Cinematical's Indie Roundup (collage of notable films from 2008)

Indie Roundup reviews the past week of news from the independent film community and provides a peek at what's coming soon.

Deals. Screen Media Films picked up U.S. rights to Women in Trouble and plans a release on November 13. The film, directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, is "a fun addition to the current trend of revisiting and reworking exploitation-film themes in a lighthearted way," wrote our own Jette Kernion earlier this year. "There's a certain pleasure in seeing a movie where the men are relegated to the Supportive Spouse and Lust Interest roles, after I've seen so many films where those are the only roles for women."

Dave Boyle's White on Rice, described as a heartwarming comedy, has been acquired by Variance Films and Tiger Industry Films; a theatrical release is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on September 11 before expanding throughout the fall. Matt Bradshaw pointed the way to the quietly funny trailer. [More details on both deals can be found at indieWIRE.]

Online / On-Demand Viewing. All you Netflix "Watch Instantly" addicts can get your fix from even more indie films, thanks to Cinetic Rights Management. Matt Dentler notes that Richard Linklater's charming (and hugely influential) Slacker and festival favorites like Bob Odenkirk's Melvin Goes to Dinner and Gabriel Fleming's The Lost Coast, among others, are now available for online streaming to subscribers. I suppose it's a little too obvious to point out the irony of making a movie called Slacker even easier to watch, with almost no effort required at all? Ah, life in the 21st Century.

Who won the Indie Weekend Box Office? It's a laughing matter -- find out after the jump!



'In the Loop' (IFC Films)Box Office. Laughter was the real winner. The biting British political comedy In the Loop, debuting in eight theaters, won the weekend with a strong per-screen average of $23,983. As Eric D. Snider pointed out in last Friday's Indie Spotlight, "It's one of the best-reviewed comedies of the year so far, with a 93% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes." Visit the web site of distributor IFC Films to check the upcoming release schedule or see if it's available "on demand" via your cable or satellite system.

Not far behind was (500) Days of Summer, a melancholy tale of romantic joys, woes, and misunderstandings, which earned $19,244 per-screen as it expanded from 27 to 85 theaters. I caught up with it on Saturday evening, and can better understand why it's becoming a popular success, drawing from both younger and older viewers. Its total earnings have passed $3 million in its second week of release.

Kevin Spacey and Shrink lured audiences to the tune of $8,222 per screen at two locations. The explosive thriller The Hurt Locker expanded into 238 theaters and grossed $6,044 per screen.

Not faring so well was The Answer Man, a comedy with Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham, which opened at six theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, and could only manage $2,166 per location.

[All numerical information from Box Office Mojo.]