indieWIRE is offering a weekly retrospective box office chart, based on a debuting indie release or a current event on the international film scene. Today, iW is taking a look at the track record of New York Film Festival's opening night film, in honor of the fest's 49th edition kicking off tonight (Friday September 30) with Roman Polanski's "Carnage."
Listed below are the top 10 grossing festival openers. Seventeen year old "Pulp Fiction" remains the sole film to have crossed the $100 million mark ("Chariots of Fire," The Big Chill" and "Mystic River" all both do as well if one adjusts for inflation, but "Fiction" remains the overall top grosser in either case). Beyond it lies a trio of recent American films to open the festival - David Fincher's "The Social Network" (which opened the fest last year), Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," and Alexander Payne's "About Schmidt." Also notable is that 8 of the 10 films ended up with best picture nominations, with "Schmidt" and "The Darjeeling Limited" the only odd men out.
Here's the overall top ten; figures are for North America only and not adjusted for inflation. Check out this list of all 49 opening night films for your further reference.
1. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) - $107,928,762
2. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010) - $96,962,694
3. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, 2003) - $90,135,191
4. About Schmit (Alexander Payne, 2002) - $65,016,287
5. Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, 1981) - $58,972,904
6. The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006) - $56,441,711
7. The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, 1983) - $56,342,711
8. Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, 2005) - $31,558,003
9. Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996) - $13,417,292
10. The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007) - $11,902,715