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BOX OFFICE Belgium

Gangsta breaks through the 100,000-admissions mark in one week

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- After Image and Black, the third feature by directorial duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah has got off to an explosive start in Belgian theatres

Gangsta breaks through the 100,000-admissions mark in one week
Gangsta by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Gangsta [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fal…
interview: Matteo Simoni
film profile
]
by directorial duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah has racked up 100,000 viewers in barely one week, thus setting a new record for a Belgian film of this particular genre, especially since the movie is also at the top of the admissions chart in every single theatre where it’s showing. Technically, this represents twice as many admissions at the box office as Black [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fal…
interview: Martha Canga Antonio
film profile
]
, which drew in just over 50,000 viewers in one week on release. It’s just as impressive a performance as that of films such as Dossier K. [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and The Verdict [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the "heavyweights" of Flemish cinema, and it’s even three times better than the latest Steven Spielberg title, The Post, which came out the same day. Notably, the movie, which is currently showing in 37 theatres in Flanders and Brussels, is opening in three more theatres in its second week on release. It will come out in Wallonia on 21 February, in a dubbed French-language version.

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It is worth mentioning that the duo really put their heart and soul into promoting the film prior to its release, with a sustained and heavy presence on social networks, and a host of varied marketing campaigns, including an artistic collaboration with two of the biggest Belgian DJs at the moment, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.

These positive results come in the wake of a 2017 (and a 2016) that proved fairly uninspiring for Flemish cinema in terms of figures. After the golden age of the phenomenal success of Loft [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Erik Van Looy (which took almost 1.2 million admissions single-handedly in 2008), Flemish film has enjoyed several prosperous years, but has struggled in the last couple to repeat these tremendous results. For instance, Racer and the Jailbird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Roskam
film profile
]
by Michaël Roskam, which went on general release in October, “only” drew in 133,000 viewers (fairly poor compared to the 400,000 admissions racked up by Bullhead [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bart Van Langendonck
interview: Michaël R. Roskam
film profile
]
, Roskam’s previous film). The Flemish Directors’ Union, which expressed its concern about this drop in attendance levels last December, is incidentally holding a meeting on 2 February, where these issues will be addressed in depth. The union is also worried about the quantity of films being produced (21 in 2017), a number that the market finds difficult to absorb comfortably.

Nevertheless, these encouraging results for Gangsta, combined with those of FC de Kampioenen 3, a successful franchise that managed to entice 300,000 viewers into the dark rooms over two weeks at the end of last year, should help the box office for Flemish films to regain a bit of colour.

(Translated from French)

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