Michael Matthews’ Five Fingers for Marseilles, starring Vuyo Dabula, made a thunderous debut at the box office, opening with more than R500 000 in ticket sales. The film has outperformed past South African favourites in the action/crime/drama genres – at Rosebank Nouveau it was the number one film. At other sites it played ahead of Black Panther, but just behind Tyler Perry’s Acrimony. These included Sterland, Loch Logan and Newtown over the weekend.
“We had high expectations for the film,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “We always knew it was something special from the first screenings. It’s all about great storytelling and a spectacular cast.” Sean Drummond wrote the impressive Five Fingers for Marseilles script.
Because of the positive response to the film, it will be screened at four additional sites this week to meet public demand – at Festival Mall in Pretoria, and at Sandton City, Vaal Mall in Vanderbijlpark and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein. The film has had rave reviews from local critics, with The Sowetan calling it “one of the best local productions ever made”.
The Sunday Times described it as “the South African Avengers”, while The Independent called it “a star-studded, genre-bending film”. Channel24 said it is “a great local film that should be praised for more than just being a western”, and City Press named it “a true spectacle”, and “one for the history books.”
Five Fingers for Marseilles was awarded Best South African Film in Development at the Durban FilmMart’s finance forum in 2013. Produced by Drummond and Matthews’ Be Phat Motel Film Company and Yaron Schwartzman and Asger Hussain of Game 7 Films, in association with Stage 5 Films and Above the Clouds, it was also made possible with the support of South Africa’s National Film & Video Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry, with additional services from Dupa Films.