"Gerry," "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," and "All the Real Girls" Debut Over a Blizzardy Weekend as Oscar Contenders Expand
by Brian Brooks
The Presidents' Day holiday weekend kept some theaters quiet as the Northeast endured a record-setting blizzard. Nevertheless, Gus Van Sant's drama of two men lost in the desert, "Gerry," wandered its way into dazzling averages during its weekend debut. Also making holiday bows were Samuel Goldwyn's "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" and Sony Pictures Classics' "All the Real Girls." Meanwhile, Miramax greatly expanded its Oscar-nominated feature, "The Quiet American." And Almodovar's "Talk to Her" opened in an additional 105 theaters. The Spanish writer-director received two Oscar nominations earlier in the week.
ThinkFilm's "Gerry," starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, drew large crowds to two locations during the Presidents' Day weekend. The Van Sant-directed film about two men attempting to find their way out of the desert grossed $26,285 on two screens for a lush $13,143 average.
Samuel Goldwyn opened French drama/thriller, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" in several large cities across the country. The film, directed by Laetitia Colombani, starring Audrey Tautou ("Amelie") took in $91,630 on 13 screens for a $7,048 average.
David Gordon Green's small town romance, "All the Real Girls," debuted on seven screens taking in $46,791. The film, by Sony Pictures Classics, averaged $6,484 over the four-day weekend.
Sony, meanwhile, sent "Talk to Her" to 150 additional screens last weekend after director Pedro Almodovar's Oscar nominations for both best director and best original screenplay last Tuesday. The film grossed $627,872 on 255 screens for a $2,642 per-screen average and a cume of over $5.7 million after 13 weeks in release.
Roman Polanski, also a best director contender for "The Pianist," made more than $1.7 million on 557 screens ($3,084 average) for a new $11.2 million total since its post Christmas debut. The film is also vying for best motion picture of the year. "The Pianist"'s fellow Focus Features release, "Far From Heaven," which is vying for Oscars in the best actress (Julianne Moore), original score (Elmer Bernstein), and best original screenplay (Todd Haynes) categories grossed $258,434 on 113 screens for a $2,287 per-site average.
Also in the Oscars race, "The Quiet American" by Philip Noyce cashed in with over $1.4 million in weekend grosses. Miramax expanded the film, which received a best actor nom for Sir Michael Caine, by 114 theaters (157 total) for a roaring $9,118 per-screen average and a new cume of just over $2.9 million. Miramax continued to score with "Chicago" as well. That film, which received 13 Oscar nominations, grossed more than $14.5 million in 2,268 screens for an average of $6,395 and a $82.6 million total.
New Line's "About Schmidt" screened in 1,208 theaters across the country, 32 less than the previous week. The film, by Alexander Payne, grossed under $3.5 million over the weekend for a $2,876 average. "About Schmidt," which will compete for a best lead actor (Jack Nicholson) and best supporting actress (Kathy Bates) Oscars has totaled just over $53 million at the box office.
Carlos Carrera's "El Crimen del Padre Amaro," which will compete for a best foreign language Academy Award, took in $71,681 on 42 screens. The Samuel Goldwyn film averaged $1,707 per theater for a new cume over $5.4 million.