2010 Independent Film Distribution & Revenue Analysis
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2010 Independent Film Distribution & Revenue Analysis
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Authored and compiled by Ray Whitter
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PLEASE send corrections to rewriteitagain@gmail.com or at indietalk.com
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Compiled between August & September, 2011
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This is a non-comprehensive and non-exhausitive sample of 2010 theatrically released independednt films.
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The 2010 independent films in this analysis were found listed on the following websites:
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http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/04/30/independent-films-2010-summer-guide/
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http://www.independentmovies.net/2010/
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http://www.jjmurphyfilm.com/blog/?p=1664
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http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/the-best-in-independent-film-2010-.php
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http://newyork.metromix.com/movies/standard_photo_gallery/best-of-sundance-2010/1735685/photo/1735683
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I know there are more 2010 independent films not included in this list. I can't hunt them all down. There's no official database.
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I have made no effort to confirm or discredit any of the films in this list to be "independent films" as defined having been less than
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50% financed by a major studio. However, we all can acknowledge the semantics games being played in this regard as major
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studios establish their own subsidiary "independent" studios.
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Documentaries and some foreign films on the lists were not included as the former falls outside the intent of this analysis and
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the latter often did not have sufficient information available to provide analysis utility.2010 Sundance Films & Awards
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As a consideration of studies indicating samples can provide a more accurate representation of the whole, I included some foreignhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_at_the_2010_Sundance_Film_Festival
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films, some films with the lowest budgets & token theatrical releases, and the gamut of reviews. Collectively, I think this is a fair mix.http://www.imdb.com/event/ev0000631/2010
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= Interesting Data (Near High or Low)2010 Annual Grosses
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= Data Set Extremehttp://www.the-numbers.com/market/movies2010.php
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= Set Hi-Lo Divergence Extreme
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Primary DistributorWidestMetacriticRotten TomatoesMPAAGenresProductionWorldwide GrossStarringWriter(s)DirectorCamera(s)
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In alphabetical order:Theatrical Weeks In MetascoreUser ScoreTomatometerAudienceRatingBudgetTotalDomesticForeign(Co-)Director is also a writer
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TitleReleaseReleaseCriticsRatingsReviewsReviewsBO Gain or LossTitle
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1Animal KingdomSony Pictures Classics613183337.86597%14180%23,724RDrama, Crime$5,000,000$6,793,982$1,044,039$5,749,943Animal KingdomBen Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, Sullivan Stapleton, & James FrechevilleDavid MichôdDavid MichôdPanavision Panaflex Millennium XL, Panavision Primo Lenses
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2Bass AckwardsnoneSundance NEXT award.nananananone343%156Adventure, Comedy, Draman.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.Bass AckwardsLinas Phillips, Davie-Blue, & Jim FletcherLinas Phillips, Davie-Blue, & Jim FletcherLinas Phillips
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3Blue ValentineWeinstein Co.4501681427.617288%18075%42,335NC-17/RDrama, Romance$1,000,000$12,355,734$9,706,328$2,649,406Blue ValentineRyan Gosling & Michelle WilliamsDerek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, & Joey CurtisDerek CianfranceArriflex 416 Plus, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses, Red One Camera, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses
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4BuriedLionsgate107765297.08686%14463%54,723RDrama, Mystery, Thriller$2,000,000$19,152,480$1,044,143$18,108,337BuriedRyan Reynolds Chris SparlingRodrigo CortésArriflex 535, Zeiss Super Speed Lenses, Moviecam Compact, Zeiss Super Speed Lenses
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5Cairo TimeIFC Films761467266.71782%7660%3,999PGDrama, Romancen.a.$1,995,012$1,603,616$391,396Cairo TimePatricia Clarkson & Alexander Siddig Ruba NaddaRuba NaddaMoviecam Compact MK2, Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
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6City IslandAnchor Bay Entertainment 2692466288.43981%9877%26,878PG-13Drama, Comedy$6,000,000$7,875,862$6,671,036$1,204,826City IslandAndy Garcia (producer) & Julianna MarguliesRaymond De FelittaRaymond De FelittaArriflex Cameras and Lenses
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7CyrusFox Searchlight4541774386.06580%15152%39,530RComedy$7,000,000$9,923,855$7,468,936$2,454,919CyrusJohn C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, & Marisa TomeiJay and Mark DuplassJay and Mark DuplassRed One Camera
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8Daddy Longlegs (Go Get Some Rosemary)IFC Films237415nana83%2946%307not ratedDrama, Comedyn.a.$33,217$21,766$11,451Daddy Longlegs (Go Get Some Rosemary)Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey RanaldoJosh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Ronald BronsteinJosh Safdie & Benny SafdieArriflex Cameras
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9The Extra ManMagnolia Pictures 331356265.3843%6738%2,049RComedy$7,000,000$457,867$453,377$4,490The Extra ManKevin Kline, Paul Dano, Katie Holmes, & John C. ReillyShari Springer Berman & Robert PulciniShari Springer Berman & Robert PulciniArriflex Cameras and Lenses
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10The FreebiePhase 4 Films47548nana58%2629%1,399RDrama, Comedyn.a.$16,613n.a.n.a.The FreebieDax Shepard & Katie AseltonKatie AseltonKatie Aselton
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11Get LowSony Pictures Classics5703077356.93985%13774%17,907PG-13Drama, Mystery, Comedy$7,000,000$9,695,282$9,176,933$518,349Get LowRobert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, & Bill Murray Chris Provenzano & C. Gaby MitchellAaron SchneiderPanavision Panaflex Gold II, Panavision C- and E-Series Lenses
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12GreenbergFocus Features 1861076395.111375%15440%33,076RDrama, Comedyn.a.$6,153,967$4,234,170$1,919,797GreenbergBen Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, & Jennifer Jason LeighNoah BaumbachNoah BaumbachPanavision Cameras and Lenses (filmed with)
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13HappythankyoumorepleaseAnchor Bay Entertainment 19845216.01240%4863%4,101RDrama, Comedyn.a.$216,110$216,110n.a.HappythankyoumorepleaseJosh Radnor, Malin Åkerman, Kate Mara, & Zoe KazanJosh RadnorJosh RadnorRed One Camera, Hawk Lenses
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14Harry BrownSamuel Goldwyn Films671555357.33965%11675%38,621RDrama, Thriller, Crime$7,300,000$10,329,747$1,818,681$8,511,066Harry BrownMichael CaineGary YoungDaniel BarberSony CineAlta F35, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses; Sony DCR-PC2E (some scenes)
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15Holy RollersFirst Independent Pictures201451236.0749%8333%2,411RDrama, Crime$1,000,000$608,027$303,064$304,963Holy RollersJesse EisenbergAntonio Macia Kevin Asch
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16The Human CentipedeIFC Films19933154.36450%9028%10,149not ratedDrama, Horror$2,000,000$252,207$181,467$70,740The Human CentipedeDieter LaserTom SixTom Six
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17I Am LoveMagnolia Pictures 1662479327.07579%12065%14,258RDrama$10,000,000$10,906,568$5,005,465$5,901,103I Am LoveTilda SwintonLuca Guadagnino & Barbara Alberti Luca GuadagninoArricam LT, Cooke S4, Angenieux Optimo and Arri Macro Lenses; Arriflex 535B, Cooke S4, Angenieux Optimo and Arri Macro Lenses
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18I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué me mère)Here Films 20 (Quebec) 60 (France)nananana73%1578%1,473not ratedDrama$800,000$932,803n.a.n.a.I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué me mère)Xavier DolanXavier DolanXavier DolanRed One Camera
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19The Kids Are All RightFocus Features9941586397.217794%20472%51,319RDrama, Comedy$4,000,000$34,705,850$20,811,365$13,894,485The Kids Are All RightAnnette Bening & Julianne Moore Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg Lisa CholodenkoArricam LT, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses; Arriflex 35 BL4, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses
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20The Killer Inside MeIFC Films 199nana6.12255%12141%12,225RDrama, Thriller, Crime, Western$13,000,000$3,977,192$217,277$3,759,915The Killer Inside MeCasey Affleck, Jessica Alba, & Kate HudsonJohn CurranMichael WinterbottomArricam LT, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses; Arricam ST, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
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21LebanonSony Pictures Classics 232085286.32190%9771%4847RDrama, Warn.a.$1,198,181$368,088$830,093LebanonOshri Cohen & Itay TiranSamuel MaozSamuel MaozArriflex 16 SR3 Evolution, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses; Red One Camera, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses
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22Life During WartimeLionsgate20969305.2969%9747%5,499not ratedDrama, Comedy$4,000,000$768,016$281,447$486,569Life During WartimeAlly Sheedy, Allison Janney & Paul ReubensTodd SolondzTodd SolondzRed One Camera and Lenses
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23Looking for EricIFC Films11766237.1785%9278%8,651not ratedDrama, Sport, Fantasy, Comedy$6,200,000$11,555,325$55,804$11,499,521Looking for EricEric Cantona & Steve EvetsPaul Laverty Ken Loach Arricam ST
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24Mao's Last DancerSamuel Goldwyn Films 1371655238.0954%7280%5,143PGDrama$18,000,000$22,269,123$4,817,770$17,451,353Mao's Last DancerChi Cao, Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan, Joan Chen, Wang Shuangbao, & Amanda SchullJan SardiBruce Beresford Panavision Cameras and Lenses
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25MicmacsSony Pictures Classics522162318.02474%12974%9,440RComedy, Crime$42,000,000$16,344,333$1,262,079$15,082,254MicmacsDany BoonJean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume LaurentJean-Pierre JeunetArriflex 435, Panavision Primo and Angenieux Optimo Lenses; Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL, Panavision Primo and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
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26Mother and ChildSony Pictures Classics1192464327.41180%9977%5,190RDrama$7,000,000$4,980,736$1,110,509$3,870,227Mother and ChildNaomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson, & David Morse Rodrigo GarcíaRodrigo GarcíaPanavision Genesis HD Camera, Panavision Primo and Slant Focus Lenses; Red One Camera, Angenieux Optimo Lens
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27OndineMagnolia Pictures391765217.7670%9456%18,479PG-13Drama, Romance$12,000,000$1,644,755$550,472$1,094,283OndineColin Farrell & Alicja Bachleda Neil JordanNeil Jordan
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28127 HoursFox Searchlight9162382387.825093%20684%77,132RAdventure, Biography, Drama, Thriller$18,000,000$60,738,797$18,335,230$42,403,567127 HoursJames FrancoDanny Boyle & Simon BeaufoyDanny BoyleCanon EOS 1D Mark IV; Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Canon EOS 7D; Moviecam Compact MK2, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Cooke Panchro Lenses; REDLAKE Y5, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Cooke Panchro Lenses; Silicon Imaging SI-2K MINI, Zeiss Ultra Prime, Cooke Panchro, Schneider and Fujinon Lenses
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29Please GiveSony Pictures Classics 2722578357.33788%13362%10,124RDrama, Comedy$3,000,000$4,313,085$4,033,574$279,511Please GiveCatherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Ann Guilbert, & Amanda PeetNicole HolofcenerNicole Holofcener
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30Solitary ManAnchor Bay Entertainment1772069315.52481%9147%12,962RDrama, Comedy$12,500,000$5,178,582$4,360,548$818,034Solitary ManMichael Douglas, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Imogen Poots, with Susan Sarandon and Danny DeVito Brian KoppelmanBrian Koppelman & David Levien
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31SpliceWarner Bros. 2450966355.312875%17837%244,454RSci-Fi, Thriller, Horror$30,000,000$26,857,459$17,010,170$9,847,289SpliceAdrien Brody & Sarah Polley Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, & Doug Taylor Vincenzo NataliPanavision Panaflex Millennium XL, Panavision Primo Lenses
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32Tiny FurnitureIFC Films21157127nana73%7153%6,892not ratedComedy$50,000$391,674n.a.n.a.Tiny FurnitureLena DunhamLena DunhamLena DunhamCanon EOS 7D
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33Winter’s BoneRoadside Attractions 1414590386.919594%15873%37,295RDrama, Thriller$2,000,000$13,831,503$6,531,503$7,300,000Winter’s BoneJennifer Lawrence & John HawkesDebra Granik & Anne RoselliniDebra GranikRed One Camera, Zeiss Master Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
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^
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^ Many of the highlighted notables in this column are a result of disproportinately high foreign to domestic sales.Percentage of Wr/Dir79%
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Average Minus Hi-Lo Outliers17615642865370%10056%17,641Average Minus Hi-Lo Outliers$7,741,667$7,925,759However, this is most likely due to it being a foreign film. Two notable exceptions are BURIED and 127 HOURS.
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General Observations & Remarks
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When critical reviews are high and (the paying) public reviews are low I would call that a "highbrow" film. Eg. BURIED 86/63, CYRUS 80/52, DADDY LONGLEGS 83/46, SPLICE 75/37.
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When critical reviews are low and (the paying) public reviews are high I would call that a "pulp" film. Eg. HARRY BROWN 65/75 & MAO'S LAST DANCER 54/80.
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When both critical and public reviews reconcile, high or low, I would call that confirmation. Eg. CITY ISLAND 81/77 & THE EXTRA MAN 43/38
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Critics are consistently more lenient than than the public which tend to be more polarized to the downside.
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There is no meaningful correlation between production budgets* and favorable or disfavorable reviews. Eg. WINTER'S BONE $2m = 94/73 & THE KILLER INSIDE ME $13m = 55/41.
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* So called "budgets" are compiled and fabricated using who-knows-what input factors. Big time actors frequently work for token paychecks on pet projects for themselves or friends.
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There is no absolute correlation between reviews and favorable or disfavorable grosses. Eg. ANIMAL KINGDOM 97/80 = $6.7m, SPLICE 75/37 = $26.8m.
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There is a strong correlation between poor public reviews and poor box office grosses. Note all the red BO losers and their corresponding public review approval.
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Some films become cult favorites, so while they do poorly in theatrical release they do considerably better on DVD sales: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE $0.2m theatrically & $2.1m DVD.
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A fantastic cast may garner surprisingly low distribution. Eg. THE EXTRA MAN 33 theaters, 13 weeks & SOLITARY MAN 177 theaters, 20 weeks.
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Billboard names may not do you any more favors than nobodies regarding distribution, maybe on revenues, though. Eg. THE KILLER INSIDE ME 19 theaters, 9 weeks TINY FURNITURE 21 theaters, 15 weeks.
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Just because you have a B or C star in your film doesn't mean it can find distribution. Eg. THE FREEBIE has that guy Dax Shepard with all sorts of imdb.com-like filmography = 4 theaters (mostly just 1 at a time)
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Awards and kudos don't mean much. BASS ACKWARDS wins Sundance NEXT award, still found no distribution, but THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE found 19 theaters and ran for 9 weeks.
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Some stars are contracturally obligated to a studio to perform in a certain number of films. They may "spend" one such obligation in a pisser film. Just something to keep in mind.
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Some things you expect, like wide releases and long runs together. Other things you don't expect, like wide releases and short runs. Eg. SPLICE 2,450 theaters flaming out after only 9 weeks.
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And still others are interesting combos like WINTER'S BONE at 141 theaters wide but for 45 weeks, meaning it just kept picking up new theaters (public interest) as it went along.
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These I've seen (green) or have partialy seen before I turned it off (yellow) or want to see (blue)
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Observations & Remarks on Individual Films
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1Animal KingdomLooks like a good show. How come I never heard of it?
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2Bass AckwardsIt's a crying shame and surely a disappointment for cast, crew and investors when their film wins a big fancy pants Sundance award abut still can't find distribution.
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3Blue ValentineWhomever put this together did a pretty good job. With $1m budget they got two B stars, made a well received film, fair distribution for a NC-17/R film, and banked a nice return.
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4BuriedNote the number of public audience reviews: >54 thousand! At a paltry 107 theaters max. And they thought it sucked. But it made a nice return. That's how you do it, folks. Note the GROSSSS difference between domestic and foreign grosses. Wow. Ya'll are freaks.
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BKR5Cairo TimeThis looks like a sweet little film that went somewhere and did something that someone knows about.
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6City IslandI would have thought Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies woulda banked more distro and gross than this.
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7CyrusI would have thought John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei woulda banked more distro and gross than this. I woulda though Marisa alone coulda banked more than this.
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/8Daddy Longlegs (Go Get Some Rosemary)Write a screenplay, direct yourself, find two theaters and go crazy. Hope you didn't spend much.
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9The Extra ManWTH? Kevin Kline? Katie Holmes? John C. Riley? Writers are also directors on their seventh project? And it sux? And don't make money? I gotta see just how sucky this miserable suck-fest is!
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10The FreebieD@mn. Writer, director and female lead to Dax Sheperd. Bad bad bad reviews and pushing rope distro. I don't suppose they're banging it IRL, do ya? Lesson.
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11Get LowEveryone picked up a paycheck for this one. I think the subject (and demographic) scared away the audience. It's actually a very nice little film.
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12GreenbergBen Stiller isn't so old in his career that he should be making pissers. I guess he just wanted to do some experimenting with this LOST IN TRANSLATION / BROKEN FLOWERS rehash.
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13HappythankyoumorepleaseDOA. WTH happened? Oh, yeah. It's another write it and direct yourself in it film. I hope he at least got to sit near Kate Mara once or twice!
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14Harry BrownI would have thought both Michael Cane and the "pissed off old man with a gun" schtick would have gone farther than this. Judging from audience reviews it looked promissing. IDK?
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15Holy RollersJesse! Yo, man! You suck. No, really. You do suck.
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