"The Way Way Back" and "Fruitvale Station" are top grossers from festival's class of 2013
This year's Sundance Film Festival may not have produced a "Little Miss Sunshine"-sized breakout yet, but just over six months after the festival wrapped, this year's crop already has outdone last year's at the box office.
Two films — “The Way, Way Back” and “Fruitvale Station” — already have earned more than last year's top films out of Sundance: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Words” and “Arbitrage.” The highest grosser was "Beasts,'" which took in $12.7 million for Fox Searchlight.
And there are more 2013 offerings on the way.
The Linda Lovelace biopic “Lovelace” starring Amanda Seyfried debuts Friday, and Ashton Kutcher will portray Apple founder Steve Jobs in “Jobs,” opening Aug. 16. “Ain't Them Bodies Saints,” a Western romance starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, will roll out on Aug. 16, as well.
But Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s R-rated sex-addiction comedy “Don Jon” may have the most commercial appeal of all.
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Fox Searchlight's coming-of-age tale “The Way Way Back” has brought in $13.8 million since opening on July 5. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (“The Descendants”), it stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and newcomer Liam James.
It's the tale of a 14-year-old (James) who's forced to go on summer vacation with his mother (Collette), her overbearing boyfriend (Carell) and his daughter (AnnaSophia Robb) and who finds a pal in a waterpark manager (Rockwell).
"Way Way Back" nearly cracked the Top 10 last weekend, when it was in 1,001 theaters and took in $2.7 million. It will drop to around 780 this weekend and should stay there for a while.
“We're very happy with it so far, and we know these theaters owners want to keep us there,” Searchlight's senior vice president Frank Rodriguez told TheWrap. “It's turned out to be a nice alternative to the summer's bigger films.”
One of the pricier festival pickups at a reported $10 million, it looks to have a shot at eventually hitting $20 million at the box office.
The Weinstein Company's “Fruitvale Station,” an examination of the shooting death of a young African-American man, has brought in nearly $11 million since debuting on July 12.
Its parallels with the Trayvon Martin case and timing — “Fruitvale Station” was released on the weekend following the verdict — have put a media spotlight on the film that's helped spread the word.
First-time director Ryan Coogler's drama about the last day in the life of 22-year-old Oscar Grant stars Michael B. Jordan, who's drawn critical praise for his portrayal of Grant, who was fatally shot by a guard after an altercation on a BART train in Oakland, Calif.
Director Richard Linklater's romantic drama “Before Midnight” has brought in nearly $8 million for Sony Pictures Classics since opening in late May. It's the third installment in the trilogy that began with “Before Sunrise” in 1995 and continued with “Before Sunset,” and reteams Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley won a special acting prize at Sundance for the high-school comedy-drama “The Spectacular Now,” which got off to fast start at the box office last weekend. It averaged more than $50,000 from four theaters,, and distributor A24 plans to up that to 19 theaters this weekend before going nationwide later this month.
They haven't all connected. Neither CBS Films’ teen tale “The Kings of Summer” nor Fox Searchlight's “The East” gained traction when they debuted in May. And Fox Searchlight's horror film “Stoker” with Nicole Kidman came and went quickly in March.