Fox Searchlight had another solid debut this weekend with its initial limited opening of Belle in four New York and L.A. theaters, while foreign-language feature Ida showed some traction in a trio of locations despite the Spider-Man 2 juggernaut. While certainly nowhere near the stratospheric numbers of its fellow Searchlight roll out The Grand Budapest Hotel earlier this year, British-set period drama Belle nevertheless managed a regal bow, grossing over $104K, giving the film a $26,123 theater average. Searchlight said the feature outgrossed Spidey at the Landmark in West LA and was the second highest grosser at the Arclight in Hollywood. In New York, it also had strong numbers at Lincoln Plaza and Sunshine theaters.
Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Casts $92M Web; ‘The Other Woman’ Holding Strong; ‘Rio2′ Passes $100M
“We’re pretty happy with how it opened. It’s an interesting thing with a film that’s very sophisticated like this and you’re hoping to get the cinephile crowd out,” Searchlight’s EVP of Distribution Frank Rodriguez told me Sunday morning. “The secret of this film is to keep it in theaters and see if it can get some traction. We know we have a great art film and we know we’re going to do well with it. The real goal here is to see if it can go a little mainstream. To do that with Spider-Man and the like will be interesting. Perhaps it’s a bit of counter-programming, but if we had had a $15 – 25K [PTA this weekend] I would have been happy, so we’re at the high end of that. In this business anything can happen, but we’re going into the right theaters and targeting a sophisticated audience.” Read More »
This weekend’s slate of new specialty films runs the gamut. Among the newcomers are examples of classical art house fare that have picked up accolades ahead of their release, while others are less traditional. Searchlight will open Belle, about a mixed-race woman who grew up amidst Britain’s aristocracy. Music Box Films is releasing Ida, a winner in Toronto and London about a woman who discovers her roots. First Run Features is bowing the documentary More Than The Rainbow, which hopes to capitalize on positive box office for docus about photography, while Gravitas is opening Bad Johnson, about a good-looking lad who is a hit with the ladies but gets into trouble when his appendage takes on human form no less.
Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Misan Sagay
Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, James Norton, Miranda Richardson, Sarah Gadon
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
The roots of Belle begin around 2005 after producer Damian Jones came across a story that eventually would be at the center of Belle. Set in 18th century England, the film was inspired by a painting commissioned by the Earl of Mansfield. The story centers on an illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral who is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle. Read More »
Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida follows a young nun in 1960s Poland who’s on the verge of taking her vows but discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza star in the film, which won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize at Toronto and Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival last year. Ida is Polish-born Pawlikowski’s first film set in his homeland following his breakthrough films The Last Resort and BAFTA-winning My Summer Of Love. Ida opens May 2 in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Royal. Have a look at the trailer:
Top honors at the 57th BFI London Film Festival went to Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Poland-set Holocaust drama Ida, adding to the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Award the pic collected at Toronto. Pawlikowski previously won the BAFTA for his Last Resort and My Summer Of Love. Last month Music Box Films picked up North American rights to Ida, which will hit theaters in early 2014. Here’s the full list of 2014 BFI Film Festival winners: Read More »
The latest drama from the director of My Summer Of Love and Last Resort is coming to North America via Music Box Films. Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida follows a young nun in 1960s Poland who’s on the verge of taking her vows but discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza star in the film, which won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize at Toronto this monthand also played fests including Telluride and London. Music Box plans a winter/spring North American festival campaign followed by a theatrical release late in the second quarter of 2014.