Cinemas in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim are reporting strong sales of tickets for the new film version of Jo Nesbø’s crime novel Snømannen (The Snowman), despite the ice-cold reception the film has received from critics. Cinema directors don’t think the poor reviews will kill off interest.
“We’ve sold 16,000 tickets so far,” Jannicke Haugen of Nordisk Film Kino, Norway’s largest cinema chain, told newspaper Dagens Næringslsiv (DN) on Thursday. Of those, more than 12,000 tickets were sold in Oslo, where 27 showings were planned for Friday alone.
“The combination of Jo Nesbø, Hollywood stars and filming in Norway has clearly awoken interest,” Haugen told DN. Sales were also brisk in Bergen, where two outdoor showings have already sold out, despite the poor reviews. Several members of the audience at a special outdoor showing this week in Rjukan, the small town in Telemark where filming took place, were enthusiastic, with one young man telling state broadcaster NRK that he thought the film was kjempe god (extremely good).
NRK reported on Thursday, meanwhile, that film critics in the US seem as disappointed as those in Norway, where the film is based and was shot. Industry newspaper Variety called the film “a major disappointment” while Hollywood Reporter wrote that it lacked both humour and chemistry between the actors, with poor dialogue and too many loose threads. Director Tomas Alfredson admitted to NRK earlier this week that the time allotted to filming in Norway was “much too short,” resulting in holes in the film that proved difficult to fill.