CATEGORIES Independent, Box Office, Distribution, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeNew releases had a tough time drawing interest this past weekend. Leonard Klady of Movie City News estimates that Bollywood comedy Heyy Babyy grossed the highest amount with a box office take averaging $4,460 per screen at 68 locations -- for a total of $300,000. This is the first full-length feature by Sajid Khan, who previously contributed a segment to the anthology film You Must Be Scared. Heyy Babyy looks like it was inspired by Three Men and a Baby; the trailer features a ton of faces being slapped, for some reason that doesn't translate without subtitles.
A handful of indies made their debuts in very limited engagements. Deep Water did the best, with Klady estimating $10,550 for each of its two screens, while Dedication took in $5,570 per screen and Hannah Takes the Stairs followed with $4,800. I checked Rotten Tomatoes for each: Deep Water scored a perfect 100%, while the others trailed far behind, with Dedication at 46% and Hannah at 55%. Cinematical's Nick Schager was highly critical of Dedication, but Jette Kernion was much more positive about Hannah. Deep Water, a doc about nine men competing in a solo boat race around the world in 1968, has a smashing trailer.
Three other new releases performed below expectations; our own Ryan Stewart saw two of them. He quite liked Right at Your Door, which he described as a manipulative but clever thriller with a good performance by Mary McCormack. On the other hand, he described Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State as "one of the most unauthentic films I've seen in a long time ... I've seen more sexual chemistry from two doorknobs." Ouch! Right at Your Door played on 20 screens but could only scare up $1,430 at each, according to Klady's estimate, while The Hottest State only pulled in $2,730 per screen (at three locations). That's still far better than family film Eye of the Dolphin, which dragged in just $290 per screen at 130 locations.