Raymond De Felitta’s “City Island” - a big winner at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival - opened on two theaters in NYC and LA this weekend, and while that screen count obviously benefits it, it managed the second best per-theater-average of any film this weekend behind “Greenberg.” Starring Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies, the family drama grossed $35,000, averaging $17,500 and becoming distributor Anchor Bay’s strongest opening ever.
Yes, believe it or not, we hit this one out of the park...of course being on two screens helps. But I never thought I'd live to see the day that our little Bronx family comedy would stand up in the company of the mega-plex grossers.
Natch the execs are all pleased--enough to begin rolling the film out to multiple cinemas in New York and LA and other cities a little earlier. Next up are Philly, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Boston, Miami, Toronto...and more to come!
Meanwhile, read one of the best reviews I've ever gotten--not just because he likes the film but because its a truly thoughtful critique--from Salon.com, written by Andrew O'Hehir. In these times of super-snarky, short attention spanning, everyone's-a-critic kind of reviews, a piece like O'Hehir--personal, inquisitive, historically contextualized--comes as a breath of fresh air. The length at which he writes and his interesting and discursive method of discussing the movie put me in mind of vintage Pauline Kael stuff from The New Yorker.
And dig Leonard Maltin's superb review, posted on his blog, on indiewire, on just about everywhere that the ubiquitous Mr. Maltin surfaces. Did you know that Leonard began as a film historian, editing a little magazine called Film Fan Monthly? I subscribed to it, back in the early seventies, and couldn't wait for each issue to arrive. I mentioned this to him once and he seemed genuinely bemused by my remembering this early effort of his (he was, I think, a teenager when he began the magazine). I wonder what happened to those old copies I had of FFM?
More to come as more comes in. Meanwhile, please feel free--feel MOTIVATED--to share this blog with your movie-loving friends. Or the City Island Facebook page. Or anything that will encourage the audiences to get out and catch us in the coming weeks in theaters near you...