Telling a story that spans a decade, Keep the Lights On begins in 1997, when documentary filmmaker Erik Rothman first meets Paul Lucy, a closeted and handsome lawyer in the publishing field. What begins as a highly charged first encounter, however, soon becomes something much more, and a relationship develops. Though the two men quickly move in and start building a home together, each continues to privately battle their own compulsions and addictions. A film about sex, friendship, intimacy, and most of all, love.
The Independent Spirit Awards has a special place in the Awards Season. The nominations are the unoffficial start of Awards Season, but the actual awards aren't given out until Oscar weekend, so they are the beginning at the end of Awards Season. They also help out a lot of limited releases that would otherwise not get enough buzz, although they are not so good at predicting Oscar wins. This year, two films tied for most nominations, Moonrise Kingdom and The Silver Linings Playbook, both of which earned five nominations. They weren't the only films to earn multiple nominations though.
There were three new releases that topped $10,000 on the per theater chart. Detropia led the way with $17,414 in one theater. It should expand, but as a documentary, it will likely not expand wide. Hello I Must Be Going earned an average of $11,952 in two theaters, while Keep the Lights On was right behind with an average of $11,115 in five theaters.
One statistic suffices to sum up this weekend at the box office: based on estimates received so far, the weekend ranks as the 5th-worst weekend for total box office receipts since January, 2000 (see full chart here). While that position will improve when we get complete numbers on Monday, there's a good chance this will end up as the worst weekend since 2001, even though ticket prices have risen substantially since then. The two marks that industry watchers should look out for are the $67.5 million weekend of September 5, 2003 and the $67.9 million weekend of September 5, 2008. Unsurprisingly, the top film at the box office this weekend is the same as last weekend: The Possession is set for about $9.5 million in its second outing. The Words is the top opener, with about $5 million in 2,801 theaters -- certainly a disappointment, although CBS Films is hoping for good legs thanks to its adult-skewing demographic.
There are ten films on this week's list, including a couple that are earning quite a bit of buzz for limited releases: The Inbetweeners Movie and Bachelorette. Unfortunately, neither of those films is earning great reviews. There are some films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, including the documentary Girl Model and Keep the Lights On. Let's hope some films manage to find an audience in limited release, but it could be tough.
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