Full Version: Asterix Wins Olympic Box Office Gold...
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...But Faces A Monster Next Weekend.

This news about our favorite Gaul in from Hollywood:

France: new tentpole sequel power
'Asterix 3' leads international market with $31.5 million
By Hy Hollinger

Feb 6, 2008

"Asterix at the Olympic Games"
Europe joined the tentpole sequel brigade as the third edition of the popular French comic strip "Asterix at the Olympic Games" swept through key local markets to earn the weekend's international boxoffice championship with an estimated $31.5 million from some 5,000 screens in eight markets.

The French-German-Spanish co-production, rated the most expensive French movie ever made at $113 million, pulled in $24.9 million from France alone, but apparently found little interest in the U.K., where it was reported to have opened on only three screens to $4,000. Exact figures about "Asterix's" weekend performance were not available. Pathe, the distributor, said it would issue a full report of the week's performance on Wednesday. Several markets, including Russia, where it was supposed to have opened on 900 screens, are not included in the weekend estimates.

At any rate, "Asterix's" takeoff again demonstrates the growing strength of the overseas market in the early part of a new year when new entries, year-end holdovers, and Oscar-nominated films are getting conspicuous attention. Distribution experts say that overseas is definitely becoming an all-year market as demonstrated by Paramount's release of "Cloverfield" at this time of the year. The monster film took in $18.1 million from 3,174 screens in 34 territories for an early cume of $35.5 million. France is set to open this coming weekend, leading to speculation as to how it will fare against the second week of "Asterix."

Confusedhock: :? lol:


This is the film breaking French Box Office records and making not a ripple in England...

[size=150:2q3tu6uy]Asterix at Olympic Games[/size]
Bottom Line: Spectacle, celebrity are the selling points in record-breaking third outing for Gallic comic-book hero.
By Bernard Besserglik
Feb 5, 2008

PARIS -- The cast list is one to die for. The makers of "Asterix at the Olympic Games," the third in the franchise featuring Gaul's favorite comic book hero, have lined up Alain Delon, Gerard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Jose Garcia, Benoit Poelvoorde and Jean-Pierre Cassel, and that's only the actors.

Famous names from other fields who bolster the project include Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt (motor racing), Zinedine Zidane (soccer), Tony Parker (basketball) and Adriana Karembeu (fashion). Trailed on YouTube months in advance, backed with a massive publicity budget, opening simultaneously on 5,000 screens throughout Europe -- including more than 1,000 in France, the movie, boasting a record budget upward of $100 million, appears certain to pack them in. Nevertheless, the question must be asked: Is it any good?

Perhaps the fairest that can be said is that it's a curate's egg of a movie -- good in parts. While Asterix III is unlikely to win the praise of critics as its predecessor, "Asterix & Obelix Meet Cleopatra," did five years ago, it provides plenty of gags and visual trickery to please children, adolescents and celebrity-spotters and contains at least one noteworthy performance.

When the young Gallic swain Alafolix (Stephane Rousseau) plights his troth to the beautiful Greek princess Irina (Vanessa Hessler), he finds himself in competition with Brutus (Poelvoorde), the ambitious son of Julius Caesar (Delon), to whom she has been promised by her father. To settle the dispute, though she loves Alafolix, Irina says she will give her hand to whichever of the two wins the sports tournament about to take place on Mount Olympus. Asterix (Cornillac) and Obelix (Depardieu) lead a Gallic delegation to compete against teams from Rome, Greece, Egypt, Spain and other parts of the then-known world. Meanwhile, in a parallel strand, the buffoonish Brutus is scheming to get rid of his father by any possible means, including poison, in order to succeed him.
If the plot lacks subtlety, so do the gags, not to say that none of them are funny. The humor is hit-and-miss, with plenty of misses, and the jokey references to modern French pop songs will pass over the heads of foreign audiences.

What first-time director Thomas Langmann and his co-director Frederic Forestier succeed best in providing is a sense of spectacle. They make abundant and effective use of SFX and computer-generated imagery to produce an array of cartoonish effects, culminating in a chariot race that owes nothing to "Ben-Hur." The movie lacks pace -- 15 minutes could have been trimmed -- and that it nonetheless hangs together is mainly because of the efforts of Poelvoorde, the one actor who has a genuine comic talent. He plays Brutus as a cross between Caligula and Jerry Lewis and is the best reason for seeing the movie, apart from taking the kids.

Pathe Distribution (France)
Pathe Renn production, La Petite Reine, TF1 Films production, Tri Pictures, Sorolla Films, Constantin Film, Novo RPI
Directors: Frederic Forestier, Thomas Langmann
Screenwriters: Alexandre Charlot, Franck Magnier, Olivier Dazat, Thomas Langmann
Based on the comic book by: Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
Producers: Jean-Lou Monthieux, Pierre Grunstein
Director of photography: Thierry Arbogast
Editor: Yannick Kergoat
Production designer: Aline Bonetto
Costume designer: Madeline Fontaine
Music: Frederic Talgorn
Asterix: Clovis Cornillac
Obelix: Gerard Depardieu
Brutus: Benoit Poelvoorde
Julius Caesar: Alain Delon
Alafolix: Stephane Rousseau
Princess Irina: Vanessa Hessler
Couverdepus: Jose Garcia
Assurancetourix: Franck Dubosc
Panoramix: Jean-Pierre Cassel
Alpha: Luca Bizzarri
Omega: Elie Semoun
Humungus: Nathan Jones
Running time -- 117 minutes
No MPAA rating


Wait a minute. Are you saying they've made a movie, with real actors of the Asterix and Obelix cartoons?
Too bad this will never make theaters in the U.S. Guess I'll have to look for the "import" DVD
Indeed so!

Even though this film is breaking box office records in France it is unlikely they will find a distributor here in the US. These films seem to be a acquired taste. However, given the current WGA strike (which may end this next week) perhaps someone looking for product will bring this film to the US.
It does seem to be popular in Latin America.

As for DVD's -- there are some imports available of their earlier films ... 399&sr=1-8

These are expensive used copies and for fans a US released disc would no doubt be welcomed enthusiastically.


Quote:Wait a minute. Are you saying they've made a movie, with real actors of the Asterix and Obelix cartoons?
Too bad this will never make theaters in the U.S. Guess I'll have to look for the "import" DVD

Sadly, yes, they have. Three by now, in fact:
Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar ... _on_Caesar

Mission Cleopatra ... _Cleopatra

and this one.

They are probably not bad, in a slightly slapstick sort of way, but the animated Asterix videos are a fond childhood memory of mine and I HATE the live action movies with a passion.
The first live movie was really bad, Mission Cleopatra was actually OK, I thought. Except for the loss of Gottfried John as Caesar, he was perfect for the part, IMO. Pretty good version, if a live action version can ever be good.
And then there is Monica Bellucci, who is always easy on the eyes...
Hmm, maybe I'll stick to the cartoons, then.
Here is a trailers for Asterix At The Olympics.

Silly perhaps, but no worse than the Spartacus series currently running on the Starz Cable channel.

And More (in French) ... re=related