Genghis Khan rules! Sergei Bodrov's Mongol (Picturehouse), the first installment of a planned trilogy covering the Mongolian military leader, cleaned up at the indie box office, taking in $25,360 per screen, according to estimates compiled by Leonard Klady at Movie City News. Our own Jeffrey M. Anderson didn't even like the battle scenes -- "polite and observant rather than reckless or exciting" -- much less the movie as a whole. Eric D. Snider was more admiring, if not wildly enthusiastic, as were most critics (per Rotten Tomatoes).
Two films that opened at one theater each performed quite well. Take Out (Cavu Pictures) earned $9,900. Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou, the film depicts a day in the life of an illegal Chinese immigrant who must pay off a large debt to his smugglers or face the consequences. The only way to pay the debt? Get good tips from his wealthy delivery route. Both the New York Times and Village Voice were complimentary.
Eric Guirado's Grocer's Son (Film Movement) made $9,500. The titular character must leave the city to return to the country and care for his sick father's duties. Gradually he finds that the villagers are not so gruff after all, and romance might be blooming too. Slant Magazine and Variety published positive reviews, though noting various flaws.
Other new releases included Sarkar Raj (Eros), which made $7,860 per screen at 70 locations; When Did You Last See Your Father? (Sony Pictures Classics), $4,650 per screen at eight theaters; The Promotion (The Weinstein Co.), $4,410 per screen at six engagements; Mother of Tears (Myriad) $4,260 each on seven screens; and The Go-Getter (Peach Arch), $2,200 each on four screens.