Nov 24, 2020
Visit our sister site:

Front Page, Industry News

‘One Week’ shows Canadian pride

Toronto writer-director Michael McGowan’s pic “One Week” has found a unique way to score at the box office — it proudly wears its all-Canadian colors on its sleeve. The film has become the surprise local success story of the year so far, and it’s pulling in auds at least in part thanks to its full-on Maple Leaf flavor.

The pic features such Canadiana as the Stanley Cup, Tim Horton’s coffee, a cameo by Gord Downie from popular Canuck rock band the Tragically Hip and pit stops at some of the country’s cheesier tourist attractions, including the world’s largest nickel in Sudbury, Ontario, and the dinosaur provincial park in Alberta.

“It references things that are dear to us and has a nostalgia for landmarks that we love,” says Charlotte Mickie, exec VP from E1 Entertainment, the company selling the pic internationally.

You might think that overt Canadian-ness might scare off buyers from elsewhere, but that hasn’t been the case, Mickie insists.

“I’ve had a lot of Europeans say they’re surprised that so many Canadian movies are focused on urban themes, because they know we have these beautiful landscapes,” Mickie says.

In “One Week,” Vancouver thesp Joshua Jackson — of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Fringe” — plays a schoolteacher who finds out he has terminal cancer and hops on a motorcycle for one last road trip from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. There are indeed no shortage of shots of the country’s expansive outdoors, with McGowan (“Saint Ralph”) lovingly filming everything from the Rockies to whales leaping out of the Pacific Ocean.

The pic has grossed C$1.1 million ($889,000) since its launch March 6, a very good result for an English-Canadian film. The World War I epic “Passchendaele” — which recently won six Genie Awards, — rang up $3.6 million at the box office last year, but it’s the exception that proves the rule that English Canadian pics rarely do big business.

“One Week” has also benefited from some crafty marketing from Mongrel Media. The Toronto distrib took out newspaper ads featuring comments posted on YouTube about the pic’s trailer, under the banner: “All of Canada is talking about One Week.'” That ploy even caught the attention of L.A. Times scribe Patrick Goldstein, who suggested the gimmick “will be copied by some cagey U.S. distributor some day soon.” The strategy also helped mitigate the fact that the pic has received mixed reviews.

But Mongrel president Hussain Amarshi believes it’s the pic, not the marketing, that’s selling tickets.

“We took the idea that we wanted to promote the Canadian-ness of it, and that was a bit of a risk,” Amarshi says. “Historically with Canadian films, you try to hide that.”

Amarshi thinks that Canuck feel might actually help the pic internationally. “It should be exotic for non-Canadians. It’s a good way to see a beautiful country.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

‘One Week’ shows Canadian pride

Toronto writer-director Michael McGowan’s pic “One Week” has found a unique way to score at the box office — it proudly wears its all-Canadian colors on its sleeve. The film has become the surprise local success story of the year so far, and it’s pulling in auds at least in part thanks to its full-on Maple Leaf flavor.

The pic features such Canadiana as the Stanley Cup, Tim Horton’s coffee, a cameo by Gord Downie from popular Canuck rock band the Tragically Hip and pit stops at some of the country’s cheesier tourist attractions, including the world’s largest nickel in Sudbury, Ontario, and the dinosaur provincial park in Alberta.

“It references things that are dear to us and has a nostalgia for landmarks that we love,” says Charlotte Mickie, exec VP from E1 Entertainment, the company selling the pic internationally.

You might think that overt Canadian-ness might scare off buyers from elsewhere, but that hasn’t been the case, Mickie insists.

“I’ve had a lot of Europeans say they’re surprised that so many Canadian movies are focused on urban themes, because they know we have these beautiful landscapes,” Mickie says.

In “One Week,” Vancouver thesp Joshua Jackson — of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Fringe” — plays a schoolteacher who finds out he has terminal cancer and hops on a motorcycle for one last road trip from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. There are indeed no shortage of shots of the country’s expansive outdoors, with McGowan (“Saint Ralph”) lovingly filming everything from the Rockies to whales leaping out of the Pacific Ocean.

The pic has grossed C$1.1 million ($889,000) since its launch March 6, a very good result for an English-Canadian film. The World War I epic “Passchendaele” — which recently won six Genie Awards, — rang up $3.6 million at the box office last year, but it’s the exception that proves the rule that English Canadian pics rarely do big business.

“One Week” has also benefited from some crafty marketing from Mongrel Media. The Toronto distrib took out newspaper ads featuring comments posted on YouTube about the pic’s trailer, under the banner: “All of Canada is talking about One Week.'” That ploy even caught the attention of L.A. Times scribe Patrick Goldstein, who suggested the gimmick “will be copied by some cagey U.S. distributor some day soon.” The strategy also helped mitigate the fact that the pic has received mixed reviews.

But Mongrel president Hussain Amarshi believes it’s the pic, not the marketing, that’s selling tickets.

“We took the idea that we wanted to promote the Canadian-ness of it, and that was a bit of a risk,” Amarshi says. “Historically with Canadian films, you try to hide that.”

Amarshi thinks that Canuck feel might actually help the pic internationally. “It should be exotic for non-Canadians. It’s a good way to see a beautiful country.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

‘One Week’ shows Canadian pride

Toronto writer-director Michael McGowan’s pic “One Week” has found a unique way to score at the box office — it proudly wears its all-Canadian colors on its sleeve. The film has become the surprise local success story of the year so far, and it’s pulling in auds at least in part thanks to its full-on Maple Leaf flavor.

The pic features such Canadiana as the Stanley Cup, Tim Horton’s coffee, a cameo by Gord Downie from popular Canuck rock band the Tragically Hip and pit stops at some of the country’s cheesier tourist attractions, including the world’s largest nickel in Sudbury, Ontario, and the dinosaur provincial park in Alberta.

“It references things that are dear to us and has a nostalgia for landmarks that we love,” says Charlotte Mickie, exec VP from E1 Entertainment, the company selling the pic internationally.

You might think that overt Canadian-ness might scare off buyers from elsewhere, but that hasn’t been the case, Mickie insists.

“I’ve had a lot of Europeans say they’re surprised that so many Canadian movies are focused on urban themes, because they know we have these beautiful landscapes,” Mickie says.

In “One Week,” Vancouver thesp Joshua Jackson — of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Fringe” — plays a schoolteacher who finds out he has terminal cancer and hops on a motorcycle for one last road trip from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. There are indeed no shortage of shots of the country’s expansive outdoors, with McGowan (“Saint Ralph”) lovingly filming everything from the Rockies to whales leaping out of the Pacific Ocean.

The pic has grossed C$1.1 million ($889,000) since its launch March 6, a very good result for an English-Canadian film. The World War I epic “Passchendaele” — which recently won six Genie Awards, — rang up $3.6 million at the box office last year, but it’s the exception that proves the rule that English Canadian pics rarely do big business.

“One Week” has also benefited from some crafty marketing from Mongrel Media. The Toronto distrib took out newspaper ads featuring comments posted on YouTube about the pic’s trailer, under the banner: “All of Canada is talking about One Week.'” That ploy even caught the attention of L.A. Times scribe Patrick Goldstein, who suggested the gimmick “will be copied by some cagey U.S. distributor some day soon.” The strategy also helped mitigate the fact that the pic has received mixed reviews.

But Mongrel president Hussain Amarshi believes it’s the pic, not the marketing, that’s selling tickets.

“We took the idea that we wanted to promote the Canadian-ness of it, and that was a bit of a risk,” Amarshi says. “Historically with Canadian films, you try to hide that.”

Amarshi thinks that Canuck feel might actually help the pic internationally. “It should be exotic for non-Canadians. It’s a good way to see a beautiful country.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisements