Melchior: The Apothecary Trilogy, a Domestic and International Success Story

    Melchior: The Apothecary by Elmo Nüganen Melchior: The Apothecary by Elmo Nüganen photo: Robert Lang

    TALLINN: The first international territories where the Estonian/German/Latvian/Lithuanian trilogy Melchior: The Apothecary by Elmo Nüganen was sold by Global Screen are France, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In Estonia the trilogy had almost 300,000 admissions.

    In France, Condor Entertainment started the VoD distribution of the trilogy in March 2024. In Germany and Austria, as well as in the Czech Republic the licence for VoD distribution started on 1 May 2024, with Amazon Digital Services as the distributor for Germany and Austria, and iPrima for the Czech Republic.

    In May 2023, Melchior the Apothecary was made available on Germany’s largest telecom enterprise Magenta TV as a 6 x 45 minutes miniseries with German dubbing, as well as on the Czech streaming platform iPrima (all three films). Telekom Deutschland has also acquired the trilogy, but the date of the release is yet to be announced.

    The German interest in such a project didn’t come out of the blue. The medieval Tallinn, where the events of the trilogy take place, was a sister city of Lübeck, with very strong cultural and economic ties. German coproducer Philipp Kreutzer of Maze-Pictures knew that his involvement would make the project more appetising for a German audience.

    At home, the domestic distributor Estonian Theatrical Distribution LLC has reported a tremendous success of this medieval crime thriller in domestic cinemas, where the three parts were released on 15 April 2022, 19 August 2022 and 14 April 2023, respectively.

    Melchior: The Apothecary by Elmo Nüganen, photo: Robert LangDomestically, Melchior: The Apothecary / Apteeker Melchior, the first part of the trilogy, had 129,895 admissions and 881,551 EUR gross. Melchior the Apothecary: The Ghost / Apteeker Melchior: Viirastus had 86,762 admissions and 602,352 EUR gross, while Melchior the Apothecary: The Executioner`s Daugther / Apteeker Melchior: Timuka tütar reported 77,951 admissions and 565,451 EUR gross.

    Melchior the Apothecary is based on Estonia’s most popular series of crime novels by Indrek Hargla. Films based on these, available in feature film as well as series format, take us to medieval Tallinn in the prime of the Hanseatic League, the trade alliance we could call a forerunner of the European Union. Based on the positive outcome of Melchior the Apothecary films, we are releasing a new crime feature from the same writer, directed by Jaak Kilmi, The Shadow”, Estonian producer Kristian Taska from Taska Film told FNE.

    Melchior the Apothecary is an Estonian/German/Latvian/Lithuanian coproduction, produced by Taska FilmNafta FilmsApollo Film Productions and Hansa Film, coproduced by Maze- Pictures, Film Angels Productions and InScript, and supported by the Estonian Film Institute, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Viru Film Fund, the Film Fund of Saare County, the Tartu Film Fund, the National Film Center of Latvia, the Riga Film Fund, the Lithuanian Tax Incentive, Creative Europe MEDIA, Kanal2, and Apollo.