Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness premiered at Swedish cinemas on 7 October, and in the past month it has been released at theatres around the world with great success. In France it has achieved an exceptional 421,000 admissions in three weeks, compared to The Square which had 350,000 admissions over its entire screening period in 2017.
The cinema market has not fully recovered since the pandemic, and is still showing lower figures generally than in 2019, before the pandemic. Despite this though, cinema-goers appear to have found their way to theatres for Triangle of Sadness. More than half a million people have chosen to watch the film at cinemas internationally in just a few weeks. Compared to The Square, released before the pandemic in 2017, Triangle of Sadness exceeds admissions by more than 25% in each country of release over the same period.
“It is exceptional and unique that a Swedish film reaches such a large audience in such a short time. Just the figures to date indicate a real success, and the film is still in the early days of cinema release. Also, several more countries will be releasing the film. It’s an honour for Sweden as a film nation that a title is seen and appreciated by a such large audience worldwide. A successful launch like this also benefits Swedish film as a whole, as it will highlight Swedish film as commercially and artistically attractive,” says Theo Tsappos of the Swedish Film Institute’s International Department.
During the autumn the film has been released in countries like Greece, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Belgium and Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, Israel and Portugal. It has also opened in the US, where it is in 10th place of the 30 most income-generating films so far this year in relation to the number of screens. Despite a continued weak cinema market worldwide, Triangle of Sadness is now being released on further screens in the US – 300 this weekend – which is an unusually high number for a Swedish film.
“I’m happy for cinema owners and distributors when I see Triangle of Sadness doing so well in cinemas. The aim was to make a film that would convince audiences to leave their personal screens and go and watch it together. If Triangle of Sadness brings a sense of vitality to the cinema, it means that those of us who made the film have done our job,” says Ruben Östlund, director Triangle of Sadness.
Triangle of Sadness won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year – the second for Ruben Östlund and Plattform Produktion, having won it for The Square in 2017. The film was shot in Trollhättan, southern Sweden, Greece, and on the yacht Christina Onassis in the Ionian Sea, and on the island of Evia. The cast includes Hollywood star Woody Harrelson and international actors Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean, along with Henrik Dorsin, Vicki Berlin, Zlatko Buric and Carolina Gynning.
The film is produced by Plattform Produktion and co-produced with Film i Väst, Essential Films, Coproduction Office, SVT, BBC Films, Arte France Cinéma and ZDF/Arte with funding from the Swedish Film Institute, Eurimages, BFI, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, The Danish Film Institute, Hamburg Film Fund and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Imperative Entertainment is the executive producer. The Danish co-producer is Per Damgaard Hansen for Coproduction Office APS. Global sales are being handled by Philippe Bober’s Coproduction Ofﬁce. The film has received production funding from Anders Nylander, Feature Film Commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute. Film distributors in several markets outside of Sweden has received international distribution support from the Swedish Film Institute for the release of Triangle of Sadness.
The Swedish Film Institute is a collective voice for film in Sweden, and a meeting-place for experiences and insights that elevate film on all levels. We preserve and make available Sweden’s film heritage, work to educate children and young people in film and moving images, support the production, distribution and screening of valuable film, and represent Swedish film internationally. A broad diversity of narratives establishes discussions and insights that strengthen the individual and our democracy. Together, we enable more people to create, experience and be enriched by film.