Here are this weekend's box office success stories in the indie film world:
Caroline Suh's documentary Frontrunners (pictured), which follows four teens running for elective office at a prestigious high school in New York City, had its world premiere at South by Southwest and was acquired for distribution by Oscilloscope, founded by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, in July. Opening at one theater in New York, the film earned $7,400 over the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, the third highest per-screen total among limited releases. That's a very good accomplishment for the fledgling Oscilloscope.
Jonathan Demme's drama Rachel Getting Married expanded from 27 to 69 theaters in selected cities across the country (including mine) and increased solidly to a per-screen average of $10,464. It's earned more than $1.75 million so far. I saw it on Saturday and was disappointed by its utterly ordinary, overly familiar dysfunctional family routines and excessive padding for what is a very thin story, but a ton of people showed up for the early afternoon screening, so I guess everyone loves weddings and the promise of battling sisters working out all their problems in a single weekend.
On the "pro" side of religion, Fireproof, a drama starring Kirk Cameron, added even more theaters (up to 905 now) and dropped very little, percentage wise, totaling more than $20 million in four weeks of release. On the "con" side, Religulous, a doc by Larry Charles featuring Bill Maher, dropped a few theaters (to 504 locations) yet still burst past the $9 million mark, a remarkable performance for a documentary.