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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
January 17, 2013 12:33 PM
2 Comments
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Sundance 2012 at the Box Office: Charting Last Year's Acquisitions

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

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.

2 Comments

  • Tabitha T | January 27, 2013 11:32 AMReply

    Searching For Sugar Man wasn't the highest grossing doc of the year, 2016: Obama's America was. It grossed more than 10 times as much as Sugar Man. Schoolboy error!

  • James | January 18, 2013 3:05 AMReply

    This list would be a lot more relevant and useful if you included acquisition prices.