US specialist distributorWellspring has reported that Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark has broken a house record at one of thecountry's most prestigious arthouse cinemas. The film has become thebiggest grossing foreign picture ever to screen at Landmark's NuartTheatre in Los Angeles with a $53,967 haul from one week (Jan 3-9).
After opening on Dec 13 inNew York the picture has already grossed $407,482 from four prints in twocities and is set to expand on Jan 31 and Feb 14. It has also become the fifthhighest grosser of all time at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles, behind TheBlair Witch Project ($149,000, Jul1999), Kids ($78,999, Jul 1995), BladeRunner Director's Cut($65,511, Oct 1991) and Touch Of Evil ($61,109, Sep 1998).
Russian Ark follows two men on a mysterious journey back in timeto the fabled Winter Palace in the 18th century, and was shot in a single90-minute take at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, making it the longestuninterrupted shot in history. It screened at the Cannes Film Festival lastyear in competition.
Wellspring's upcomingreleases include Friday Night byClaire Denis and the award-winning Madame Sata by Brazilian director Karim Ainouz.