Arthouse Audit: 'Kites' Flies, 'Babies' Maintains Grip
by Ray Subers
May 25, 2010
Bollywood romance Kites flew into tenth place on the weekend chart despite playing at only 208 theaters. The next biggest-grossing limited release, Babies, held better in its third weekend than in its second. Holdovers The Secret in Their Eyes, City Island and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo maintained their audience levels, while new movies Solitary Man and Holy Rollers had passable starts in very limited release.
With $958,673, Kites was the first Bollywood movie ever to crack the Weekend Top Ten, but its gross wasn't enough to break the Bollywood opening weekend record, despite having the broadest Bollywood release yet. My Name is Khan remains king on this front with $1.9 million at 120 theaters, and Kites achieved its rank because little was going below Shrek Forever After, Iron Man 2, Robin Hood and Letter to Juliet. Kites distributor Reliance Big Pictures is relatively new, though their only prior release, 3 Idiots, is the highest-grossing Bollywood movie ever with $6.5 million. With the continued modest success of Bollywood imports, it seems certain that they will be receiving larger and more frequent releases in the near future.
Babies yielded over a quarter of its locations, but only dropped 27 percent to $725,266. This was a significant improvement over last weekend, when it dropped 54 percent, though that was coming off an opening that included a big Mother's Day boost. Through its third weekend, Babies has made $5.1 million, good for 21st on the top-grossing documentaries list.
Best Foreign Language Oscar winner The Secret in Their Eyes added 38 more theaters and improved 21 percent to $446,549. Through its sixth weekend, the Argentine movie has grossed $2.7 million. Comedy City Island continued its solid run, down just four percent to $423,423 for a $4.2 million total. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also held well, up five percent to $342,837. With $6.3 million, Dragon Tattoo has passed Tell No One to become distributor Music Box's highest-grossing movie ever.
Featuring a much-buzzed about central performance from Michael Douglas, Solitary Man opened to $94,936 at four theaters. It's per theater average of $23,734 was tops among all releases this weekend. Holy Rollers wasn't quite as successful, but still made $39,685 at three locations for a per theater average of $13,228.
In contrast, documentary Racing Dreams was the greatest disappointment among limited releases over the weekend. It crashed and burned with an estimated $21,500 at 33 theaters. Magnolia documentary 180 South didn't fare too well either, grossing $10,269 at four locations.
A handful of movies debuted on one screen, with IFC drama Father of My Children's $10,414 haul representing the best of the bunch. Opening on Wednesday, documentary Two in the Wave made $5,676 for a five-day total of $8,100. Another documentary, After the Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United, grossed $2,501, while crime drama Perrier's Bounty only found $828 in its debut.
Last Arthouse Audit
• 'Babies' Drops
• Weekend Report: 'Shrek' Shrinks with Fourth Movie