While the massive success of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" was clearly the major story of the box office this weekend, a smaller success occurred with another Mexican filmmaker, Jaime Cami, whose "Pulling Strings" is the latest film from Spanish-language distribution Pantelion.
Camil's film -- a romantic comedy about a Mexican mariachi and an American embassy employee -- comes off the heals of the massive success of Panetlion's "Instructions Not Included," which has grossed $41,266,096 and counting in its six weeks of release. "Pulling Strings" is definitely not heading for those numbers, but got off to a great start nonetheless. In 387 theaters, the film grossed $2,500,000 -- hitting the overall top ten with a very strong average of $6,460 per theater.
Like "Instructions," the film scored a rare A+ from CinemaScore, and is the second highest debut for Panetlion after "Instructons."
Pantelion is a partnership between Lionsgate and Videocine, aiming to provide the very underserved market of Hispanic moviegoers with "a steady source of exciting and original films, which include top-rated Latino actors, directors and writers." Clearly the strategy is paying off. "Instructions not Included" is now the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in the U.S.
Other debuts included a strong weekend for Kino Lorber's release of "A Touch of Sin," which opened in 2 New York theaters just after screening at the New York Film Festival. The Zhangke Jia-directed film grossed $24,000 for a $12,000 per-theater-average, the highest of any film in release except "Gravity."
Just behind was the $11,444 that Jeremy Lin documentary "Linsanity" averaged for distributor Ketchup. On a considerably more wide 9 theaters, the film grossed $103,000 -- an impressive number a doc on that many screens.
On an even more (much more) aggressive 511 screens, Reliance, Exclusive Media and Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate's "Grace Unplugged" -- about a Christian singer heading to Hollywood -- grossed a potent $1,045,000 for a $2,046 average.
Among the rest of the parade of indie openers were RADiUS-TWC's "Concussion" ($8,216 from a single screen), Film Arcade's "A.C.O.D" ($20,047 from 3 theaters for a $6,682 average), Anchor Bay's twosome "Nothing Left To Fear" ($7,308 from 5 for a $1,462 average) and "All Is Bright" ($4,088 from 10 for a very weak $409 average), and Zeitgeist's "Let The Fire Burn" ($5,375 from a single theater).
As for holdovers, Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" continued to expand nicely, cracking the overall top 10. After a massive opening weekend
average of just under $60,000 to weeks ago, the film -- which features one of the
Gandolfini's final performances opposite the likes of Julia
Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette -- expanded to 437 theaters, taking in $2,150,000 for a strong $4,920 average. The film has now
totaled $5,386,596with clearly a lot more where that came from.
"We have continued to hold very well in the Art/Specialty market, however we are now seeing signs that the film is crossing over to mainstream audiences who are looking for a smart, adult film that combines comedy, drama, romance, and poignancy," Frank Rodriguez, head of distribution at "Enough" distributor Fox Searchlight, said. "We will expand again next weekend, bringing our total theatre count up to between 600-650 locations."
Holofcener's top grosser overall is 2006's "Friends With Money," which
grossed $13,368,437. If "Enough Said" keeps up these numbers, it
definitely has a shot at rivaling that number.