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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 1997. As always, a few of last year's features (like triple award-winner Hurricane Streets) are still scheduled for release in the coming year. Films marked with an asterisk are still in their theatrical runs; numbers are partial figures accurate as of December 10, 1997. Thanks to EDI for helping compile the box-office figures.

The "Budget" estimates are just that -- estimates. Culled from previously published reports, interviews with the filmmakers, or 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 also played 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. Re-viewing this list, it's clear that the ambitions and intentions of the various distributors differed widely. Some of these films, particularly those with a genre or casting hook, received perfunctory theatrical releases designed to garner more money in the video, television, and foreign ancillary markets. Other films depended on U.S. theatrical box office to launch them in other markets and, consequently, received more vigorous releases. Still others were films whose release was halted after they underperformed in early key markets.

(estimated in millions)
DistributorFestivalsBox Office
(estimated in millions)
All Over Me.70Fine LineB.287
Box of MoonlightNATrimarkV, T.782
Chasing Amy.5MiramaxB12.0
The DeltaNAStrandR, T.090*
Dream with the Fishes1.1Sony Classics--.543
Eye of God.75Castle Hill--.060
Fast, Cheap, and out of ControlNASony ClassicsN, T.448*
Going All the Way3Gramercy--.113
House of Yes1.5MiramaxT.626*
In the Company of Men.2Sony ClassicsC2.80
Kiss me, Guido.75Paramount--1.92
Last Time I Committed SuicideNARoxie--.046
Licensed to Kill.225Deep FocusB.101*
Long Way Home.70Seventh Art--.039
Lost Highway16October--3.68
Love Jones7.0New Line--12.5
Love! Valor! Compassion!NAFine Line--2.94
Myth of Fingerprints1.8Sony ClassicsT.493
Nowhere1.2Fine Line--.176
PrefontaineNABuena Vista--.098*
Riding the Rails.4Artistic License--.030
Sick.125CFPT, B, R.098*
Slaves to the Underground1.0First LookB.007
Star Maps.5Fox Searchlight--.658
Suburbia3.5Sony Classics--.656
SundayNACFPC, R.411*
This World, then the Fireworks4.0Orion ClassicsC.051
Twilight of the GoldsNACFP (Avalanche)--.021
Ulee's Gold2.5Orion--8.64
Waco: The Rules of Engagement1.0Somford--.090*
WonderlandNAFox Lorber--.003

* still in active distribution


THE INDIE REPORT is a new report series which made its debut in the Winter '98 issue of FILMMAKER and will be featured in upcoming 1998 print issues, as well as on, "The Website for Working Hollywood."  THE INDIE REPORT, is designed to provide thorough Box Office coverage of independent films and their filmmakers. Version 1.0 of the report is focused on films from the Sundance Film Festival and includes a look at the Top 60 U.S. Films that have screened at the festival between 1989-1996, as well as the Top 10 Foreign Films. The Fast Facts section provides additional analysis and pertinent information regarding historical trends from the festival.


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