Indie Roundup is your weekly guide to what's new and upcoming in the world of independent film. Pictured from left to right: Animal Kingdom, No One Knows About the Persian Cats, Holy Rollers.
Deals. Five more indies will be seeking your support (and theatrical dollars) in the coming months. Highlights below; hit the links for details, as reported by our friends at indieWIRE.
Animal Kingdom takes a peek inside the criminal underworld in Melbourne, Australia. "Director David Michod has created a well-paced, dark and moody thriller," opined our own Kevin Kelly when the film debuted at Sundance last month. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all US and Latin American rights; release plans have not yet been announced.
No One Knows About the Persian Cats examines the youth and underground music scene in Tehran, Iran. Directed by Bahman Ghobadi, the film gained buzz after debuting at Cannes last year, and will be playing at SXSW next month. Release via IFC in Theaters, (on demand simultaneous with theatrical release), is expected sometime this year.
Holy Rollers features Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) as "a devoted yet wayward Hasidic Jew in late 1990's New York City who somehow becomes involved in an international ecstasy ring." Look for the Sundance premiere to hit theaters in early to mid summer, with distribution to be handled by First Independent Pictures.
Other pickups: Army of Crime (immigrant French Resistance fighters in Paris; Lorber Films expects to release this spring or summer) and Puzzle (Argentine housewife discovers a new gift which may change her life; IFC Films will send it on the fall festival rounds, followed by a theatrical release).
After the jump: Roman Polanski at the box office, and the festival scene.
Indie Weekend Box Office. As one Oscar winner dominates the top of the mainstream charts (Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island), another topped the indie charts. Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer earned an average of $45,762 at the four theaters where it opened, according to Box Office Mojo.
In its second week, My Name is Khan continued to perform well, raking in $700,885, an average of $5,607 at 125 theaters, totaling more than $3 million in box office receipts so far.
The Last Station expanded into an additional 25 theaters and kept up a strong average of $5,121 at 109 theaters. In six weeks of release, it's earned $2.1 million -- not a blockbuster, but respectable for a period drama.
And the documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers increased its theater count to 10 and grossed $4,650 on average at each, which is a good showing in its fourth week of release.
Festival Scene. B-Side Entertainment is closing down; our own Eric D. Snider explains why that's depressing news. On a personal note, I have great empathy for the filmmakers, festivals, and the devoted, hard-working employees and wish them all the very best. B-Side was a true gem of an enterprise, as well as an incredibly useful service.
The Winter Olympics of film festivals, the 60th Berlinale in Germany, has wrapped. The Auteurs has superb coverage, thanks to the invaluable roundups by David Hudson -- note especially this entry that links to more recaps from around the wonderful worldwide web -- and critical dispatches by Neil Young.