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DAILY NEWS: Sundance Shorts Revealed and this Weekend’s Box Office

DAILY NEWS: Sundance Shorts Revealed and this Weekend's Box Office

DAILY NEWS: Sundance Shorts Revealed and this Weekend's Box Office

by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

>> Sundance Selects 90 Shorts for 2003 Festival

(indieWIRE: 12.10.02) — Ninety short films will screen at the 2003 Sundance
Film Festival
, organizers announced yesterday. The lineup was chosen from a
total of 3,345 entries, which marks a major jump from last year’s 2,100
short film submissions.

“With a 40-percent increase in submissions and the quality of the films
definitely equaling the quantity, our selection process was more difficult
than ever,” commented Sundance programmer Trevor Groth in a prepared
statement yesterday. “We have included an additional shorts program and an
animation spotlight highlighting these phenomenal short films that showcase
work from exciting new talent and familiar faces from the U.S. and around
the world.”

Shorts will be screened before feature films and in special short programs.
In addition to the narrative and documentary shorts, programmers have
selected shorts in the frontier section, native forum and in a special
animation spotlight. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> “Adaptation” Starts Strong; Noyce and Almodovar Build On Awards Buzz At the Box Office

(indieWIRE: 12.10.02) — Miramax opened “Equilibrium” wide over the weekend, while Sony‘s “Adaptation” by Spike Jonze debuted in limited engagements and Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf‘s Cannes favorite “Blackboards” bowed at one New York City cinema. On the heels of award recognition in the U.S. and abroad, Pedro Almodovar‘s “Hable con Ella” and Phillip Noyce‘s two features, “Rabbit-Proof Fence” and “The Quiet American” remained strong in their limited releases.

Columbia Pictures‘ “Adaptation” opened with a $384,478 weekend take on seven
screens. The film, by Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, earned a
celestial $54,925 per-screen average. Also debuting was “Equilibrium”
written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and starring Christian Bale, which
opened in 301 theaters and earned the $541,512 for a $1,799 per-screen
average. Meanwhile, Cannes 2000 Special Jury Prize winner “Blackboards” from
Leisure Time opened at New York’s Quad cinema, making $3,416 over the

Phillip Noyce ended a stellar week, during which the National Board of
honored the director with 2002’s best director recognition and his
native Australia gave his latest, “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” its top film prize.
The Miramax release earned $70,752 for a $7,861 average on nine screens over
the weekend for a $196,980 cume. Noyce’s French Indochina-set “The Quiet
American,” starring Sir Michael Caine, took in $21,968 on two screens for a
$10,984 per-screen average. Now in its third week, the film’s new total is

Samuel Goldwyn‘s Mexican hit “El Crimen del Padre Amaro” (The Crime of
Father Amaro) by Carlos Carrera continued to earn the big dinero, passing
the $3 million mark in its fourth weekend. The film took in $402,465 on 122
screens nationwide for a $3,299 per-screen average.

Sony Pictures Classics‘ “Hable con Ella” (Talk to Her) maintained a
spectacular box office pace in its third week. The film, by famed Spanish
director Pedro Almodovar, took in another $74,987 on three screens for a
$24,995 per-screen average and a $391,164 total. Almodovar won the best
director and people’s choice prizes at this weekend’s European Film Awards.
“Hable con Ella” also won the coveted best film award at the ceremony, which
was held in Rome.

Also finishing its third week, United Artists‘ “Personal Velocity
maintained a good showing on 20 screens earning $91,797 for a $4,590
per-screen average and a $205,319 total. Fellow United Artists’ release
Bowling for Columbine” drew closer to the $13 million mark, taking in
$629,154 on 246 screens for a new total just under $2.9 million.

Finishing its fourth weekend, Atom Egoyan‘s “Ararat” remained solid with
$131,421 on 42 screens for a $3,129 average and a $1.14 million cume.

And First Run Features‘ doc “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” took in an
impressive $31,359 on eight screens in its 12th week. The film, based on the
Vietnam-era Secretary of State under Nixon, earned a $3,920 average in the
weekend following the announcement that the Nobel Peace-Prize winner will
head a commission investigating the September 11 attacks. On the other side
of the political spectrum, First Run’s “Fidel” made $4,467 in its sixth
weekend for a new total of $75,218.

Next week, “About Schmidt” opens in theaters along with Spanish language
film “El Bola” by Achero Manas. Also set to screen is Bruce Bereford‘s “Evelyn,” Juan Carlos Fesnadillo‘s debut “Intacto,” Frank Whaley‘s “The Jimmy Show,” and festival favorite “Russian Ark” by Aleksandr Sokurov. [Brian Brooks]

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