Gloria was dissed by Oscar, but she scored on the box office rebound. Chile’s entry for Foreign Language Oscar consideration opened in three theaters to a solid debut, grossing $58,775 for a $19,445 average.
Still, Oscar nominee The Great Beauty opened with a $23,442 average though that was in one theater (its 11 week cume is over $11.45M). Gloria trumped over Belgian nominee Broken Circle Breakdown, which opened with $7,100 also in a single location. Denmark’s The Hunt bowed in 4 runs, averaging $10,761 Stateside and the others have yet to show their pizzazz.
Cannes Un Certain Regard Director’s prize winner Stranger By The Lake opened at Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in New York with a good debut. Set on a beach (and the nearby woods) lakeside in rural France, the sexually upfront feature grossed $26,741 for a $13,370 average. It will next head to San Francisco, Seattle and Miami. And Visitors opened in one run. The Cinedigm release grossed $10,742.
Roadside also opened Gimme Shelter in a fairly large 385 theaters, continuing its strategy of skirting the traditional platform release when it has a title with named talent. High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens stars as a pregnant teen who runs away from her abusive addict mother (Rosario Dawson) to find her Wall Streeter dad (Brendan Fraser). The film grossed almost $721K for a $1,872 average. “The film went up a promising 23% from Friday to Saturday and we are finding terrific word of mouth for the film,” noted Roadside chief Howard Cohen Sunday. “We expect the audiences we are targeting to discover the film over the next few weeks.” Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
It’s probably fair to say that this weekend’s Specialty newcomers fall on opposite ends of the moral spectrum, at least for traditionalists. Roadside’s Gimme Shelter has received a friendly blessing from the Catholic Church ahead of its significant bow this weekend, something that is very unlikely to be enjoyed by Strand’s Stranger By The Lake, which will open in limited release. The Sundance Film Festival, however, gave it its thumbs up by programming it in its event, which is winding down in Park City. Roadside is also debuting Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, Gloria, with a traditional art house release, while Cinedigm will open doc feature Visitors, beginning its limited run Friday.
Director-writer: Ron Krauss
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, Stephanie Szostak, James Earl Jones, Dascha Polanco, Anne Dowd
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
It’s somewhat rare when mainstream movies find an ally with the Catholic Church, but Gimme Shelter apparently has friends, even in the highest reaches of the Vatican. The drama centers on a pregnant teen who flees her abusive mother in search of her father, but is rejected by him once she finds him. She’s forced to survive on the streets until a compassionate stranger offers “a hopeful alternative.” “We are spending media dollars in both the mainstream and [art house] space on this film,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen. “We have gotten support in the Catholic community. Even the Vatican has mentioned the movie [positively] and U.S. bishops have also talked about the movie.” Read More »
Last year, I offered up a preview of the 15 films that had the most buzz going into the unveiling of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist. Somehow this year, with a record 76 entries (last year it was 71), I whittled down another 15 films that have a shot at the shortlist which is expected to be finalized later this week. This was not an easy task in one of the strongest fields for foreign film in recent years. While 2012′s eventual winner Amour seemed like a foregone conclusion, this year has any number of possible outcomes. Movies that started their careers in Berlin and Cannes are represented below, but so are others that didn’t make it to those high-profile events. I spoke with the directors of each film about their inspirations and expectations, and in some cases with the U.S. distributor about what gave them the confidence to acquire. Notably, Harvey Weinstein clarifies the controversy surrounding an edit of Wong Kar Wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster. There’s also a lot more here from folks like Paolo Sorrentino, Thomas Vinterberg and Sebastian Lelio, among many others. The rules for selecting the final winner have changed this year with the entire Academy voting body able to weigh in without proving they have seen the films in a movie theater. But the regs for establishing the shortlist remain the same: The Phase I committee determines six of the nine films on the shortlist. The other three titles will be determined by the select Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee. Those three extra titles might have international renown but been somehow overlooked by the larger committee (wink, wink City Of God, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days and others). After that, an uber-committee of 30 higher profile members chooses the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the course of a long weekend. Below (in alphabetical order by title) are profiles of the 15 films that I believe have a shot at the first stage: Read More »