The Magazine of Independent Film

Our annual chart once again lists all the American independent features appearing at last year's Sundance Film Festival that have gone on to significant domestic theatrical release in 1996. As always, a few of last year's features are still scheduled for release or, like Citizen Ruth, are just opening at press time. Films marked with an asterisk are still in their theatrical runs; numbers are partial figures accurate as of December 11, 1996. Thanks to E.D.I. for compiling the box-office figures.

The "Budget" estimates are just that - estimates. Culled from previously published reports, interviews with the filmmakers, and our own estimations, these numbers may not reflect the finishing costs needed to take some of these films from their festival release to your local theater.

A "Festival" column tracks which Sundance films went on to (or came from) the following key international festivals: Berlin (B), Cannes (C), New York (N), Toronto (T), Rotterdam (R), and Venice (V).

As always, note that domestic box office gross is just one indicator of a film's overall financial performance. Most of the releases on this page seem to have barely paid for their P&A costs if theatrical rentals (usually a little less than half the gross) are viewed alone. For these films, the publicity generated by the theatrical runs could propel the films to greater returns in ancillary markets. Also note that a distributor's goals are different for each release. Some films here were selectively self-distributed to arthouses or one or two cities while others, such as The Spitfire Grill, were released on hundreds of screens.

(estimate, in millions)
(estimate, in millions)
Big Night NA Goldwyn T 10.53
The Bloody Child .16 self-distributed B,T .02
The Celluloid Closet 1.40 Sony Classics B, T, V 1.40
Cold Fever 1.40 Artistic License T .37
Dadetown NA self-distributed   .03
Ed's Next Move .35 Orion T .09
Everything Relative .10 Tara   .10
Flirt 1.20 CFP T, R, N .24
Freeway 4.20 Roxie Releasing   .21
Frisk .04 Strand B, T .09
Girls Town .20 October   .50
Hustler White .09 Strand B, T .25
Hype! .50 CFP   .20 *
If Lucy Fell 4.00 Tristar   2.41
I Shot Andy Warhol NA Goldwyn/Orion C 1.86
It's My Party NA MGM/UA B .62
The Last Supper 1.50 Sony Classics T .44
Looking for Richard 1.50 Fox Searchlight C, T 1.20*
Manny & Lo .70 Sony Classics   .49
Palookaville 1.50 Goldwyn V .29*
Paradise Lost .75 self-distributed   .35 *
Predictions of Fire .07 Artistic License B .01*
The Spitfire Grill 6.10 Castle Rock   12.59*
Stonewall NA Strand T, V .69*
Synthetic Pleasures .90 self-distributed B, T .16 *
Walking and Talking 1.10 Miramax   1.29
Welcome to the Dollhouse .80 Sony Classics B, T 4.56


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