Gaumont Scores Big With Gallienne’s “Mum”

Highly anticipated since the triumphant Directors’ Fortnight world premiere, Gaumont’s “Me, Myself and Mum” (“Les Garcons et Guillaume, the table! ”), a comedy helmed by first-timer Guillaume Gallienne, offers scored one of the highest-grossing opening time for a French movie in 2013.

Budgeted under 10 million Euros ($13 million), “Mum” was released on Nov. 20 simply by Gaumont across 406 screens within France and grossed an estimated $590K from 69, 342 tickets offered.

Pic was produced by Jean-Baptiste Dupont and Cyril Colbeau-Justin at LGM and Edouard Zumal at Reclangle Prods.

A directorial debut with an improbable pitch and no bankable stars, “Mum” started out as an arthouse underdog movie, premiering at Directors’ Fortnight, below Edouard Waintrop’s artistic direction, and rolled out with critical acclaim and two kudos. The first-day results now underscore its potential to cross over to mainstream auds.

Even if “Mum” doesn’t end up in pole position at Gaul’s box office, it’s on track to be the year’s most profitable French-language movie. Gaumont has pre-sold this to over 20 territories, including German-language territories (Concorde), Spain (A Contracorriente), Italy (Eagle), Canada (Christal) and Southern Korea (Pan Cinema), and is negotiations to close further deals within key markets. “Mum” has also attracted interest from North American festivals, remarkably Tribeca and Palms Springs.

The bigscreen makeover of Gallienne’s eponymous stage show, “Mum” is a left-of-field, playful comedy with heart portraying the director’s childhood overshadowed by a cherished mother who presumes that he’s gay. Gallienne performs himself as a child and schoolboy along with limning his mother. The perform is being adapted in Russia together a good run in Spain.

“Juggling laughter, pity and poignancy throughout, (“Mum”) is all cleverly constructed to misdirect expectations, allowing Gallienne to blindside us with the amazing way the story turned out, while spending tribute to the idea of mothers just about everywhere, ” wrote Variety’s chief intl. film critic Peter Debruge.

“The early success of this performance-driven film shows that French viewers and international distributors are in demand for smart comedies that are non-traditional and are eager to discover fresh skill beyond the fixtures of mainstream French (laffers), ” said Gaumont Intl. topper Cecile Gaget.

In a year marked by the insufficient local B. O. hits, Gallienne’s pic has sparked a glimpse of hope among industryites. Homegrown movies have been steadily losing business (31. 5% as of Sept. ) to Hollywood blockbusters since the beginning of the year, while the global B. U has fallen 9. 2% for an estimated $1. 38 billion during the last 12 months.

The highest-grossing Gallic pic so far is “Les Profs, ” a lowbrow comedy based on a graphic novel that took an estimated $32. 4 million.

The year’s second top-grosser is the comicbook-based family movie “Boule & Bill, ” another pic produced by thriving prod shingle LGM. It earned an estimated $16. 3 million, taking the 19th slot machine at the B. O..

If “Mum” continues to deliver within France, it will firm up Francois Clerc’s reputation as a top-notched marketing expert, with hits like “Intouchables” and “Porn In The Hood, ” another low-budget comedy, under his belt.

Although Gallienne starred “Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia” and a few other mainstream movies, he’s mostly known as a stage thesp. He can next topline in Jalil Lespert’s anticipated “Yves Saint Laurent” since Pierre Berge, the famed fashion designer’s lover and collaborator; and is already working on his sophomore getaway.

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