Duo fails to find true love on opening weekend

Gorgeous weather over the June 16 weekend is being blamed for a slump in ticket sales at the Quebec box office, for one film at least.

Gorgeous weather over the June 16 weekend is being blamed for a slump in ticket sales at the Quebec box office, for one film at least.

The light romantic comedy Duo opened on 68 screens across Quebec but made only $76,240, for a per-screen average of approximately $1,121.

‘When the weather is as good as it was that weekend, Quebecers are not going to line up for a movie. It’s that simple,’ says Elisabeth Butikofer, communications director for distributor Christal Films.

Set amid a music festival and directed by Richard Ciupka, Duo follows the twists and turns of a complicated romantic triangle – seemingly perfect fodder for a light summer movie. It stars Anick Lemay, Serge Postigo and François Massicotte.

Butikofer also concedes that the critical response probably didn’t help. The film got sour to mediocre reviews in Le Devoir, La Presse and Voir, where critic Kevin Laforest called it a cross between ‘a vulgar sitcom’ and ‘an infomercial for Charlevoix Tourism.’ Duo was shot in Charlevoix, QC.

The critical drubbing got so nasty, it prompted a response from the film’s editor Arthur Tarnowski. ‘Sometimes I really don’t think people have a clue how hard it is to make a film,’ he wrote in the weekly paper Hour, though he conceded that he was ‘biased.’

Asking that viewers ‘check their cynical hats at the door,’ he argued that Duo is ‘light’ and ‘well made.’ There are currently no plans for Duo to open in cinemas outside of Quebec.

That same weekend, the Seville Pictures-distributed La Planète blanche, in its seventh week of release, took in $3,180 from seven screens, while TVA’s Délivrez-moi, into its sixth week, pulled in just $792 from three.