For one of the first times in Canadian box office history, a small indigenous film beat out the Hollywood heavyweights on a per screen average basis last weekend (June 2-4).
New Waterford Girl, a C$4m title produced by Sienna Films and Imagex and distributed by Odeon Films, opened on June 2 at one theatre in Vancouver and one in Toronto. It scored a per screen average of C$11,007 - the best in Canada or the US for the weekend - beating out films such as Mission: Impossible 2 and Big Momma's House, which came second and third respectively on a per screen average basis.
Despite its low budget and virtually unknown Canadian cast, New Waterford Girl apparently reaped the benefits of positive reviews, word-of-mouth and the strong buzz left over from the festival circuit last autumn. Also, there were no other major debuts over the weekend.
"In the next six weeks, the film will be released in other parts of Canada, and we are hopeful it will do well there as well. Then it may have a US release," Odeon Films vice president marketing and publicity Mark Slone told Screendaily.
Directed by Allan Moyle and written by Tricia Fish, New Waterford Girl is a comic and poignant look at teenage angst through the eyes of gifted and bored 15-year-old who is itching to escape her East Coast mining town.
In terms of gross revenue, Mission: Impossible 2 topped the Canadian box office on its second weekend with C$2,820,141, followed by Dinosaur with C$940,700, Gladiator with C$861,807 and Big Momma's House with C$818,149. Wacky martial arts film Shanghai Noon checked in at C$687,823.