An Oscar-nominated Israeli movie was the highest-grossing film in America over the weekend — at least among those playing on just two screens.
“Footnote,” the Jerusalem-set drama we raved about last week, earned a grand total of $48,100 between Friday and Sunday, playing in just two theaters in Manhattan. Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, the film earned a per-screen average of $24,050, far and away the highest of any movie screening in the US. (By comparison, the next-highest per-screen average belonged to “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” another limited-release movie, which brought in $13,333 at each theater.)
The grand total for “Footnote” ranked 43rd among all movies, with “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” winning the weekend with $39.1 million collected on thousands of screens. Among the film’s competition at the Oscars, “A Separation” — the Iranian movie that won — collected $800,000 on 281 screens, while “In Darkness,” a Polish movie about the Holocaust, scored $115,400 in 50 theaters.
Despite the low overall total for “Footnote,” the results bode well for its American distributor, Sony Pictures Classics, which will open the movie in Los Angeles on Friday before rolling it out in other American cities.
The film, which focuses on a father-son pair of Talmudic scholars at Hebrew University, enjoyed across-the-board positive reviews. The New York Times described the movie as “witty,” “wonderful” and “genius,” placing its write-up on the cover of the paper’s weekend entertainment section.