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Andrew Haigh-Directed Gay Romance WEEKEND Beats Box-Office Estimates

Chris New, Tom Cullen, gay love story Weekend, Andrew Haigh
Tom Cullen, Chris New, Weekend

Writer-director Andrew Haigh's gay love story Weekend brought in $27,245 -- about 8 percent above Sunday estimates -- at the North American box office according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo. Currently screening at one single New York City location, the Sundance Selects-distributed Weekend scored by far the highest box office average per theater this past weekend (Sept. 23-25).

Set in Nottingham, Weekend features Tom Cullen and Chris New as two gay men who, during a long weekend, discover that a one-night stand has been transformed into something more profound. US-based reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Whether that'll translate into some form of awards-season recognition remains to be seen, as truly small films -- as opposed to "small" films featuring Hollywood stars and that are heavily marketed by the "indie" arms of the big studios -- rarely receive much love from critics and awards-giving groups and organizations. Gay-themed films, in particular, no matter how worthy, tend to be overlooked. Also, the fact that Weekend is British-made makes things more difficult at both the Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards, which focus on American-made productions.

For now, Haigh's movie has a 96 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' critics. Salon's Andrew O'Hehir, for one, called it "one of the bravest, most honest and most accomplished stories of gay love and sex ever rendered on film."

Weekend has already won Best Film jury awards at the Nashville Film Festival (in addition to a Best Actor win for Tom Cullen), Los Angeles' Outfest, and Toronto's Inside Out Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The film was also the audience winner at the the SXSW Film Festival (in the Emerging Visions sidebar) and the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Weekend opens in the Los Angeles area (West Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica) next Friday. The UK release is slated for November 3.

Weekend photo: Glendale Picture Company / Sundance Selects

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