(Variety) German Blockbuster Comedy ‘Fack Ju Goehte 3’ Picked Up by Picture Tree (EXCLUSIVE)
By Leo Barraclough
Berlin-based Picture Tree Intl. has picked up international sales rights to blockbuster high school comedy “Fack Ju Goehte 3,” which opened with €15.4 million ($18 million) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – the best start for a movie this year in the German-language territories.
Picture Tree also handled world sales on the first two movies in the franchise, which were both the top-grossing films of their year in Germany. The films have struck a nerve with moviegoers, particularly younger fans, with their mix of politically incorrect, laugh-out-loud comedy and burning social issues such as poor education, bullying and immigration.
Like the first two movies, the latest installment from writer-director Bora Dagtekin centers on cynical ex-con-turned-teacher Zeki Mueller, played again by Elyas M’Barek. In this film he tries to make sure his rowdy students pass final exams while facing the possible closure of his school because of its disastrous conditions.
The original “Fack Ju Goehte” earned nearly €54 million ($62.6 million) at the box office in 2013, while “Fack Ju Goehte 2” took €62.7 million ($72.7 million) in 2015. All three films were produced and released in Germany by Constantin Film. Picture Tree will give “Fack Ju Goehte 3” its market premiere at Berlin’s European Film Market in February.
Yuanyuan Rothbauer, head of sales and operations at Picture Tree, said: “We are very happy to also represent the third installment of ‘Fack Ju Goehte’ and are grateful for the trust of the team at Constantin Film. ‘Fack Ju Goehte’ has become a cultural phenomenon in Germany and beyond. It is a great example of humor that can cross borders.”
Earlier this month, at AFM, Picture Tree sold action-comedy “Hot Dog,” starring Til Schweiger and Matthias Schweighoefer. The film, which will be released in Germany by Warner on Jan. 18, sold to China (S&C Pictures), Japan (New Select), Spain (Selecta Vision), Middle East (Gulf Film), CIS (Voxell), Czech/Slovak (Cinemart), Taiwan (Moviecloud), former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom Film) and airlines (Encore). Deals in France, Italy, Poland and Latin America are pending.