Cruz moves into top places

ROME — Italian pics are having a field day at the local box office, with four titles among the top 10 grossers for the first time in years. Leading the pack is drama “Don’t Move,” starring Penelope Cruz as a destitute Albanian who has a tryst with a surgeon.

The E5.5 million ($6.7 million) pic has pulled in nearly $4.9 million after two weeks in release and beat another Cruz starrer, “Gothika,” which debuted at No. 2.

Directed by actor-helmer Sergio Castellitto, who co-stars, and produced by Rome stable Cattleya, “Don’t Move” scored 11 nominations for the Davide di Donatello Italo film awards, to be handed out next month. Pic, based on a bestselling book and distribbed by Medusa, has been tapped for a Cannes berth.

Giovanni Veronesi’s zippy coming-of-age comedy “Che ne sara di noi” (What Will Become of Us?) is in the fourth slot after three weeks; Sergio Rubini’s romantic drama “Love Returns,” a Warner Bros. release, bowed at No. 6; and veteran comic Carlo Verdone’s latest laffer “Love’s Eternal (As Long as It Lasts)” is in ninth place after five weeks.

Silvio Soldini’s surreal comedy “Agata and the Tempest” and Luca Lucini’s teen romancer “Three Steps Over Heaven” came in just outside the top 10 at 11th and 12th, respectively.

“We usually try not to come out close to other potentially strong local titles,” said Riccardo Tozzi, topper of Cattleya.

“The fact that a bunch of good domestic stuff is all playing at the same time is creating a contagious effect. People are going to see one good Italian pic and then they want to see another,” he noted.

“What Will Become of Us?” has pulled in $4.3 million in three weeks for producer-distrib Aurelio De Laurentiis. Pic, starring and co-written by Silvio Muccino, tops the list of David hopefuls with 12 noms.

“March is historically a good month for local titles,” said Medusa head of marketing Andrea Lazzarin. “Still, we haven’t seen something of this magnitude for several years.”

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