'Hart' biggest of|local SA earners [Independent on Saturday (South Africa)]
(Independent on Saturday (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) AFRIKAANS adventure-romance film Pad na Jou Hart was the highest-grossing local film at the South African box office this year, earning R11.5 million between January and June.
Part of its success was its adept marketing strategy, its male lead and co-writer Ivan Botha told The Independent on Saturday.
"Marketing is extremely important. We went all out to promote the film."
Botha said 280 000 tickets were sold for the film during its cinema run.
Since then, 40 000 DVDs have been sold.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), which tracked the earnings of South African and foreign films at local cinemas up to June 27, reported this week that Pad na Jou Hart earned R4.4m more than Koos Roets-|directed Faan se Trein, which grossed R7.1m and came in at No 2.
The romance Vrou Soek Boer, directed by Maynard Kraak, was in third with R5.4m in earnings.
This meant Afrikaans-language films occupied the top three spots for local films.
For Botha, Afrikaans films have an edge at the local box office as the movie-going public are looking for "unique and authentic" experiences with a local flavour.
"Of course, a good story and a good script transcends language barriers."
Pad na Jou Hart, with Botha and fellow 7de Laan actress Donnalee Roberts in the lead roles, had an impressive opening weekend in mid-February, raking in R3.1m and beating international releases like The Monuments Men and Anchorman 2.
The NFVD said this was the biggest opening weekend to date for an Afrikaans film.
Styling itself as the country's "first Afrikaans romantic adventure", the film, directed by Jaco Smit, is a road-trip movie starring Botha as a square businessman on the way from Joburg to his father's funeral in Cape Town.
On the way he meets the free-spirited Amory, played by Botha's 7de Laan colleague Roberts, and the pair embark on a trip to Cape Town in a 1968 Ford Anglia.
The film was based on an original screenplay by Botha and Roberts, who produced the film with Danie Bester for The Film Factory.
While Pad na Jou Hart beat Anchorman 2 on its opening weekend, it was overtaken in the earnings race by Hollywood blockbusters such as RIO 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro.
Both films, which opened in more cinemas than Smit's film and were available in 3D, earned just more than R21m at the local box office.
NFVF said South Africans were particularly keen on seeing animated films such as RIO 2 in the first half of the year, with animated titles earning over R72m.
"Titles that contributed to this upsurge was RIO 2, which generated over R21m on its own, as well as The Lego Movie and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, both of which earned more than R9m each."
While Afrikaans films were successful, other films shot in indigenous South African languages fared less well.
The Independent on Saturday
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