“Friday Night,” “Bonhoeffer” and “Suriyothai” Join the Battle for Summer Success
by Eugene Hernandez
As Hollywood blockbusters dominate multiplexes around the country, indie and specialty releases are battling it out at smaller venues. At New York’s arthouses, for example, a number of new and continuing limited release films are drawing crowds. Among the hits emerging as summer favories are “Spellbound,” “Whale Rider” and “Capturing the Friedmans.”
The new Claire Denis film “Friday Night” was atop the indieWIRE: BOT box office chart this weekend in its New York debut. It earned $11,994 in its run at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan and has earned $32,947 so far. Despite topping the indieWIRE list, however, the French film was beaten by “Spellbound” in the same venue. The spelling bee doc from ThinkFilm, which passed the $2 million mark, made more than $17,000 at the theater — that s up 32% over last weekend’s performance at the venue. The film earned a total of $330,866 over the weekend on 93 screens for an average of $3,558. Also in its debut weekend was the First Run Features doc “Bonhoeffer” which made just over $10,000 at the Quad in its opening days.
“Whale Rider” remained a specialty hit in the United States. The film earned $602,332 at the box office over the weekend to place at number 6 on the indieWIRE: BOT per screen average chart. It had a solid $7,722 per screen average and has earned just over $1 million so far. The film lead the pack with more than $12,000 at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in New York where it narrowly topped Sony Pictures Classics’ opener, “The Legend of Suriyothai.” Debuting in seven theaters, “Suriyothai” earned $45,904 for an average of $6,558.
Andrew Jarecki’s “Capturing the Friedmans” was the top film at New York’s Angelika Film Center downtown where it made more than $16,000. The film, from Magnolia, played on 40 screens over the weekend and earned $221,142 for a $5,529 per screen average and a spot at number 9 on indieWIRE’s chart.
Miramax’s “Jet Lag” was steady at New York’s Paris Theater where it earned nearly $15,000. It added two screens and made $26,734 for an average of $8,911. It has a total so far of $60,025.
Opening this week against the “Charlie’s Angels” sequel are Danny Boyle’s artsy zombie thriller “28 Days Later” and “On_Line,” a sexy comedy set amidst the world of an erotic website. Opening in New York are two docs, Bret Wood’s “Hell’s Hughway” at Cinema Village and Ilan Ziv’s “Human Weapon.”