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Independent Box Office: Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’ Connects

Roadside Attractions family documentary collects $31K from two NY theaters

“Stories We Tell,” Sarah Polley‘s documentary examination of her family's memories and myths, took in a strong $31,000 from two New York theaters in its debut this weekend.

That’s a $15,500 per-screen average, but the best sign for distributor Roadside Attractions was the film’s huge spike – 172 percent – from Friday to Saturday. That signals very positive word of mouth, and with a slew of positive reviews (94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and suggests a bright future at the box office.

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The film has played a number of film festivals, starting with Venice, Telluride and Toronto last fall, and Sundance and New Directors/New Films earlier this year. An expansion onto 20 screens in the top seven markets is planned for next Friday.

That was only part of the good news for Roadside, which saw its Matthew McConaughey drama “Mud” expand from 576 to 854 screens and take $2.3 million, an average of $2,764 per screen.

That kept it in the top ten films nationally and raised the overall domestic total for the Roadside-Lionsgate film to $8.3 million.

Also opening was the documentary “One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das.” The film took director Jeremy Frindel to India, where he followed legendary spiritual teacher Neem Karoli Baba, through drug addiction and depression, to his eventual emergence as a world-famous Kirtan singer. The Substratum Films release, distributed by Zeitgeist, opened on a single screen and took in $5,100.

Sony Pictures Classics raised the screen count for its romantic comedy “Love Is All You Need” from four to 10 and it brought in $40,026 in its second week, a $4,003 average.

The Weinstein Company’s “Kon-Tiki,” a dramatization of Thor Heyerdal's 4,300- mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, expanded into 22 theaters from 12 in its third week and took in $83,645. That’s a $3,802 per-screen average.