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DAILY NEWS: Evans Atop Specialty Box Office; “Flute Player” Doc Wins Grant

DAILY NEWS: Evans Atop Specialty Box Office; "Flute Player" Doc Wins Grant

DAILY NEWS: Evans Atop Specialty Box Office; "Flute Player" Doc Wins Grant

by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

>> Robert Evans Returns with Stellar Doc Debut; Foreign Language Films Remain Active at Indie/Specialty Box Office

(indieWIRE: 07.30.02) — A pair of docs were among the new indie/specialty
films that debuted over the weekend. Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen‘s
The Kid Stays in the Picture” (a portrait of legendary Hollywood producer
Robert Evans), from Focus Features, earned blockbuster limited release
grosses on opening weekend. The film opened on four screens in New York and
Los Angeles, earning a whopping $89,087.00. Variety called the more than
$22,271 per screen the top per-screen average for a specialty film this
summer. “The Kid” was supported by Evans’ appearances in MTV promos this
weekend, numerous segments on the evening entertainment news programs, and
even a morning “Today” show interview. The film will soon expand to other

In the case of Cowboy Pictures release of the Wilco documentary, “I Am
Trying to Break Your Heart
,” the company took a more grassroots approach. It
earned $10,776 on one New York screen. The indie distributor relied heavily
on street teams (some comprised of devoted Wilco fans) pushing the film to
the band’s fan base. By Saturday night, according to Cowboy’s John Vanco,
the film’s debut grosses had already surpassed the opening week advertising
budget. The doc opens next in Chicago and Los Angeles, before expanding
again on August 9.

Notably, another doc from Cowboy finished a run at New York’s Film Forum as
it prepares to make its way around the country. D.A. Pennebaker‘s classic
rock doc, “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” pulled in more than
$35,000 during its month-long run downtown. The film has been supported by
the ongoing marketing of David Bowie‘s new album, his participation in
Moby‘s Area2 tour and “Sound and Vision” retrospectives at the Museums of Television and Radio on both coasts.

Foreign-language films were among the other standouts this weekend. Strand
opened Stanley Kwan‘s “Lan Yu” in New York City and San Jose (following a recent debut in San Francisco), earning $13,385. The movie has a cume of
$35,356. Julio Medem‘s “Sex and Lucia,” distributed by Palm Pictures via Magic Lamp, earned $95,815 on 19 screens (that’s more than $5,000 per
screen). Magic Lamp’s Marc Halperin noted that the grosses were especially
strong at Landmark‘s Sunshine Cinema in New York. The film will add four
markets this weekend.

Magnolia Pictures gained $166,040 on 33 screens in its release of Jacques
‘s “Read My Lips“; the film has now earned a total of $353,205, while
Lot 47‘s release of Zacharias Kunuk‘s “Atanarjuat” (The Fast Runner)
continues, it earned $171,339 on 56 screens for a $3,000 per screen. The
film has earned more than $2.3 million in the U.S. and Canada, earning about
$1 million prior to Lot 47’s U.S. release which began on June 14.

This week, Miramax will unveil Soderbergh‘s DV experiment, “Full Frontal,” while in New York Claude Chabrol‘s “Merci Pour Le Chocolat” will open at Film Forum and James Longley‘s “Gaza” hits the Anthology Film Archives. [Eugene Hernandez]

>> “Flute Player” Wins Roy W. Dean Film Grant

(indieWIRE: 07.30.02) — Christine Courtney and Jocelyn Glatzer are the
recipients of the eighth annual Roy W. Dean film grant for their documentary
The Flute Player,” the organization announced yesterday. The duo will
receive more than $50,000 in goods and services. Centering on Cambodian Am
Chorn Pond
, a survivor of genocide and a gifted flute player, the film
follows him on his mission as a human rights leader in healing the scars of
his nation’s past by returning Cambodia’s traditional music to its people.

The goods and services are provided by AAA Communications, Able Cine
Tech, Bobbie Robinson Music, Cineric, Edgewise, FV Arts, Kodak, Metro
Access, Magno, Screenplay Systems, Sound Dimensions, Tiffen, and Unilux.
The Roy W. Dean grant now has three films currently showing including “Save
a Man to Fight
” (History Channel), “A Chance to Grow” (Discovery), and “All Power to the People” (Starz). [Brian Brooks]

[For information on the organization’s $100,000 editing grant and their new
writing/research grant, visit:]

>> MONDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Plexifilm Acquisitions; IFC Films Taps New Video for Docs

(indieWIRE: 07.29.02) — Independent DVD label and film production company
Plexifilm is steadily gaining a higher profile, helped in part by the recent
announcement of several new home video acquisitions; And, New Video, a marketer
and distributor of home entertainment, has entered into an agreement with the
Independent Film Channel (IFC) to distribute a full-slate of IFC branded,
theatrically released documentaries and art-house films.”


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