CATEGORIES Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Thrillers, Sony Classics, ThinkFilm, Box Office, Fox Searchlight, Cinematical Indie, Samuel Goldwyn Films, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeA French master topped an American actress' directorial debut this weekend. Claude Lelouch's Roman de Gare (Samuel Goldwyn) opened at two theaters in Manhattan and grossed $25,500, for a very nice $12,750 per-screen average, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo. The French-language thriller scored 73% positive at Rotten Tomatoes, though a number of critics had reservations about its twisty, playful nature.
Helen Hunt's comedy/drama Then She Found Me (ThinkFilm) hauled in $8,266 per-screen at nine locations. Hunt plays a teacher who must deal with an unlikely fiancee (Matthew Broderick), a volatile love interest (Colin Firth), and the unexpected appearance of her mother (Bette Midler). Ryan Stewart felt that the story is "as old as the hills," but that it was "still executed with style."
Standard Operating Procedure (Sony Classics), the latest doc by Errol Morris, has generated controversy not only because of its subject matter -- the story behind the notorious Abu Gharib prison photos -- but because Morris has admitted to paying some of the interviewees. Reviews were mostly positive (79%, according to Rotten Tomatoes). Opening at two theaters in Manhattan, the film averaged $7,450 per screen.
Two holdovers continued to perform well. Tom McCarthy's excellent The Visitor (Overture) expanded into 76 theaters nationwide and averaged $6,684 per screen in its third week of release. Stephen Walker's heartwarming music doc Young @ Heart (Fox Searchlight) expanded from 23 to 56 locations and grossed an average of $4,017 per screen.