DAILY NEWS: New Entries Mixed at Box Office, Virginia Fest News
by Eugene Hernandez and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> "Secretary" and "8 Women" Among Strong Openers in Weekend Box Office
(indieWIRE: 09.24.02) -- A number of anticipated indie and specialty films
debuted in limited theatrical release this weekend. Among the films opening
were "Secretary" from Lions Gate," "8 Women" from Focus, "Invincible" from Fine Line, and "Das Experiment" from Samuel Goldwyn/IDP.
"Secretary," which debuted at Sundance this year, where it was acquired by
Lions Gate, earned $182,306 on 11 screens for a strong average of $16,573.
The S&M-themed love story, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, is expected to widen this coming weekend.
"8 Women," the French murder mystery musical from Francois Ozon, earned $55,029 in its U.S. debut on three screens. That's an average of $18,343.
Total for the weekend, including Canada where it opened on September 6th,
was $139,571 on 17 screens for an average of $8,210 and a North American
total of $369,929.
Less stellar were the debuts of "Invincible" and "Das Experiment." Fine Line
Features' "Invincible," the new film by Werner Herzog, earned $14,293 on
four screens, for an average of $3,573. From Samuel Goldwyn/IDP, the German
film "Das Experiment" earned $19,857 on four screens this weekend for a
$4,964 per-screen average. The total since that film's Wednesday debut
United Artists' release of "Igby Goes Down" earned $758,140 in its second weekend as it expanded to 102 screens. The film, starring Kieran Culkin, had an average of $7,432.74 and a new cume of almost $1.2 million.
Among other specialty and limited releases this weekend, ThinkFilm's release of
"The Last Kiss" earned $97,678 as it grew to 30 screens in North America, for an
average of $3,255 and a new total of $574,748. Paramount Classics' "Mostly Martha" is at $2.1 million (earning $316,139 on 131 screens for an average of $2,413),
Godard's "In Praise of Love" (from Manhattan Pictures) earned $22,896 on 11 screens for an average of $2,081 and a new cume of $127,369.
Finally, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" nabbed $9.7 million on a total of more than
1,800 screens. Its solid average of $5,200 puts its new total at $124 million.
The film is now poised to surpass "The Blair Witch Project" as the all-time
highest grossing independent film. "Blair Witch" earned $140.5 million in the
summer and fall of 1999.
Among the new films that will hit the marketplace this coming weekend are
Chris Eyre's "Skins" and Nick Broomfield's doc, "Biggie & Tupac." Debuting in NYC are "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" at Film Forum and a re-release of "Lawrence of Arabia" at the Ziegfeld. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Virginia Fest Expects a "Flood" of Films
(indieWIRE: 09.24.02) -- The Virginia Film Festival, holding its 15th annual
event from October 24 to October 27, has announced that this year's theme
will be "wet." Films, exhibitions, panels, and performances will explore
"water imagery." The water theme will be explored with screenings of "The
African Queen," "Psycho," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and other
classics, plus Liquid Light, a series of avant-garde works inspired by the
water. Some films can even be seen as part of the "floating cinema" series
at the University of Virginia's pool.
Guests coming to Charlottesville will include Todd Haynes ("Far from
Heaven"), Lynn Hershman ("Teknolust"), Roger Ebert, and Sissy Spacek. As part of a 15th anniversary celebration of filmmaking in Virginia on opening night, Ron Maxwell will preview his forthcoming civil war epic, "Gods and Generals," starring Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, and Mira Sorvino. In another Virginia program, local director Jeff Wadlow, who recently won Chrysler's Million Dollar Film Festival, will present selections of his work. [Wendy Mitchell]
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