Despite winning last year's Cannes Palme d'or and being the Italian submission for this year's best foreign language Oscar, Nanni Moretti's acclaimed family drama The Son's Room had a disappointing opening for Miramax Films in North America last weekend, taking $4,887 from one New York screen.
In those international markets where it has been released, The Son's Room has found more appreciative audiences, generating 750,000 admissions in France, $590,000 In Germany, $545,000 in Spain and a massive $6.2m in its home territory.
In Japan, where Warner Bros. Pictures and the TV Asahi network have joined forces to release the film, it took $263,530 in its first week, with Warner predicting a total gross of $4.7m (Screendaily Jan 4).
Son's Room distributor Miramax Films, which has a long history of successful Italian films as the following chart shows, has a host of other potential foreign language nominees this year including Amelie from France and Behind The Sun from Brazil. Whether The Son's Room will get overshadowed in the Oscar race or at the box office by Miramax's numerous other movies remains to be seen.
ITALIAN TOP 15 in North America 1990-2002
Film (Year) US distributor Director Total US gross
1 Life Is Beautiful (1998) Miramax Roberto Benigni $57.2m
2 Il Postino (1995) Miramax Michael Radford $21.8m
3 Cinema Paradiso (1988) Miramax Giuseppe Tornatore $10.8m
4 Bread And Tulips (2001) First Look Silvio Soldini $5.3m
5 Mediterraneo (1992) Miramax Gabriele Salvatores $4.5m
6 Malena (2000) Miramax Giuseppe Tornatore $3.4m
7 Besieged (1999) Fine Line Bernardo Bertolucci $2m
8 Everybody's Fine (1991) Miramax Giuseppe Tornatore $1.745m
9 The Icicle Thief (1990) Aries Maurizo Nichetti $1.231m
10 The Stolen Children (1993) Samuel Goldwyn Co Gianni Amelio $0.931m
11 Hamam (1998) Strand Releasing Ferzan Ozpetek $0.655m
12 Johnny Stecchino (1992) New Line Roberto Benigni $0.626m
13 Il Mostro (1996) Lions Gate Roberto Benigni $0.615m
14 Caro Diario (1994) Fine Line Nanni Moretti $0.447m
15 Fiorile (1994) Fine Line Paolo & Vittorio Taviani $0.429m