Bon Cop blasts box office records

After surpassing the $4.5-million mark at the Quebec box office in record time for a Quebecois film, Bon Cop, Bad Cop is looking for similarly boffo results in English Canada.
The bilingual buddy action flick by director Érik Canuel had, by Aug. 16, brought in a total of $4.7 million and counting, after 14 days.

After surpassing the $4.5-million mark at the Quebec box office in record time for a Quebecois film, Bon Cop, Bad Cop is looking for similarly boffo results in English Canada.

The bilingual buddy action flick by director Érik Canuel had, by Aug. 16, brought in a total of $4.7 million and counting, after 14 days.

It brought in a staggering $1.18 million on 132 screens over the Aug. 3 weekend and $2.77 million by the end of its first week.

That is well above the 10-day record of $2.4 million set by Séraphin: Un homme et son pêché in 2002, and Bon Cop is well on its way to breaking that film’s total box-office record of $9.6 million. Both films were released in Quebec by Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm.

‘We expected $4 million for the entire Quebec run,’ says Pascale Hébert, GM of marketing, promotions and communications at AAV. ‘We don’t know where it will go to now – $9 million, $10 million, we don’t know.’

Predicting how Bon Cop will play in the rest of Canada – on another 120 screens starting Aug. 18 – is equally difficult, Hébert insists.

‘No one knows. The [English-Canadian] press is very happy. The Toronto premiere went well,’ she says.

Eleven English-language prints, with the French dialogue subtitled, are also playing well in Quebec, says producer Kevin Tierney of Montreal-based Park Ex Pictures – boding well for the English-Canadian release.

‘It’s remarkable. It’s keeping abreast of the French success,’ he says. The other prints playing in the province are French, with subtitles for the English dialogue.

Alliance Atlantis’ English campaign for Bon Cop targets young males favoring Hollywood-style action-adventure movies, with two 30-second TV spots playing heavily on cable sport channels and the main conventional networks.

Tierney expects the Quebec numbers for Bon Cop will have English-Canadian exhibitors working hard to replicate that success.

AAV has also seen Ghyslaine Côté’s family drama Le Secret de ma mère draw an impressive $2.1 million in accumulated box office in Quebec after six weeks.

Meanwhile, Christian Larouche, head of Christal Films, says he is pleased with the $447,000 accumulated nationwide by Familia. The film by Louise Archambault played well in Quebec last year, but by the week of Aug. 4 had earned just over $14,000 in English Canada

‘It’s an auteur film with a commercial aspect,’ says Larouche.

Meanwhile, the Quebec-made romantic comedy Duo was a disappointment, with $276,000 in ticket sales after seven weeks.

Larouche is philosophical: ‘[Duo] screened well before the release. But the critics were so-so on the movie, and the public didn’t follow.’

Looking ahead, Capri Releasing plans a modest release for Larry Kent’s controversial The Hamster Cage, starting in Vancouver on Sept. 8 with an eye to Montreal and Toronto.

Capri Releasing VP Robin Smith says Vancouver is the prime commercial launching pad, given Kent’s following in that city.

Capri is releasing Hamster Cage through a service deal with the movie’s producers – Kent, Robert French and Perry Creticos – rather than a traditional distribution deal.

Smith says focusing on the veteran director – and his often-provocative film output since the 1960s – should help build word of mouth for Hamster Cage.

‘We’re bringing Larry to the forefront, and getting people talking about him,’ he says.