• Box Office

German-Speaking Box Office, March 21, 2022

Singing. Dancing. Laughing. And some good old – new! – special effects action. These are the themes for the most part in Germany’s top ten movies of the week.

In the 1930s and 40s during the depression era, the second world war, and the post-war struggles screwball comedies were the name of the game on the silver screens across the Western hemisphere. They made the most money, drove the most people to the cinemas, and provided a much-needed timeout from worry, danger, economic and other problems. Looking at the charts in the German-speaking part of Europe, and especially this past week, it seems clear that we are in for a repeat of this trend (and hopefully not for what goes on in reality). Movie fans wanted distraction, a few laughs, heartwarming stories, and most of all a reprieve from the 24-hour news cycle about a war that is happening too close for comfort for many.

With one exception – the heavy Turkish drama Bergen in the number four spot -, films in the top ten fell into the following categories: action-adventure, Marvel, musical animation, all-out comedy, and family fare.

The Batman once again claimed the number one spot, but the real surprise is the debut (right behind the dark knight and just ahead of Uncharted in number 3) of Die Gangster Gang, titled The Bad Guys in the original US version. The story of a bunch of notorious criminals, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark, and Ms. Tarantula, who are finally caught after a lifetime of legendary heists, excited audiences. The animated film was conceived and executed by the Dreamworks animation factory under the tutelage of first-time director Pierre Perifel, the Frenchman who perfected his art by working on the Kung Fu Panda series and Madagascar, and It boasts the voices of local German actors like Sebastian Bezzel and Jannis Niewöhner. In the original, Awkwafina and Sam Rockwell lent their voice talents. The storyline is based on a series of novels by Aaron Blabey that came out in 2016.  

The comedy Wunderschön held on to number five while Jackass Forever starring Johnny Knoxville is proof that there is room for a rom-com as well as a crazy stunt comedy. In seventh place is the second of 3 animated films this week: the German-made Die Häschenschule – Jagd nach dem Goldenen Ei (Rabbit School – Hunt for the Golden Egg) is a comic adventure about a smalltime con rabbit who undergoes some attitude changes to become a dignified Easter Bunny.

Just like the bunny film, the French-produced Der Wolf und der Löwe, original title Le Loup et le Lion (The Wolf and the Lion) about a young woman who saves and protects a lion and a wolf cub in the Canadian forests, is entertainment for the whole family.

In ninth place is what we can now call an evergreen: Sing 2 is still making beautiful music after its release 13 weeks ago. Spidey slipped a few notches this week and ended up at number 10.

In Austria, The Batman kept dominating the charts with no change for the runner-up, Uncharted, in the second spot. The real surprise here is this week’s debut of Jackass Forever in number 3. Bergen and Sing 2 round out the top 5 with the K-Pop concert film BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul starting out in sixth place, followed by Küss Mich, Mistkerl (The Hating Game), a comedy starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, Germany’s 2022 top hit Wunderschön, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Parallel Mothers.