CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Box Office, Cinematical Indie, Western, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeJust to show you how old I really am, I bought a ticket to see Joy Division on what was to be their first American tour in 1980 (The Starwood, Los Angeles, $6.00). In those pre-Internet days, it was a couple of weeks before I learned that lead singer Ian Curtis had taken his own life (and the show was canceled). Nowadays, the buzz has been building for months about Anton Corbijn's Control. In his Cannes review, James Rocchi wrote that the film finds "beauty and sadness in a story where we know the sad finale." Playing in just one theater (two screens at Film Forum) in Manhattan, Control earned an estimated $27,000 this past weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, tops among new limited releases.
I have no story to share about my own personal doll -- really! -- but Lars and the Real Girl is much more than a cheap joke about the subject, according to our own Monika Bartyzel: "It's actually a smart, well-crafted, and heart-wrenching film that smoothly discusses the intricacies of loss and depression." But does it bring the funny, Monika? "It has many humorous moments, but they serve to relieve tension, not drive the story." All that and Ryan Gosling too! Playing at seven locations, Lars made $85,000 for a very good per-screen average of $12,142.
Sleuth, the remake of the 1972 film of the same name, had difficulty drawing audiences at its nine locations despite the star combo of Michael Caine and Jude Law, earning $5,566 for an estimated total of $50,100.
The Darjeeling Limited ($11,842 average, 95 screens) and Lust, Caution ($7,870 average, 77 screens) did well as they expanded in their third week of release, while Into the Wild held up well in its fourth week ($6,248, 153 screens). Amid reports that critics were having difficulty seeing it in advance, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford expanded to 163 screens in its fourth week and earned an average of just $2,361. I'm not as much in love with the film as others, but I think more people would be giving it a chance if Warner Brothers didn't appear to be dumping it. This is a film that needs critical support -- a few TV ads wouldn't hurt, either.