Taglines: Soon the first snow will come, and then he will kill again.
The logic in beginning with “The Snowman” may be that it’s the most hookily lurid of Nesbø’s narratives, centered as it is on the hunt for what we are told is Norway’s first serial killer: a darkly whimsical maniac who’s kidnapping and carving up a variety of women in Oslo, Bergen and beyond, leaving a stern-faced snowman at the scene of every crime.
Before we get to that, however, an oblique prologue takes us to the remote, icy countryside, where a single mother and her adolescent son are routinely terrorized by a local cop until Mom drives her car into and under a frozen lake. What bearing this grim vignette has on the ensuing plot remains unclear for some time, as does its place in the film’s slip-sliding chronology: Blame it on lurching storytelling or unchanging trends in Norwegian knitwear, but transitions between the present, the late 2000s and the mid-1980s are perhaps foggier than they need to be.
The Snowman is a 2017 British crime thriller film directed by Tomas Alfredson and written by Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan and Søren Sveistrup, based on the novel of the same name by Jo Nesbø. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, J. K. Simmons, and Chloë Sevigny, and follows a detective who tries to find the identity of a killer who uses snowmen as his calling card.
Principal photography on the film commenced on 18 January 2016 in Oslo, Norway. Fassbender was spotted on set for the first time on 21 January in the Barcode area of Oslo, shooting a scene on the tram. A big scene depicting a party, which required over 300 extras, was shot in Oslo City Hall on 5 February.
Production moved to the area of Rjukan on 9 February, and to Bergen on 23 February. Filming in Bergen included locations such as the mountain of Ulriken, Bryggen and Skansen firestation. Production moved back to Oslo for the remainder of filming in mid-March. This included scenes at Restaurant Schrøder, where Harry Hole is a regular in the novel series. Scenes were also shot in Drammen and on the Atlantic Ocean Road. Filming ended on 1 April 2016. Reshoots and additional filming took place in Norway during the spring of 2017.
The Snowman premiered at the Haifa International Film Festival on 7 October 2017. It was released on 13 October 2017 in the United Kingdom and on 20 October 2017 in the United States. As of 20 December 2017, The Snowman has grossed $6.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $36.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $43 million, against a production budget of $35 million.
In the United States and Canada, The Snowman was released alongside Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Geostorm, and Only The Brave, and was expected to gross around $10 million from 1,813 theaters in its opening weekend. However after making just $1.3 million on its first day (including $270,000 from Thursday night previews), weekend predictions were lowered to $4 million. It went on to debut to just $3.2 million, finishing 8th at the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 64% to $1.2 million, falling to 17th place at the box office. The film was then pulled from 1,291 theaters in its third week and fell 86% to $167,685, finishing 33rd.
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The Snowmanr (2017)
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloë Sevigny, Jonas Karlsson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michael Yates, Ronan Vibert, Genevieve O’Reilly, Toby Jones, James D’Arcy, Adrian Dunbar
Screenplay by: Peter Straughan, Hossein Amini
Production Design by: Maria Djurkovic
Cinematography by: Dion Beebe
Film Editing by: Claire Simpson, Thelma Schoonmaker
Set Decoration by: Tatiana Macdonald
Art Direction by: Astrid Strøm Astrup, Ben Collins, Robert Cowper, Linda Janson
Music by: Marco Beltrami
MPAA Rating: R for grisly images, violence, some language, sexuality and brief nudity.
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: October 13, 2017