Roman Polanksi's film, An Officer And a Spy has opened up to good numbers and is leading the French box office. The reason this comes as a surprise is that the film's director, Polansnki was recently the subject of sexual-assault allegations and it was also because of the same reason that the promotions of the film were shortened.
According to a report in Variety, the film that was released by Gaumont last Wednesday across 545 screens, An Officer and a Spy has grossed an estimated €1.5 million ($1.6 million) from 370,000 tickets sold in France as of midday Monday, taking the lead at the weekend B.O. ahead of James Mangold’s Ford v. Ferrari, according to Comscore France. It’s the seventh-best start for a French film since the beginning of the year, Gaumont said.
The film’s main Parisian premiere last Tuesday evening went smoothly, with Polanski and lead actor Jean Dujardin in attendance, but another premiere screening scheduled at a different Paris venue, which co-star Louis Garrel was supposed to attend, was canceled amid a protest by women-rights activists. A few other screenings around France were canceled because of similar protests, according to local reports.
An Officer and a Spy delves into the true story of the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious case of anti-Semitism in late-19th-century France. Based on Robert Harris’ novel, the film focuses on Georges Picquart, an officer who defied orders and worked to clear the name of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a promising French-Jewish officer who was unfairly accused of spying for Germany and imprisoned on Devil’s Island in the late 1890s. The film’s French title, “J’Accuse,” refers to the famous 1898 open letter written by novelist Emile Zola accusing the French government of anti-Semitism.