• Box Office

German-Speaking Box Office, May 2, 2022

The Germans love costumes, and the Austrians rediscover their own humor. Both countries turned patriotic and supported their own productions in this week’s top ten.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is not doing well in the US, but it is definitely saved from the domestic malaise with huge overseas revenue. Germany and Austria are no exception in the long list of countries that clearly love the JK Rowling adaptation. The film which grossed only $8.3 million in its third installment (which brings it to a total of $79.6 million in America) has so far made $250 million internationally. The film dominated the box office in both German-speaking countries. The Lost City remained number two not able to crack the top spot. In third place is Downton Abbey 2. German audiences cannot get enough of the Crawleys and their servants, it seems. In part one, it was a visit from the king that created chaos, this time it is a film shoot. While Mary (Michelle Dockery) the producer (Hugh Dancy) and makes sure that the crew and the two actors, played by Laura Haddock and Dominic West do not wreak havoc on the house, the rest of the family flees the so-called excitement and retreats to the French Riviera.

The Northman took the fourth spot, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Eingeschlossene Gesellschaft. The French-German coproduction Rabiye Kurnaz gegen George W. Bush debuted in seventh place. It details a Turkish-born mother’s fight for her wrongfully convicted son who was sent to Guantanamo. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin film festival where it garnered two prizes: one for the screenplay and the other for best actress for Meltem Kaptan, who plays the mother.

One of Germany’s favorite bands, Rammstein, is the subject of a doc/listening session, Rammstein – Zeit: The Atmos Experience, which came in ninth with Morbius rounding out the top ten.

There was a switch in the Austrian top two – The Lost City swapped places with Beasts – but the real upset is the fact that three films in the top ten are Austrian productions (a feat for a country of just over eight million people and a small film industry) and the fourth one is German.

The most successful homegrown movie is the story of a shy boy, Geschichten vom Franz, which debuted in number five two weeks ago and slipped into the sixth spot last week but climbed up to number four this past weekend.

The other two are Rotzbub – Willkommen in Siegheilkirchen, still amusing audiences in the seventh slot,  and Der Bauer und der Bobo (The Farmer and the Bourgeois) which premiered in the eighth spot. The latter is a documentary and true story that feels like a comedy: an Austrian mountain farmer rages against the editor-in-chief of a liberal paper who had praised the judgement against the farmer for endangerment his cows, calling him “an arrogant uber bougie” who is ignorant when it comes to the hardships of farmers. But the fight turns into friendship when the bank puts the farm up for auction, and the bourgeois editor organizes a Go Fund Me. When 13.000 people donate, the farmer becomes debt-free, and the editor-in-chief volunteers at the farm and rediscovers his past.