This came in a little while ago from MK2, the French distributor. Thought I’d share it with you.

Dig that poster.



When You’re Strange, the Doors documentary, directed by Tom DiCillo, reached 55 099 admissions in France in one week, on 55 prints.

It is the best opening of a musical documentary in France in a long time. French film goers overwhelmingly voted in favour of the band with a rating outside cinemas of 93% (Source Ecran Total / Observatoire de la Satisfaction).

Along with the newsstand Special Edition of the Magazine ‘Trois Couleurs’ dedicated to the group and a soundtrack released by Rhino France, Tom DiCillo’s film reinforces the myth and reveals the true cult of the Doors, especially with the young public.

In its second week, French distributor MK2 Diffusion, has added 37 prints, which adds up to a total of 92 copies in France.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the film!!!


Posted by:Tom

59 thoughts on “ 78. WEEK ONE in FRANCE ”

  1. Hey Tom,

    I have no idea how to say “COOL” or “Awesome News!” in French, but rest assured, if I did, I’d say it here.

    That’s terrific news and I’m sure it’s a rewarding feeling to see this reaction after the effort they put into the film. I’m happy for you 🙂

    Keep it up – and I think the film will come to life more on DVD in the USA. I’ll take pics at the Athens screening later this month.


  2. Tres bon– tres tres tres bon. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

    That’s about the extent of my French, but it pretty well covers what I want to say anyway.

    Oh yeah–except for


  3. Hi Tom, last tuesday they did show “WYS” in cable here in Chile, but didn´t want to see it until it reaches theaters. If it doesn´t I will still be buying the dvd, I have to see it in 5.1. I did see some small pieces of the documentary though. I couldn´t help it but then changed quickly to another channel, it was very hard though to not watch it.

    Hope It does get here to theaters

    Thanks for doing this

    Regards from South America

  4. 92 prints = to more people = #1!!!

    As Jim would say… “Dig it!” with a beaming smile!!!!!!!!

    ((I’m still putting my chip on that #1 spot for “When You’re Strange”, Tom! You’ll see – it WILL get there!!! 🙂 )))

    By the way, I got the WYS CD and appreciated you putting the extra poetry on there. Classy. VERY classy! 🙂 Good that you got your name on the poster within the CD. ((wink))

    THANK YOU to MK2 for believing in WYS! Keep up the great work at promoting the film!

    TO ALL: Have a wonderful day!

    Ms. Ann Onimuss 🙂

  5. Tom!!! I was so embarrassed when I noticed you actually edited my humongous comment in your previous blog entry, instead of just slashing it in half or doing away with it completely! Thank you, that was kind and very generous of you. Look I sincerely apologize for clumsily dumping this editing job on you, that was not right. I do better (slightly…) when I take plenty of time to ponder and condense my thoughts before I post a comment but sometimes I get impatient and this was one of those times. I don’t know you so it’s hard to gauge with certainty what went on but if you felt pissed off or annoyed at having to waste time fixing my comment, again I am very sorry, I´ll try to be more careful from now on.
    The French poster is gorgeous, wish I could get a copy.

  6. Tom,

    I was impressed with your quote regarding the many facets of Jim Morrison. It made me chuckle as I thought of a chameleon and finally understand the “Lizard King” concept!

    “Clearly, I mean, a tremendously complicated guy, with a lot of issues. But I tried to say, ‘Listen, I’m going to show you as many sides of this guy that we know, at times, you know, a drunken oaf, at times, an amazingly brilliant performer and writer, and, you know, presence.’ At times a goofball, a little kid, the scene of him dancing in the desert with those boys [in ‘HWY], you know they stumbled upon these kids, and there he was dancing with them. And he looked like one of them, you know, there was no difference on his face, the look on his face and the look on their faces. He was committed to it. And one of the things I discovered with this movie was that I had to, finally, treat Jim as if he was a character I had written. And, in that sense, don’t judge him, just portray him, don’t romanticize him, just show him, but, by all means, do not judge him. And that enabled me to show the different sides of him.”

    🙂 Ms. Ann Onimuss

  7. PS. I found the stats from for France.

    The advertising is definitely working! LOOK AT THAT PER ENGAGEMENT NUMBER!!! You blew everyone out of the water!

    It appears each show must be at or about capacity which is GREAT! The other films just have more prints (which naturally yields more revenue), but I’m sure MK2 will pay attention and ramp up more prints as the weeks go along to let the film soar into #1. These prints will grow legs…you’ll see! 🙂

  8. Well, I saw my third viewing of When You’re Strange last night in a strange dream, the details and resolution were a little overwhelming, I flew in back East and was hanging out on this little patio at Rockefeller University over looking the East River, talking to Tom (a different Tom), and I glance at my watch and I’ve got 5 minutes to make the film, Running, Running Running, I finally have Ramsey Interstate Cinema in sight (I wonder if it is still there – doubt it) and I get a ticket, the place is now some maze of mega–a-plex, , I’m pointed to a stairway, leading down, the walls are painted a deep red enamel, finally after going through a tunnel, I enter the theater, it is packed with teenagers, I find a lone seat in the back next to some dudes from Don Bosco, just in time, as the film’s opening sounds reverberate in my chest (courteous of our Tom).

  9. Hello Alfredo,
    Thanks very much for writing. It is amazing to me the film is finding audiences in Chile. It only goes to show how strong The Doors are.

    Thanks you for showing such restraint in not watching it on cable. But, you know; you could have. I wouldn’t have minded. I hope though they did not edit anything.

    You are right, the 5.1 sound on the dvd will be incredible and if you have a reasonably good home theater you will hear some fantastic music!!


  10. Hey Janet,
    Good to hear from you. I agree, Vive la France. I’m not sure of the exact reason why the film is doing so well there. But, the openness to the film and to the band was very, very different to what happened here in America.

    All very puzzling…


  11. Hello Ms Ann Onymuss,
    I’m glad you responded to that interview. Believe me, not everything comes out coherent no matter how many times you answer a question. But something struck me during that moment that I think made it onto the page.

    I agree, the addition of Jim’s poetry recited by Johnny Depp works really well on the CD. It was not my idea though.

    And the numbers out of France continue to be amazing. You are right to thank MK2. Believe me, I have too.


  12. Hey Renata,
    No worries about the editing. It was pretty simple. I just took the main sentence of each of your paragraphs! Yes, you did tend to go off a bit, but your passion is clearly evident.

    I agree with you about the French poster. I’m considering contacting Mk2 and suggesting the make the poster available for sale online. What do you think?


  13. Super Mario,
    You are truly a warrior. Thanks for your enormous support of the film.

    Yes, I did the Opening Credits music, as well as most of the stuff that hovers in the backround whenever the Doors masterpieces are not playing.

    Now you’ve seen the film in two states. Perhaps only a match with Elaine when she gets back from Georgia. But, if you head to Georgia yourself you’d still be one up on her.


  14. Ok, it’s a relief to know it was not a big deal, whew. And in the end out of this screw up I got an editing tip from you, that was very cool and it will be used, thanks.
    What I think about your poster idea is that if this poster is available I´ll get one for sure, man, or two if I can afford it, it will be GREAT, let us know if it happens.
    I’m out now to watch Brazil play in the World Cup, well not exactly “watch”, I get too nervous so I only peek now and then.
    Have a great Sunday everybody.
    NOTE: This comment was originally 3 pages long but I edited it meself and just left the main sentences.
    Just kidding, Tom!:)

  15. Hey Tom,

    I can’t wait to see WYS again on the big screen. Was out of town this weekend and will go next weekend. Hope you’re doing well and you’ll be hearing from me 🙂

    Renata – thanks for the chuckle on the comment being 3 pgs long and edited it yourself. I hear ya. I can ramble with the best of them and your comment thread made me smile.

    Mario – yep, come down to GA, man! The WYS site is incorrect – WYS is playing in Athens from now until 6/27, possibly 6/30. I’m going to see it next weekend, plus I saw it in Atlanta, plus on PBS, and of course I’ll buy the DVD, etc. etc.

    Glad it’s still doing well in France 🙂 Woo Hoo!


  16. Hey Tom,

    Just thought I would let you know man, I just got home from a press screening of the new Woody Allen (which is very good by the way) and in the foyer of the cinema there it was: “Coming Soon- Tom DiCillo’s When You’re Strange” and a cool poster. I had a big ‘ol smile to myself; finally the movie is getting an official Irish release 🙂


  17. Hello Tom,

    I saw “When you’re strange”! And, yes, I enjoyed it a lot! Thank you Tom! If there is one film on The Doors to see, it is yours! Defenitely. It is so sensitive and pure. Purely dangerous. I’m so glad it is popular in France! Why is it so? According to me, first, Jim is in Père Lachaise. That’s in Paris. In France. The group was very popular in France. Still is. Then, because of the French revolution (hi, hi, hi!). Also, some French people happen to have quite a good taste in cinema. For example, Woody Allen is far more popular in France than in the States. He even thanked the French at the end of one of his movies-forgot the tittle- “Thank God the French exist!”
    MK2 also did a very good job! And that’s wonderful! Your film is really great!I’m glad for you! Wishing you all the best!
    Claire Loiseau,
    The dangerous French woman,
    as I was called in Philly…

  18. Tom,

    Here’s a fun fact for you…

    If MK2 matched the prints/engagements to 651 (your competition from the week ending 6/15/10) and you still keep the flow of 6,121 per average engagement…YOUR box office would be $3,984,771 and dollar wise YOU will be #1!!! That’s a nice ROI if MK2 can make that happen! ((Hint hint!))

    The comparative figures are eye opening and reveal a wonderful opportunity for you and the entire team on WYS!

    Warmest Regards,
    Ms. Ann Onimuss 🙂

  19. Hey Wayne,
    That’s great to hear about WYS in Ireland. It doesn’t look like I’ll be coming over so you can be our eyes and ears. I’m really curious to see how it does over there.

  20. Hello Claire,
    I like your thoughts on why WYS may be appealing to the French. I do think there is some truth to what you say.

    In any event, I too agree with Monsieur Allen, “Thank god the French exist.” They haven’t loved all my films but I’m especially proud and happy they like this one.

    I’m also glad you responded to the film. I appreciate your kind words very much. If they called you The Dangerous Woman in Philly what do they call you in France?


  21. Hello Ann(onymuss),
    Well, I don’t know if the MK2 will do what you suggest but I do know this: they are still very happy. The film is now playing on 100 screens.

    This is pretty amazing.

    I think the total number of prints for the entire US was about 10.


  22. 10 prints plus lots of fliers in the Atlanta and Athens areas 🙂

    I’m going to see WYS on Saturday afternoon in Athens. Will let you know how it is again on the big screen. I hear good things about the theater so hopefully the sound and everything will be better than Atlanta.

    Any progress on Lost in Blue?


  23. Hello Tom,

    Thanks for your reply!Thanks for making me laugh! Ahahahahahah!!
    In france, people never believe I’m French!!They keep asking me “Where do you come from?”I have been given all sorts of various nationalities from South America to Scandinavia through Montenegro!!
    Never Asian though!
    100 screens!!
    That is amazing indeed!!
    I’m really glad for you!!

  24. Hey Tom and all,

    I recently came home from Athens, GA where I saw WYS once more on the big screen. All the details and info about this experience are posted in a new blog by me here:

    To sum up, even though the DVD is coming out in 3 days, the theater was 90% full, people of all ages. Not one person picked up a cell phone to check the time or see if they had a text. No one whispered or did anything other than stay entranced for 90 minutes. Even the college students, who made up 30% of the audience, didn’t try checking their phones even once. I have never seen this happen, not for any film until now.

    At the end, everyone smiled and applauded. This was truly one of the best theater audience experiences I’ve ever had, and it couldn’t have been a better last big screen showing for WYS.

    Check out the blog for more details if you get a chance. What a fantastic day and film, Tom. I know the US didn’t do what France has done, but there was a bright glimmer of hope in an artistic little cinema in Athens today. And it was beautiful.


  25. Jun 28th, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    Dear Tom;
    Yesterday I went to Bayonne, the other side of the border between Spain and France, as people used to do to see the last tango in paris, when it was impossible to be seen here, and finally got to see WYS.

    I was so excited to go to this litle independent cinema by the river, and fearing not having tickets after the ordeal to get there, got the 1st one! Sat on my own, hadn’t told anybody why I was going away for the day, sat at the back row, hoping not to get people too near, it was a special moment for me The room seated for 52, and I counted 34, not bad for a sunday at 5.30 after two weeks on.

    the film touched me, man I had seen most of the images here and there before, others were new though, love the one when jim is looking at the camera through an astray and his cheeky looks,,, his drunk moods, his body changes, the miami concert, the rest of the band, appear like interesting musicians kind of overshadowed by this other complex human being,, cant have been easy for them then or now, to get on with your own life.

    It felt real listening to Depp, saying that jim was egocentric and very intelligent,
    Just to tell you that from what I know, it felt like an exciting honest portrait of a band with a great lead actor, and offers info about other aspects and interests of jim morrison, a realy well spoken, man, great with words,, m will definely buy the dvd, but didnt want to miss the chance of experiencing the magic of the cinema.

    un beso helena

    ps took a couple of photos of the cinema door

  26. Hi, Tom. I’m a Doors fan of over 20 years and I love the film you put together. I really love how you created a narrative thread with Jim’s HWY footage. I love the music in those scenes and I’m wondering if those tracks are the music you composed for the film. Is there any way to get a hold of those tracks on itunes or through your website?

  27. Hey Elaine,
    What a great comment to get. I read your account of the screening in Georgia on your blog. It made me want to be there.

    Thanks so much for not only going Deep South to see the film yet again but for writing about the experience so eloquently.

    That’s pretty much it for the US but there are two European openings tomorrow; the UK and Germany. The releases will be much smaller in scale than France but I will be curious to see how the film does there.

    My best to you.

  28. Hey Harry,
    Thanks for posting the link to the German interview. I’ve actually done much more press for Germany than the UK; mostly over the phone. I did a few live interviews for Germany while I was in France.

    I hear the German release will only be on 11 prints total. So, let’s see if the German Doors fans get out and buy a ticket or two.


  29. Hello Helena (Bilobabilo),
    What a great story about your journey into the Basque Country to see When You’re Strange. Thank you so much for the eyewitness account and for making the trip.
    My computer went down as I was reading your comment and it disappeared. I had to write it again from memory. I may have left out a few words but look what I did remember!

    I’m very glad you liked the film. I love that part of Spain. I have been up into that area several times; Gijon, San Sebastian–it is a very strong part of the country.

    Spread the word if you can. I’m not sure we’re getting a theatrical release in Spain. Too bad…


  30. Hey Alfredo,
    Thanks for writing and thanks for the link to the French Rolling Stone. I can’t quite read it, even though I did say all the words.

    I’m happy about the coverage but goddammit, I’ll say it again: this band and this movie should have been on the cover of the Rolling Stone here in the US and around the world.

    I hope you get a chance to see the film in Deutschland. Let us know about it if you do.


  31. Hey Patrick,
    What a cool comment. First, I’m pleased you responded to the film. Second, I’m completely flabbergasted you noticed the music I did. Yes, I did all the tonal stuff that covers the HWY footage, from the Opening Credits, through the gas station and the scene of Jim on the rocks.

    The intent with the music was simply to give the audience a little audio break, a kind of cleansing of the palate before the next big wave of incredible Door’s music. My biggest jolt of artistic surprise came when Ray Manzarek turned to me and said, “Hey, man; I really dig the music you did.”

    I’m glad you liked it. I think about how to get up on the site some how.


  32. Alright, Stuart,
    I guess this is it. No matter what I appreciate your interest in the film.
    After all this time I have come to a personal assessment of the film no matter what other people may say. I think I made a good film. I think it will not satisfy those who were looking to see new amazing info about how Jim screwed a rabbit during a concert in Kansas.

    But, it does offer for the first time a pure, truthful and intensely intimate glimpse into a moment in the lives of these four amazing human beings. I know this glimpse is new and unique. And I know it has value; for itself, for me and for a huge amount of people.

    So there you go.


  33. Tom, I have saw WYS on screen today and i found it a very well made film, you did a great job and it showed you a more”fuller” portrait of jim than was shown in the stone film.

    But i stand by what i said about the errors in it tom, they could have been easily avoided.

    Pity Tom…

  34. Hey Stuart,
    I’m glad you liked it on the big screen. I appreciate your continued support.
    And remember, we already discussed and determined together that the “errors” you erroneously refer to are not really that big a deal and are actually rather miniscule in the scope of things.

  35. Tom. you know we would have a heated debate but you DID make a very powerful film despite the errors…..

    Get over to scotland…

  36. Tom, Today I have just watched WYS Again at the cinema, 39 years to the day Morrison Passed away.

    I wont go on about the errors as we both have our views on that but on the whole you should give yourself a big pat on the back for making such a powerful piece of ART.

    At the Cinema i was at they had a Nicely sized poster of WYS just outside and in the lobby they have a quite big one.

    The HWY Footage is breathtaking, they really should release HWY in the cinema.

    As a Massive massive doors fan. THANK YOU for making the film.

    I have it pre ordered on dvd andi’m STILL going to see it at the cinema as when i asked how long it will run for, the lady told me”Indefinte”!! .

    I have a couple of pics of me at the cinema in edinburgh standing at the WYS poster. are you interested in seeing it? how would i post it onhere??

  37. Thanks Tom 🙂

    I also meant to tell you I liked your music throughout WYS. I was so focused on the film the first time I saw it, then catching whatever I missed the next few times, and in Athens made a conscious effort to pick out where your music was. Great job – I especially like the instrumentals around the beginning of the film and the gas station.

    Hope you have a happy 4th!


  38. aupa again tom, ( this would be my last one on wys)
    just want to state , that I like the o. stone film, ( I have seen it again after 20 years) val kilmer is great, yours is great in a different way, it feels real…modern, exciting,, bla, bla.

    just wanted to repeat that the cinema in bayonne was Látalante, which carries the name of a 1934 subversive french film about love, with oniric, surrealist images,, it couldnt have been a better venue!!! and it rounds up my personal trip!!, all the best and I will keep an eye on your career from the distance.

    besos and eskerrik asko( thanks in basque) for making this little jewel,, I am already spreading the news,, and once I get the dvd, will organize sth , a the doors party to celebrate the spirit of a group and a time,,,

    Ps, must say that I loved the looks of the 4 members sunnies, shirts,,,woow,,,
    agur helena from bilbao in babilo(n)

  39. Hey Tom,

    Wanted to share the blurb on the Netflix cover of WYS and what it said. Of course, even though I’ve already bought the DVD, I forgot it was saved to the top of my Netflix list to watch, so they sent it to me even though I’d already bought the DVD.

    I like this blurb – sometimes Netflix doesn’t do an accurate portrayal of the movie, but I like this one. It says:

    Composed entirely of original footage from 1966-1971, Tom DiCillo’s documentary about the Doors filters truth from myth, reveals new insight into Jim Morrison and his bandmates, and captures the essence of the iconic rock group and the era. DiCillo’s film pays tribute to the Doors and their music and to a generation’s struggle for individuality and authenticity during an unstable and transformative epoch in America.

    I think the only way the above could have been made better would have been to list Ray, Robby and John instead of saying “bandmates” – however, considering some of Netflix’s lousy descriptions on several films, I overall liked this one.


  40. I also thought that Rolling Stone should have had The Doors on the cover when WYS was released. Like you, I was disappointed that it did not happen. However, the truth is I haven´t bothered with this magazine for years, and last I checked, their website opened with a picture of Miley Cyrus as a (supposedly sexy??) vampire. This and poor old Steve Tyler showing a nipple were some of what they called their “hot rock pics”. So that´s Rolling Stone for you. Maybe not a publication The Doors, or anybody really, should want to be too closely associated with at this point in time and space.
    However, in another, more beautiful universe…check it out:

  41. Hi Tom,

    I’m enjoying the WYS blu-ray and am only hoping some day we can meet up so you can sign it. It really is a work of art. It really was not given the attention it deserved in theaters (in the U.S.) but I made the most of it (hard to believe it’s been over a year since I first saw it; time goes too damn fast).
    Meanwhile, I guess this is Jim’s “HWY”:

    Also, WYS has already been named one of the Top 10 of the year (at least so far):

    Thanks again, Tom. It was a lot of fun following the journey with you.

  42. Hi Tom,

    there is a really favorable review in The Süddeutsche Zeitung the largest German national subscription daily newspaper. A kind of german New York Times. Hopefully you know somebody who knows very very good german and very very good english to translate it for you. It is really extremply positiv.
    box-office wise first week: 1.941 viewers in 11 cinemas.

  43. Hi Tom,

    The doc has been showing in London officially for almost a week. I try to read any review that I may spot in the press. It’s fascinating: some positive feedback, some negative comments, sometimes it feels like the reviewer watched quite a different film from the one I saw. Hope this entices more people to go and make up their own mind. I still think this film should be watched (and enjoyed the most) while standing and dancing in a wide space.

    Greetings from sunny London

  44. Tom,

    Everyone at ODU remains proud of you and your body of work. When You’re Strange is an excellent film! I’m watching it for the second time. We would love to have you back to campus and bestow a long awaited Distinguished Alumni Award. Let me know if you’re interested! -Alonzo

  45. Hey Stuart,
    I appreciate your enthusiasm for the film. I also enjoyed reading the article you sent from the Scottish newspaper. It is rewarding to see that someone actually saw what I was trying so hard to portray.

    It’s so funny; all people have to do is just open their eyes.


  46. Hey Elaine,
    Now you really do get the credit for the most times watching the film, including travelling out of state, buying it and having it delivered to your door.

    Yes, the opening music is mine. So is the piece that gets us in and out of the gas station. I also did the music for when Jim stops to look at the dying coyote. And several others including the final moments of Jim in Paris before he dies.

    I agree with you about the Netflix blurb. The Doors were 4 people, not Jim and 3 others.


  47. Hello Helena,
    Good to hear from you again. Thank you very much for all your kind words about the film. At the moment there is no theatrical distribution for Spain which is very sad.

    So, you are a courageous woman for travelling so far to see it.

    Good luck with all your endeavors. I hope there will be a DVD release in Spain.


  48. Hey Renata,
    You are too funny. Great fokkin’ Rolling Stone cover! That’s what they should have done.

    I know all printed magazines and newspapers are in trouble but fer chrissakes; Smily Styrus as a vampire?!

    Of course I have to give them some credit for supporting the film. But, really–so strange the way the film was received here.

    You made my day.

  49. Hey Jeff,
    How does that blue ray look? I haven’t seen it yet? I really appreciate your support over this period. I know, it is hard to believe over a year has gone by.

    I’m going up to the Jacob Burns Film Center next week to show the film and say a few words. It’s near Pleasantville. Any where near you? If so, drop on by with your dvd and I’ll sign it. It would be great to meet you.

    All the footage in WYS that shows Jim with a beard wandering through the desert, driving, hitchiking, swimming, stopping at the gas station are all from HWY. And again, they were all out-takes. No edited sequences were used. I did not want anyone to feel I was simply bastardizing his film, which he clearly put a lot of effort into and was very proud of.

    That is cool about making Marshall Fine’s preliminary Top-Ten list.

  50. Hey Harry,
    that is a great review in the German paper. Thanks for sending that.
    I’ve heard from a few people in Deutschland that the reviews have been supportive and that audiences are going to the film.

    I’m sorry I was unable to come over. Let me know how the film survives over there.

  51. Hey Tamara,
    Thanks for the update from London.

    I kind of had a sense the British press would be a little sniffy. But, you know what? What can you do? Literally nothing. And there is a certain degree of freedom in that.

    Because bottom line, nothing anybody says about the film can change what it is.

    I love your idea of experiencing the film while dancing in a wide space.


  52. Hey Alonzo,
    Great to hear from you again. I’m glad you enjoyed the film. I heard it played at the Naro. I would have loved to sit through one of those screenings. I used to live right around the corner.

    I really appreciate your encouragement. Keep talking. I wouldn’t mind seeing the old alma mater again.

    My best to you.

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