ThinkFilm

THE SKINNY
B.O. cume: $8 million
Toppers: Jeff Sackman, CEO; Mark Urman, head of U.S. theatrical
New Releases: “Keeping Mum” (Sept. 15), “Shortbus” (Oct. 6), “Tideland” (Oct. 13), “Fuck” (Nov. 10), “Candy” (Nov. 17), “Off the Black” (Dec. 1)

Once best known for its successful docus (“Spellbound,” “Born Into Brothels,” “The Aristocrats”), Canadian-U.S. distrib ThinkFilm has shifted its emphasis in 2006, focusing greater attention on dramatic pics. Potential watercooler nonfiction films “Protocols of Zion” and “Awesome: I Fuckin’ Shot That” failed to stir up discussion. (Not a single Think doc neared the half-million mark.)

Shingle also cooled on foreign-language acquisitions, releasing only “Fateless,” a Hungarian Holocaust drama, in January to less than $200,000 at the B.O.

Distrib’s English-speaking narratives have barely fared better: Amy Sedaris/Stephen Colbert laffer “Strangers With Candy” broke the $2 million mark while Atom Egoyan’s unrated “Where the Truth Lies” and Ed Norton starrer “Down in the Valley” didn’t cross the million mark.

But the company’s autumn is looking brighter. Sundance acquisition “Half Nelson” scored a hefty $27,450-per-theater average when it debuted in August, with critics already are bestowing plenty of laurels on star Ryan Gosling. “The critical acclaim is there,” says ThinkFilm distribution topper Mark Urman. “The performance is worthy. We’re being very strategic.”

ThinkFilm also has high hopes for another fall pic, John Cameron Mitchell’s pornographic comic romp “Shortbus,” a Cannes hit.

As the industry’s corporate behemoths stay away from controversy, ThinkFilm continues to welcome outre content: Upcoming releases include drug-addled romance “Candy,” docu “Fuck” and Bob Saget’s spoof “Farce of the Penguins.”

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