The biopic of the Swedish jazz singer has racked up 45 million kronor ($6.8m) in box off receipts since it hit cinema screens on September 13. With a modest budget of $5.6 million it has proven more popular with movie going Swedes than Hollywood blockbusters Iron Man 3 and the recently released Hunger Games sequel.
"I am both pleased and proud that Monica Z has got such a good reception from both audiences and critics during this Swedish film year. A new generation has discovered Monica Z's world and music through the film which I hoped for when we started the project," said the film's producer Lena Rehnberg to Filmdelta.
Monica Z chronicles the trials and tribulations of ambitious singer Monica Zetterlund played by newcomer Edda Magnason. Zetterlund took the jazz scene by storm during her heyday in the 1960s enjoying success in Sweden before crossing the Atlantic where she performed at famous New York jazz clubs.
Her fame and fortune came at a cost with the legend having bouts of alcohol abuse and a fraught relationship with her daughter. Zetterlund was a telephone operator in a small town before hitting the big time five decades ago.
The story of Monica is the modern dilemma of fame – a living legend deeply cherished and loved by the Swedish audiences, yet unable to find love herself," Danish director Per Fly told Cineuropa when the film went on general release in Sweden.
Following the success of the film with Swedish audiences, where it topped the charts on its opening weekend, it has now attracted international attention with the movie being exported to 19 territories.
However, it has yet to receive a distributor in the US but has been picked up by several airlines and will be released in Danish cinemas next year after already proving popular with Norwegian film goers where it had a theatrical release.
"Of course there is added satisfaction that a film you worked very much on has also reached out to an international audience," added producer Rehnberg who was also behind Swedish hit 'Let the right one in.'
Zetterlund died in 2005 in an apartment fire and remains one of Sweden's best loved artists.