(September 23, 2014 – Montréal, Québec) Xavier Dolan`s new film, Mommy, delivered what can only be called spectacular box office figures for its opening weekend in Quebec. Perhaps it was helped by the announcement that the film is Canada`s official entry for a Best Foreign Language Oscar® as announced by Telefilm Canada. Perhaps it was boosted by great word of mouth following a preview screening which ended with a standing ovation for the film at this city`s Place des arts. No matter the driving force, the film on its own is clearly a hit.
It helps to take a look at Dolan`s previous box office record to get a real idea of how significant Mommy’s opening take really is.
No Dolan film has made more than a million dollars during its entire theatrical run. In fact, following his debut feature, J’ai tué ma mere, box office receipts for his three subsequent feature films all showed declining returns. Here`s a quick breakdown:
By comparison, Mommy raked in a quite remarkable $466,766 for its box office debut.
This could be the film that saves the Québec box office, even if admittedly, that`s a bit of an exaggeration. The market share for Quebec films this summer has reached 5.8%, which is one of the worst results of the last 10 years. That said, it is a small improvement compared to 2012 (5.2 %) and 2013 ( 5.6%). Beyond market share there`s cold hard numbers. Some of Québec`s best films made a mere pittance at the box office when their entire take is compared to Mommy.
For example, the last film to be selected as Canada`s official entry at the Academy Awards® was Gabrielle. It`s entire box office take was a slim $171,698. The last film in the Les Boys series, Il était une fois les Boys returned $254,454. The underworld film Omertà produced a number that approaches Mommy with its take of $464,245. But that was for its entire run. Mommy did better than that over just a few days.