Ten things to know about Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis

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Welcome to the Ch'tis
Pathé Distribution

Dany Boon’s successful comedy returns to TV Sunday evening on TF1.

Who would have thought that a film on the Hauts de France (ex: Nord-Pas-de-Calais), would become the biggest success in the history of cinema in France? When in 2008, Welcome to the Ch’tis is released in theaters, the craze is so strong that the film of Dany boon beats all records, especially that of the most viewed film in France. On the occasion of the replay of the comedy with Kad Merad and Michel Galabru Sunday evening on TF1, we test your knowledge of Maroilles and fricadelles.

1. The film of all records?

With 20.4 million admissions, the Ch’timi surpasses another cult comedy : The big mop (1966) from Gerard Oury, which had gathered 17,267,607 spectators. It has since been relegated to the 3rd place of the biggest French successes with the cardboard ofUntouchables, by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, which gathered 19,490,688 curious, in 2011.

If it does not exceed the 21.7 million spectators of Titanic, which has been at the top of the French box office since 1998, the comedy of Dany boon nevertheless beats the film of James cameron at the box office and in DVD sales. The film was also broadcast 4 times on TV, once on Canal + and three times on TF1. And each time he has been a hit.

With a budget of only 11 million euros, The Sticks raised a total of 245 million euros. He allowed Dany boon to become the highest paid actor in France since he received nearly 26 million euros for having played, directed and produced the film. Unheard of in Europe. Today Dany Boon is the second highest paid French director and appears in fourth place in the ranking of personalities preferred by the French.

Aware of the success, the director insisted that all the profits of the products derived from the film be donated to the foundation. Ch’ti Fonds which distributed more than 200,000 euros, over 5 years, to social and humanitarian associations in the former Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

2. Kad Merad was not Dany Boon’s first choice

It is at Daniel Auteil than Dany boon thought to play Philippe Abrams, but he was not available. He then fell back on Jose garcia to finally choose Kad Merad. The production (Pathé) proposed the actor who at the time was not as famous as he is today. The interested party remembers that his relationship with the director has not always been good: “Dany knew exactly what he wanted. And he was breaking my feet to get it. “

3. Michel Galabru received a very juicy fee

If this film has become cult, it is mainly thanks to a man: Michel galabru. But it was not easy for the director to have the actor on his set, since the actor was not satisfied with his small role. “I told Dany Boon that playing for a day didn’t interest me, he said in 2015. I was called again. Boon insisted and doubled my fee. I was given a good salary, very interesting and they found me this stupid replica “.

This is how the film will have its famous replica “It’s the Noooord”.

4. The actors have given of their person

As a reminder, Philippe Abrams (Kad Merad) is the director of a postal agency. During the filming of the sequences of another cult scene in the film, that of the postman’s tour, Dany boon and Kad Merad didn’t really need to play a show about their blood alcohol level. The two men were really tipsy, and really had to relieve themselves in the Colme canal, which has become a must-see in Bergues.

5. Bergues has become a tourist town

10 years later, the “Ch’ti mania” is still raging. Mainly shot in Bergues, the city welcomes a few more tourists every year to discover the filming locations. While there is not much left from the film in the city, many visitors come to Bergues to visit the belfry, which must be restored to accommodate the many curious. With 2,000 visitors until 2008, the carillon has been taken by storm ever since. Until 2010, it welcomed more than 35,000 people per year. Today 10,000 crowd into the building registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. All of Dany Boon’s films are released in February

For 10 years, the northerner has reproduced exactly the same marketing scheme before the release of a new film. And obviously it pays. Previews throughout France, premature release in the North (a fortnight before the national date), omnipresence in the media and programming during the winter holidays: Dany boon seems to have found the magic recipe to make his films work. The proof in figures, since Nothing to report made 8.1 million admissions in 2010, Supercondriac in 2014 brought together 5.2 curious people in dark rooms, and Crazy Raid 4.5 million people last year. History is in danger of repeating itself once again with The Ch’tite family which hits theaters tomorrow.

7. Sales of Maroilles exploded

“Chest less strong in the mouth than the smell”.

Famous for being one of the most fragrant cheeses in the region, Maroilles was also a victim of the success of the film released in 2008. The cheese makers have noticed an increase in sales of 20 to 30%, making it possible to live more than 2000 people in the region.

8. Dany Boon said “no” to Will Smith

Welcome to the Ch’tis was also very successful internationally, particularly in Europe, Germany (2.4 million admissions) and Belgium (1.1 million). A remake of the film was also produced in Italy. Entitled Benvenuti al South (Welcome to the South), the film tells the story of a Milanese who leaves northern Italy after being transferred to the south. You should also know that the feature film was exported across the Atlantic but without success. Welcome to the Sticks could have been the title of the American remake, but it was never shot. For good reason, after having met Will smith and producers of Warner Bros. to validate this project, Dany refused in quick succession three scenarios. In early 2015, he officially announced that The US Ch’tis had fallen into the water.

9. The film is at the origin of a new award to the Caesar

In 2009, Dany boon was disappointed to see only one nomination for his film at the César (best screenplay). He was even more disappointed when he left empty-handed, beaten by Marc Abdelnour and Martin Provost for Séraphine. He also wanted to express his dissatisfaction : “You just have to look at this year, there are only two nominations for comedies, out of 100 nominations. I do not find that normal and I say that I have no place in a party that boycotts comedies “.

Shortly after that, Alain Terzian, president of the Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema, which organizes the César, informs him of the possible creation of a reward for general public comedies. As a consequence of that, Dany boon swallows his pride, well almost. When in 2010 the actor goes on stage to award the César for best first film. Dressed in jogging bottoms, he adds fuel to the fire by declaring : “You also have to know how to recognize success, the plebiscite. We make cinema for the public. Too bad: it’s the film festival and we are not there.”

He finally won his case in 2018 since for the first time, the César du Public will be awarded to a French film. This award for the feature film which has made the most admissions during the year was given to Crazy Raid, of Dany boon, since it recorded more than 4.6 million admissions. ” Good things come to those who wait for “. Note that this reward has since been removed: after being given to the Tuche 3, in 2019, its rules were changed so that voters could elect their favorite film among the five biggest hits of the year. It is then Wretched, by Ladj Ly, who won in 2020, but the award was not renewed in 2021.

10. The North to make people laugh

Dany boon Understood it well: to make people laugh, nothing beats self-mockery. After the immense success of Welcome to the Ch’tis, in 2008, the director-actor returned in 2018 with a new story of Ch’tis, in The Ch’tite family. One more time Dany boon focuses on making life hard on clichés, in a crazy comedy where he talks about what he knows best: his native region. Making people laugh with benevolence, that’s without doubt the key to the success of Dany boon.

Why it is useless to say bad (or good) about Dany Boon

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