Little Miss Sunshine, the Sundance fave that sold for a reported $10 million at the fest (after a flurry of interest from multiple distributors), has opened well in limited release, and Fox Searchlight plans to expand its spendy acquisition to more markets, according to a story in Variety. Sunshine has held strong three weeks into its release, countering the expectations of some critics that the film might fall prey to the Sundance curse -- another indie film getting good buzz and a big sale at Sundance only to never make back the distrib's investment.
Sunshine has so far taken in $5.6 million in limited release, a strong opening performance has led Fox Searchlight to expand its plans for the film: It will show on more than 600 screens on Friday and will debut in some smaller cities before going full-wide the following week. At this point in release, Sunshine's cume is higher than that of last summer's smash hit March of the Penguins at the same point, and also surpasses other strong-performing indies such as Garden State and An Inconvenient Truth. If it stays on track, Sunshine will make Fox Searchlight back its bet and then some.
It will be interesting to see how Sunshine wraps up the rest of the year, as well as to see what impact an exceptional success by the film might have on the buying at next year's Sundance.