IFC Films

Crime Pays for IFC Films as “Gomorrah” Sets a Record for the Biggest Opening Ever for a Film at the IFC Center

The IFC Center Complex Also Breaks Records for Highest Grossing Weekend

New York, NY, February 15, 2009 – IFC Films, one of the leading independent and foreign film distributors, proved that crime does indeed pay as its acclaimed mafia drama Gomorrah set a record for the biggest opening weekend ever at the IFC Center in New York City, grossing an estimated $32,000, over its first three days, February 13-15. Gomorrah played to sold-out houses all weekend-long, with hundreds of would-be movie patrons turned away.

The strong numbers for Gomorrah helped lead the IFC Center complex to its highest grossing weekend of all-time with an estimated take of $52,000, eclipsing the previous record weekend by nearly $10,000. The previous highest grossing weekend for the IFC Center was $43,337 from January 25-27, 2008 in conjunction with the opening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The previous record holder for the biggest opening for a single film at the IFC Center was Me And You and Everyone We Know, the theater’s inaugural engagement in June 2005. In addition to Gomorrah, currently playing at the IFC Center are Steven Soderbergh’s Che, which continues to perform well in its eighth week at the Gotham hardtop, and The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2009, which grossed more than $24,000 when it opened last weekend and had a strong holdover.

Gomorrah, directed by Matteo Garrone and presented by Martin Scorsese, opened Friday on five screens in New York and Los Angeles. Advance buzz and strong reviews propelled the film to a weekend estimate of more than $73,000 and an impressive per screen average of almost $15,000. On Friday, Gomorrah outgrossed all other films at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York including Academy Award ® nominees The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire and The Class.

Gomorrah, an inside look at the Naples-based mafia known as the Camorra, is one of the most honored foreign language films in recent years. Since it premiered at Cannes in 2008 where it won the Grand Prix, the film went on to become one of Italy’s highest grossing films of 2008. Last year, it swept the European Film Awards winning in every category it was nominated including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Cinematography. Gomorrah, a 2008 Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominee for Best Foreign Film, will open in additional theatrical markets across the county in the coming weeks and will be available nationwide via movies-on-demand beginning February 18th.

Said Mark Boxer, IFC VP of Distribution, "We are thrilled with the results and the response to the film. The film appealed to a wide-range of filmgoers in New York and Los Angeles, along with avid art house patrons in all key age groups."

Said IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring, "We couldn’t be happier audiences are turning out for Gomorrah in such huge numbers. We knew going into the weekend that awareness for the film was high, but to set an IFC Center record exceeded our expectations. The box office numbers show that U.S. audiences have a real hunger for quality foreign films, and as we make the film available across the country we hope arthouse movies lovers as well as fans of the mafia genre will soon discover this extraordinary film."

Said John Vanco, VP and General Manager, IFC Center "We are honored that New York audiences continue to support all our various programs in ever-increasing numbers. Gomorrah is one of the finest films of the year and we’re thrilled that record-setting crowds have shown up this weekend to immerse themselves in Garrone’s Naples, right here in the West Village."

The impressive opening of Gomorrah continues IFC Films recent string of commercial and critical successes, including Steven Soderbergh’s Che starring Benicio Del Toro, currently being shown theatrically in select cities and available nationwide on-demand. Upcoming anticipated films from IFC include Hunger, the British drama about IRA activist Bobby Sands, who died in a Northern Ireland prison on hunger strike and Everlasting Moments, from acclaimed Scandinavian director Jan Troell. This March, IFC Films and Austin’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival are partnering to create the first-ever nationwide on-demand film festival experience. A group of five exceptional films screening at SXSW, including the world premiere of Joe Swanberg’s Alexander the Last, will simultaneously be available via movies-on-demand in 30 million homes.

A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, "IFC In Theaters," makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. IFC Festival Direct features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand. IFC Productions is a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects. IFC Center is a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema with luxurious seating and HD digital and 35mm projection that shows art-house films in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. IFC Entertainment’s companies are subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.

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  • Cynthia Swartz
    Publicity, 42West
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