him. Olivier Nakache and ric Toledano co-directed. “Untouchable” won the best film prize at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival and has received strong reviews.

The film has also been released in by Victory in Belgium and by Frenetic in Switzerland, where it has sold 256,000 and 165,000 tickets, respectively. It will next be released in Germany on Jan. 5, before going to Spain in March.


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