‘Barbenheimhofer’ Drives German Box Office Bonanza as Comedy-Crime Movie ‘Rehragout Rendezvous’ Enters the Fray

Ed Herzog’s comedy-crime movie “Rehragout Rendezvous” is on the verge of supplanting “Oppenheimer” as the No. 2 film in Germany, behind box office champ “Barbie.” In Austria, “Rehragout Rendezvous” is the top film.

“Rehragout Rendezvous” is the ninth in the Bavarian Eberhofer franchise, centering on laid-back cop Franz Eberhofer, who battles crime in a small town in the state of Bavaria, Southern Germany.

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The trio of “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer” and “Rehragout Rendezvous” have become a cultural phenomenon, with German exhibitors playfully calling the summer combo “Barbenheimhofer,” according to Martin Moszkowicz, executive chairman of Constantin Film, which produced and distributed “Rehragout Rendezvous.”

“Rehragout Rendezvous” was released on Aug. 10, and chalked up more than 420,000 admissions in the first four days. This was not only the best start of the franchise, but also the second most successful opening weekend of a German film this year.

In its first week in Germany, “Rehragout Rendezvous” had 462,394 admissions in Germany compared with “Oppenheimer’s” 426,079. “Barbie” had 655,453, according to Comscore.

In terms of gross, “Barbie” took $6.7 million over the week, while “Oppenheimer” made $5.48 million and “Rehragout Rendezvous” had $4.73 million.

Rehragout Rendezvous
“Rehragout Rendezvous”

Picture Tree International is selling the international rights to all the films in the franchise, which it calls “Bavarian Rhapsody.”

Based on Rita Falk’s bestselling book series, the franchise centers on the idyllic Bavarian town of Niederkaltenkirchen. Sebastian Bezzel plays Eberhofer, Simon Schwarz stars as his best friend Rudi Birkenberger, a private detective; and Lisa Maria Potthoff is Susi Gmeinwieser, Eberhofer’s girlfriend and the mother of his child.

Despite being very Bavarian, the book and film series have found broad appeal due in part to their embrace of a simpler and slower-paced lifestyle, Herzog told Variety last year.

“Franz Eberhofer never checks his e-mails — he doesn’t even have a computer. He doesn’t chat; he prefers to go to the pub with his friends. It’s not delivery services that bring their food – it’s the grandma herself who cooks it,” Herzog said. “He avoids his work as best as he can and only does what really interests him. This is a form of deceleration in comedy tempo, which is obviously striking a chord with many viewers.”

Rehragout Rendezvous
“Rehragout Rendezvous”

In “Rehragout Rendezvous,” written by Stefan Betz and Herzog, Eberhofer not only has to deal with his grandma going on strike — refusing to cook for the brood — but Susi takes on a new role as deputy mayor, which she uses to reduce his hours so he can look after their son. Luckily, a particularly tricky murder case comes to his rescue.

“Rehragout Rendezvous” is a Constantin Film production in co-production with ARD Degeto and Bayerischer Rundfunk, and was funded by FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

The producer is Kerstin Schmidbauer, and the executive producer is Christine Rothe. Bayerischer Rundfunk’s Stephanie Heckner, and ARD Degeto’s Katja Kirchen and Christoph Pellander were co-producers.

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