By Indiewire | Indiewire November 26, 2002 at 2:0AM
DAILY NEWS: Almodovar's "Talk to Her" Roars into Theaters Along with "The Quiet American" and "Personal Velocity"
by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
(indieWIRE: 11.26.02) -- This past weekend saw great openings for a number
of anticipated films including "The Quiet American" and "Personal Velocity," but clearly "Talk to Her" (Hable con Ella) by Spanish director Pedro
Almodovar ruled the specialty box office.
The Oscar-winning director's latest film, about an off-chance friendship
between two men who meet in a hospital, opened to sold-out screenings at two
Manhattan theaters grossing the Sony Pictures Classics release a whopping
$104,396 for an average of $52,198 per screen. In comparison, Almodovar's
previous film, "All About My Mother" opened in 1999 on two screens earning
$89,500 its first weekend. "All About My Mother" won the Best Foreign
Language Academy Award, but Spain did not forward Almodovar's latest for
consideration this year in favor of Fernando Leon's "Mondays in the Sun."
Phillip Noyce's Miramax film "The Quiet American" also opened to stellar
audience response, packing in $101,663 on six screens for its opener. The
film, starring Sir Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser in a tale set in French
colonial Saigon at the dawning of the U.S.'s long involvement in Vietnam,
nabbed a $16,944 per-screen average. Meanwhile, United Artists' "Personal
Velocity," Rebecca Miller's film adaptation of her own book of short stories
about three women (Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, and Fairuza Balk) opened in Gotham on two screens taking in $29,943 with a per-screen average of
$14,972. Fellow U.A. release "Bowling for Columbine" by Michael Moore
galloped ahead with a $983,467 weekend gross on 244 screens nationwide. The
Cannes-acclaimed documentary had a $4,031 per-screen average in its seventh
week of release, and it now has a $10.3 million cume.
Mexico's "The Crime of Father Amaro" (El Crimen del Padre Amaro), starring
Gael Garcia Bernal, continued to do well in its second weekend of release,
netting the controversial Samuel Goldwyn film $742,169 on 86 screens with an
average of $8,630 and a new total of $1.5 million. The film, directed by
Carlos Carrera, actually did better than initially reported in its inaugural
weekend, earning $504,681 instead of the reported $496,290 (there was an
error at one of the film's California theaters). In contrast, Bernal's previous film, "Y Tu Mama Tambien," took in $426,000 its second weekend of release.
Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's Toronto Fest-opener "Ararat" made $190,543, with an average of $13,610 on each of its 14 screens. Now in its second
week, the Miramax film has earned a total of $521,765. Miramax's Julie
Taymor-directed "Frida," about the legendary Mexican surrealist artist Frida Kahlo, took in $2.4 million on 794 screens with a $2,984 average. So far the film has
earned just over $12 million.
Artisan's doc "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" made $153,791 at 36
theaters across the country, with an average of $4,272 per screen. "Roger
Dodger," Artisan's Dylan Kidd film starring Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg, took in $108,109 over the weekend in its fifth week in release.
The film screened in 54 theaters with a $2002 average, bringing it to a new
cume of $829,010. Both Artisan films will expand by 12 screens next week.
In other box-office stats, the "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" phenomenon
continues, earning the IFC Films release for Gold Circle Films an additional $3.7 million on 1585 screens this weekend. The film also passed the $200 million
milestone earlier this week, and it now stands with the stratospheric total
of $204.5 million.
Also crossing a threshold is Lions Gate's "Secretary," which took in $47,952
over the weekend on 42 screens, taking Steven Shainberg's S&M love story
past the $3.5 million mark.
"Revolution #9" earned $4,280 this weekend at the Quad in New York. So far, the film has made $9,180.
Miramax will again open a Phillip Noyce film next week with the debut of
"Rabbit-Proof Fence," set in the Australian outback. Also set to open is
Takashi Miike's "Dead or Alive: Final," the third in the director's gangster
trilogy. [Brian Brooks]