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by Peter Knegt
July 15, 2012 1:35 PM
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Specialty Box Office: 'Imposter' and 'Queen' Lead Slew of Openers; 'Obama Effect' Tanks

"The Imposter" Indomina Releasing
A whopping seven specialty films entered the marketplace this weekend and despite the overcrowding, four of them -- "The Imposter," "Farewell My Queen," "Trishna" and "Easy Money" -- managed per-theater-averages above $10,000. 

It made for a strong weekend overall, aided by the continued success of holdovers "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "To Rome With Love."

Check out the full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"The Imposter" (Indomina)
Indomina released acclaimed Sundance doc "The Imposter" on a single screen and found the best per-theater-average of any film in release as it took in a promising $20,643. The film -- directed by Bart Layton -- centers on a young Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years. Indomina will expand the film in the coming weeks.

"Farewell My Queen" (Cohen Media Group)
Benoît Jacquot's "Farewell My Queen" -- a look at the relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her readers during the final days of the French Revolution -- hit 4 theaters in its first weekend care of Cohen Media Group. The result was quite strong as the film took in $72,123 for a $18,007 per-theatre-average.

"We are proud to present such a well-made, provocative film that resonates with audiences seeking intelligent and sophisticated subject matter," Cohen Media head Charles S Cohen told Indiewire regarding the gross.

"Trishna" (Sundance Selects)
Michael Winterbottom's "Trishna" debuted on 3 screens this weekend through Sundance Selects. It took in $30,600 for a respectable $10,200 average. Starring Freida Pinto, the film follows the relationship between the son of a property developer and the daughter of an auto rickshaw owner. It's a vastly different film than Winterbottom's 2011 release "The Trip" (an improvised comedy starring Steve Coogan), though found similar numbers. Also released by Sundance Selects, "The Trip" averaged $12,984 from 6 screens in its first weekend last summer.

"Easy Money" (The Weinstein Company)
The Weinstein Company released Swedish import "Easy Money" on two screens this weekend. Starring future "Robocop" Joel Kinnaman, the film took in $23,784 for a $11,892 average. The film will expand next weekend.

"Red Lights" (Millennium Entertainment)
Not faring so well this weekend was Rodrigo Cortés's "Red Lights," despite the marketable presence of Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen and Cillian Murphy. On 2 screens, the film grossed only $10,011 -- averaging $5,006.

"Alps" (Kino Lorber)
Giorgos Lanthimos's follow-up to "Dogtooth" -- "Alps" -- was released on a single screen at New York's Cinema Village this weekend care of Kino Lorber. Unfortunately, it managed just $3,000 as a result. Openings in other major markets will follow in the coming weeks.

"The Obama Effect" (Arc Entertainment)
Finally, the weekend's worst debut came care of Arc Entertainment's "The Obama Effect," directed and starring Charles S. Dutton. Releases exclusively through AMC theaters, the film grossed just $73,000 from 25 screens -- averaging only $2,920. The film is a fictional account of the "Obama fever of 2008," focusing on the life of one man (Dutton) who deals with the ups and downs of the campaign.

For a report on holdover releases, including "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "To Rome With Love" and "Moonrise Kingdom," continue to the next page.

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1 Comment

  • Bruce Spencer | July 15, 2012 6:01 PMReply

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (7/16/12)


    An award-winning documentary by Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett

    In 2005, after winning First Grand Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, and four years later in 2009, a similar honor at the Fargo Film Festival, “Abel Raises Cain,” a comedy feature, has defied the laws of Hollywood’s jungle. Its “legs” remain unstoppable.

    During 2011, “Abel Raises Cain” completed a four-thousand mile tour of southern colleges and museums in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Audiences of all ages were mesmerized, reacting with sustained laughter and standing ovations.

    At South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC, the sold out screening had to be held in their spacious planetarium and projected on the ceiling. It was somewhat eerie to observe a full house of patrons laughing and applauding, while lounging on the horizontal easy chairs designed for overhead viewing.

    In New Orleans, to accommodate an overflow crowd, “Abel Raises Cain” was also projected on the side of a three-story building next door. Even traffic halted to view the movie. At its conclusion, horns honked and a marching band appeared, playing “The Saints,” adding to the excitement of cheers, shouts and applause. What a tribute for filmmakers Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett!

    After each screening, Jenny took the stage to field questions from the elated audiences. They all registered their surprise and delight at this first view of the young filmmaker who deftly handled queries. When asked where her father was, that was his cue to appear from backstage for standing ovations and applause. Alan Abel was a secret guest and he joined his daughter for more banter with audiences.

    During its past and present screenings, “Abel Raises Cain” has won major awards at film festivals in Canada, England, Denmark, Germany and France. Copies of the DVD, with a commentary and extra features, are available from its website: www.abelraisescain.com

    Alan Abel will be featured off-Broadway in 2012 with “Jester At Large,” along with fellow pranksters Paul Hiatt and Frank Murgalo. Details are to be announced soon on his website: www.alanabel.com


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