Julia Ducournau is making history yet again. The first woman director to take home Cannes’ most prestigious prize, the Palme d’Or, since Jane Campion in 1993, Ducournau is making a major splash at the box office. Titane “has scored the biggest U.S. opening weekend by a Palme d’Or winner since ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ back in 2004,” Screen Daily reports.
Written by Ducournau, Titane tells the story of Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a dancer, model, and serial killer with a sexual attraction to cars. The revenge thriller sees her posing as an adult version of a local boy who went missing decades prior.
The film “produced the fourth highest debut by a Palme d’Or winner behind Michael Moore’s documentary ($23.9m from 868 cinemas in June 2004), Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction ($9.3m from 1,338 cinemas in October 1994) and David Lynch’s Wild At Heart ($2.9m from 532 cinemas in August 1990). Titane also bears the distinction of delivering the second highest opening weekend for a French film in the U.S. since Alex Aja’s High Tension (‘Haute Tension’) opened on $689,091 from 1,323 cinemas in June 2005,” the source details.
Titane took in $223,120 on Friday, $173,330 on Saturday, and $119,297 on Sunday, and its weekend per screen average was $918. The film made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month. Neon is distributing the film stateside.
Campion won the Palme d’Or for Holly Hunter-starrer The Piano, which went on to score eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and writing and directing nods for Campion. She won for the period pic’s original screenplay. Her latest feature — and her first in over 10 years — is slated to hit select theaters November 17 and Netflix December 1. Titled The Power of the Dog, the Western made its world premiere at Venice Film Festival and tells the story of dysfunctional brothers and the local widow who brings their relationship to a boiling point. Kirsten Dunst is receiving Oscar buzz for her supporting role in the Montana-set film.
Ducournau made her feature debut with 2016 cannibal coming-of-age pic Raw.