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The Top Grossing Films That Premiered at Tribeca 2011

The Top Grossing Films That Premiered at Tribeca 2011

As the 2012 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival gets underway this evening, it seems appropriate to look back at the films of last year’s edition and determine how well they did at the theatrical box office.

Though the festival doesn’t really have much of a reputation as a big sales festival, it has seen its share of indie success stories resulting from acquisitions. Most notably there was 2009’s “City Island,” which was released the following Spring to a potent $6.7 million gross.

Last year’s crop most definitely did not have a “City Island” in the mix. In fact, not one film that world premiered at Tribeca 2011 has grossed over $1 million at the domestic box office (though “Bully” should change that by this weekend).

Arguably the biggest breakout from Tribeca 2011 wasn’t a world premiere, though it was acquired at the festival so it warrants attribution. David Gelb’s “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” had its North American premiere at the festival after a screening at the Berlinale, and was picked up by Magnolia as a result. Released last month, it has turned into a sizeable hit. So far, the film has taken in $1.3 million, and is likely to sail past $2 million.

The film tops the below list of Tribeca 2011-related acqusitions. Notably, the list includes only world premieres at the festival (with the exception of “Sushi”), and does not include unavailable numbers for VOD releases that accompanied many of the films’ theatrical releases.  Also note that a few pickups — “Jesus Henry Christ” and “The Perfect Family,” for example — are still waiting to be released.

The top 10 grossing films that premiered at Tribeca 2011:

1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Distributor: Magnolia
Release Date: March 9, 2012
Gross: $1.3 million

2. Bully
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Gross: $859,544*

3. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn
Release Date: September 2, 2011
Gross: $200,227

4. Revenge of the Electric Car
Distributor: Area 23a
Release Date: October 21, 2011
Gross: $150,886

5. Puncture
Distributor: Millennium
Release Date: September 23, 2011
Gross: $68,945

6. Detachment
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Release Date: March 16, 2012
Gross: $64,767

7. Limelight
Distributor: Magnolia
Release Date: September 23, 2011
Gross: $60,335

8. Turn me On, Goddammit
Distributor: New Yorker
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Gross: $30,281**

9. Carol Channing Larger Than Life
Distributor: EOne
Release Date: January 20, 2012
Gross: $22,740

10. Rid of Me
Distributor: Submarine
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Gross: $11,748

*-“Bully” is still in the midst of expansion and is likely to end up topping “Sushi” as the top grossing film picked up out of Tribeca 2011.

**-“Turn Me On” was also recently released, and should end up at least doubling its current cume.

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THE PERFECT FAMILY premiered at Tribeca 2011 and will be released day and date May 4th theatrically and On Demand. It'll make this list. It stars Kathleen Turner, Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter and Richard Chamberlain.


This article is really misleading. Of these, NEWLYWEDS will be the most profitable, with very robust VOD revenue and a theatrical release that was really just for press, and not in major markets. The majority of these are entirely ancillary driven (PUNCTURE, for example, was a well-performing title on VOD and DVD). We at Focus World consequently, did BOMBAY BEACH, for example, which isn't even on here, and did $8200 on two screens for its qualifying run, with VOD release following after two weeks (which is obviously where the money would actually be made).

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