The first of several films being made about the terror attacks on Norway’s Labour Party and its youth group just six-and-a-half years ago opened at Norwegian cinemas over the weekend. It drew audiences totally around 51,000, making it one of the strongest openings so far this year.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that it lagged films such as Black Panther (55,000), Coco (56,000) and Fifty Shades Freed (100,000). It’s been highly acclaimed by film reviewers but is a difficult film for many in Norway to watch, as it offers a 72-minute account of a right-ring terrorist’s massacre on the island of Utøya that killed 69 people, exactly how long the attack itself lasted.
The film’s opening was also up against several major events during the weekend, such as World Cup sports competition and Norway’s qualifier for the European Song Contest. State broadcaster NRK also reported that many Norwegians preferred to see the film during the daytime, to give them more time to digest it before trying to sleep.
The film, entitled Utøya – 22. juli in Norwegian and U: July 22 abroad, has already been sold for viewing in more than 20 countries including the UK, Ireland, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea.