Documentary breaks records at New York theater
Richard Press’ docu “Bill Cunningham New York” has racked up impressive B.O. in its first week at Gotham’s Film Forum, pulling in $64,566 on a single screen.
Movie, about the idiosyncratic photo chronicler of New York street fashion, began an exclusive run at Film Forum on March 16.
According to the exhibitor, the pic distribbed by Zeitgeist Films pulled in $8,525 in opening-day sales and tallied $33,663 in its first weekend.
In its initial frame, “Bill Cunningham” played six shows per day in a 180-seat theater. Venue has since added shows on another of the indie multiplex’s screens.
Totals handily break Film Forum’s previous records, according to org director Karen Cooper. Prior weekly record holder was the doc “Control Room,” which set the bar at about $52,000.
Theater often considers a $20,000 week fairly strong for its movies, with $40,000 repping unusually robust sales. Cooper noted that while all docs have a built-in hook with auds interested in a film’s subject matter, receipts for “Bill Cunningham” indicate a draw for a broader audience.
“Bill Cunningham” looks at the day-to-day life of the octenagarian bike-riding Cunningham, whose photographs of Gotham style have appeared in the New York Times for 20 years. After dropping out of Harvard, Cunningham became a women’s hatmaker and wrote for publications including Women’s Wear Daily before landing at the Times. Philip Gefter, a former photo editor who had worked with Cunningham at the Times, produced.
Pic hits screens in L.A. and Washington today ahead of a wider rollout April 1.