CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, Horror, Independent, Sony Classics, Box Office, Focus Features, The Weinstein Co., Cinematical Indie, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeWhat a quiet weekend for indie films! Two holdovers performed very well, while several newly-opened films faced difficulty in attracting audiences. In its second week of release, The Band's Visit (Sony Pictures Classics) expanded from seven to 13 theaters and enjoyed a per-screen average of $9,769, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo. The Israeli film may sound like a traditional culture-crossing crowd-pleaser (tiny Egyptian police orchestra gets lost en route to a gig, spends the night in a tiny rural Israeli town, everyone learns important life lessons), but the material is deftly handled to produce a very satisfying and thoughtful entertainment.
Also in its second week out, In Bruges (Focus Features) stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as hit men cooling their heels in Belgium after a job gone wrong. James Rocchi said it moves "in unexpected directions which are the kind of unexpected that you do not actually expect." Specialty audiences turned out in good numbers to see it, to the tune of $8,178 per screen at 112 locations.
In an interesting move, The Weinstein Co. opened George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead on just 42 screens. Romero traveled the country to promote his latest zombie flick, but I'm not sure this release strategy will work. In my town, for example, the movie opened exclusively at the Angelika Film Center, better known for art films than flesh-eating mini-epics. Diary of the Dead grossed (no pun intended) $5,537 per screen.
The Brazilian period drama The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (City Lights) earned $4,855 per screen at 18 locations, a good turn-out for an unheralded picture that received generally good notices from critics.