Arthouse Audit: Bollywood's 'Raavan' Barely Tops 'Please Give'
by Ray Subers
June 21, 2010
Bollywood movie Raavan led all limited releases in its opening weekend, making this the third time in the last five weekends that a Bollywood movie has topped the list. Please Give, Solitary Man and Winter's Bone had noteworthy expansions, while Cyrus impressed in a very limited debut.
Raavan opened to $480,703 at 119 locations, ranking 15th among all releases this weekend. While this would seem to further the notion that Bollywood movies are becoming more and more popular, Raavan does represent a tiny step backwards as the last two releases, Kites and Raajneeti, got off to much stronger starts ($958,673 and $850,255, respectively). It's also worth noting that Raavan has little chance of even crossing the $1 million mark, as Bollywood movies typically make more than 50 percent of their total grosses on their first weekend.
Please Give finished just below Raavan, grossing $475,334 at 272 locations (up from 103 last weekend). Through its eighth weekend, the comedy-drama has collected $2.66 million. Michael Douglas vehicle Solitary Man once again doubled its theater count, this time to 107 locations. However, it was only up 16 percent to $426,927, indicating that its rapid expansion may slow in coming weeks. Overall, the movie has made $1.43 million through its fifth weekend. Sundance favorite Winter's Bone added 35 locations to bring its total to 39, grossing $351,316 for a 10-day total of $474,328.
Foreign language movies The Secret in Their Eyes and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo found themselves further down on the list than usual this weekend. The Secret in Their Eyes rounded out the Top Five specialty releases, grossing $282,288 for a total of $4.94 million. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo dipped 20 percent to $258,499, and continues to lead all 2010 limited releases with $8.3 million. Its sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, is now set to open July 9, and it should be interesting to see whether distributor Music Box Films allows Dragon Tattoo to continue to play at the same time.
Besides Raavan, a handful of other new limited releases attempted to find audiences this week. Cyrus had the most success, grossing $181,716 at just four locations for a per theater average of $45,429. Starring John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, the quirky comedy opened slightly better than similar limited release comedy Greenberg, which got off to a $118,152 start at three locations earlier this year. Another limited debut highlight this weekend came from Tilda Swinton's I Am Love, which grossed $121,504 at eight locations.
The rest of the pack was average at best. Right in line with the debuts of most political documentaries, 8: The Mormon Proposition grossed just $42,566 in 16 theaters. IFC comedy Let it Rain made $16,290 at two locations, while documentary Stonewall Uprising earned $15,729 at four theaters to bring its five-day total to $21,405. The much-talked about thriller The Killer Inside Me had one of the weekend's more disappointing debuts, opening to $11,083 at one theater. Other single theater launches came from La Amiche (re-issue) ($10,092) and documentary The Nature of Existence ($2,977).
Last Arthouse Audit
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• Weekend Report: Pixar Pounds Its Toy Chest