Blitz Patrollie slower than a Schuster

2013-05-14 14:44

Despite the hype and raves from fans, the locally produced cop comedy Blitz Patrollie didn’t open to the box office success that its creators had hoped for.

And the film’s much-anticipated screening at Cannes on the weekend has elicited very little reaction so far.

There were more frowns than smiles when opening weekend figures came in for the comedy that Nu Metro hoped would set local screens ablaze and notch up Leon Schuster-like numbers.

But where a Schuster can take up to R4.5 million in its opening weekend, Blitz Patrollie managed only R440 000. Admittedly, a Schuster would be shown on well over 100 screens while Blitz Patrollie opened on 40.

It came in fifth at the local box office, which was dominated by Iron Man 3’s takings of R4.8 million in its second weekend.

“I’m happy with fifth, considering Justin Bieber was in town,” said director Andrew Wessels from Cannes, where Blitz Patrollie was one of three South African films showcased – alongside the 3D animated feature Adventures in Zambezia and the thriller Black South Easter, about the illegal perlemoen trade in Cape Town.

Reviews have been slow, given the big number of screenings in Cannes. Wessels also raised technical issues at the Cannes premiere, posting to Facebook: “Most depressing thing ever to see the film u sweated blood for not looking the way it should at the cinema!” This week he said that there were problems with the projection. He was still trying to get to the bottom of it.

At the local box office, Blitz Patrollie also had to deal with its core viewers tuning in to the SA Music Awards rather than going out. Publicists say they hope it will settle in and climb steadily in the weeks to come.

The stars in the film have been punting it like mad on social media, which raised expectations that it could achieve Schuster numbers. David Kau and Joey Rasdien, popular stand-up comedians, play the lead roles.

The movie – tracing them bungling their way to a major bust involving a hugely corrupt politician – also stars the likes of Kagiso Lediga, David Kibuuka, Chris Forrest and Mel Miller.

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