By Indiewire | Indiewire February 4, 2003 at 2:00AM
"Lost in La Mancha" Opens as "City of God" and "Blind Spot" Continue Strong Numbers
by Brian Brooks
IFC Films' documentary on the "un-making" of a film production, "Lost in La Mancha" opened its first weekend in limited release to crowded theaters, while Sony Pictures Classics' doc, "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" finished its second weekend in two venues with strong numbers. Miramax's Brazilian release, "City of God" fared nicely in its third weekend, while the New York-based film-company continued to sing all the way to the bank with "Chicago."
Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's "Lost in La Mancha," about the disintegration of Terry Gilliam's adaptation of "Don Quixote" opened in eight theaters with a $63,303 take and a per-screen average of $7,913. Meanwhile, Sony's "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" screened in two theaters, grossing $15,357 averaging $7,678 per screen for a new $29,551 cume.
Fernando Meirelles' Rio de Janeiro tale "City of God" increased its venues to 23 for its third weekend, taking in $252,608 for an impressive $10,983 theater average, an increase from last week's $9,509. Miramax continued to score with its Golden Globe winner, "Chicago," which screened in a mostly unchanged number of theaters (623 last weekend compared to 616 the previous weekend) making just over $7 million compared to the previous week's $8 million. The weekend's gross averaged $11,321 for a new total just over $50 million.
Wellspring's "Russian Ark" made $80,921 on 12 screens for an eighth week total of $511,434 and an imperial $6,743 average. The film, by Aleksandr Sokurov, became the highest grossing foreign-language film at Los Angeles' venerable Landmark NuArt Theatre -- grossing $53,967 earlier last month. "Russian Ark" is now the fifth highest grossing film ever for the NuArt.
Focus Features' "The Pianist" by Roman Polanski screened in 320 theaters with a weekend box office just under $1.15 million for a $3,590 per screen average. The film has totaled just under $7.7 million since its post-Christmas opening.
United Artists' "Nicholas Nickelby" finished its fifth weekend with $110,394 on 83 screens for a venue average of $1,330 and a new cume of just over $1.2 million.
Lions Gate's erotic "Secretary," released in September of last year, passed the $4 million mark making $21,895 on 18 screens for a $1,216 average. Sony Pictures Classics' "Talk To Her" picked up a Goya award in Spain as well as another $353,991 in North America on 82 screens (average, $4,317) and a new total just over $4.4 million.
New Line continued its monied streak with "About Schmidt" making $4.5 million on 1,236 theaters in its eighth week for a $3,653 average and $44.1 million cume.
Samuel Goldwyn's "El Crimen del Padre Amaro" appeared on 61 screens with a $1,050 average on a $64,030 weekend and a new total slightly below $5.3 million. Newmarket's "Real Women Have Curves" meanwhile was in 63 theaters making $42,805 ($679 average) for a cume over $5.7 million. Cowboy's "Morvern Callar" by Lynne Ramsay grossed $14,595 in seven venues in the film's seventh weekend of release for a new total of $121,952.
Opening next weekend is Focus Features' "Deliver Us from Eva," while Paula Van der Oest's Dutch-language "Zus & Zo" opens at the Quad Cinema.