Variety reports that Asterix at the Olympic Games has opened on a record 1,078 screens in France and grossed $4.1 million, which is a lot for France. The film is the third in a live action Asterix series based on the classic comics by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and its $115 million budget makes it France’s most costly movie ever. It even stars Alain Delon and Gérard Depardieu, although note that’s Clovis Cornillac as Asterix, besides Depardieu’s Obelix.
Like many American comic book movies, the film has opened with an epic promotional blitz, Time reports.
On Wednesday, nearly 50 years on from the comic’s debut, the third live action adaptation of his adventures was released, in an extravagant promotional blaze that would have even made Hollywood sit up and pay attention. The movie, Asterix at the Olympic Games, comes just six months before the Beijing Games, which the marketing campaign gleefully exploits.
And as with most comics book movies, critics loathed it. It “bathes in a tepid marmalade … prepare to be disappointed,” Le Parisien declared.
“The vacuity of this enormous cooking pot ends up making you nauseous,” Le Monde wrote.