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Sundance 2012 at the Box Office: Charting Last Year's Acquisitions

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 17, 2013 at 12:33PM

Last year's Sundance Film Festival -- like the year before it -- saw a remarkable amount of deals go down that made clear the sales drought of the end of the last decade had come to an end.  Over 40 films were picked up for release, and most of them made their way to theaters in the past year. And while there certainly were some very notable hits in films like "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Arbitrage," "Searching For Sugar Man" and "Sleepwalk With Me," it wasn't a wholly impressive situation. READ MORE: Sundance 2013: The Complete Buyers Guide
For A Good Time, Call..
For A Good Time, Call..

11. For a Good Time, Call...
Distributor: Focus Features
Theatrical Gross: $1.3 million
Verdict: This raunchy indie comedy didn't quite break out. Respectable.

12. Chasing Ice
Distributor: Submarine
Gross: $940K
Verdict: Still in theaters (and with an Oscar nomination for best song to potentially give it some extra visibility), "Chasing Ice" should end up being the third Sundance documentary to hit $1 million. Hit!

13. The Imposter
Distributor: Indomina
Theatrical Gross: $900K
Verdict: While it wasn't the massive hit it was over in its native UK (it became part of the all time top ten non-music documentaries list at the UK box office after only 26 days), Bart Layton's "The Imposter" impressively is nearing $1 million in the US -- almost always a good showing for a documentary.  Hit!

14. 2 Days in New York
Distributor: Magnolia
Theatrical Gross: $633K
Verdict: It was a big VOD release, which should indeed be noted once again, but Julie Delpy's follow-up to "2 Days in Paris" grossed almost $4 million less than its predecessor -- "2 Days in Paris" -- theatrically. Disappointment.

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry
Ai Weiwei Never Sorry

15. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Distributor: Sundance Selects
Theatrical Gross: $534K
Verdict: Alison Klayman's look at renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei got a lot of attention that suggested it could have been a bigger breakout than this, but these numbers are definitely Respectable.

16. Shut Up and Play The Hits
Distributor: Oscilloscope
Theatrical Gross: $510K
Verdict: Considering the one night only strategy of the film's release (even if it did have a few extended engagements), "Shut Up and Play The Hits" found a very impressive final gross. Hit!

17. Bachelorette
Distributor: RADiUS-The Weinstein Company
Theatrical Gross: $448K
Verdict: It was a huge hit on iTunes (it was first pre-theatrical release to reach the top of their charts), which got some promising press for the RADiUS, the new VOD-focused division of The Weinstein Company. But then it came out in theaters, and there's no reason this wedding-themed comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzie Caplan, Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson should have grossed under $1 million theatrically whether it was a huge hit on VOD or not. Disappointment.

18. Detropia
Distributor: Self-distributed
Theatrical Gross: $380K
Verdict: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady admirably went the self-distribution route with their "Detropia," and the result was -- for a documentary of its size and content -- most definitely Respectable.

19. Smashed
Distributor: Sony Classics
Theatrical Gross: $377K
Verdict: James Ponsoldt's "Smashed" got some awards buzz -- especially for Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance -- and a distributor that knows a thing or two about awards campaigns in Sony Pictures Classics. But the film never ended up getting more than a Spirit nod, or making more than a measly $377,000. Disappointment.

20. Red Hook Summer
Distributor: Variance Films
Theatrical Gross: $339K
Verdict: Spike Lee's latest had trouble at the box office, but is said to have done much better on digital platforms. Either way, $339,000 for a Spike Lee film: Disappointment.

This article is related to: Box Office, Sundance Film Festival

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