Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria Bell,” the English Reimaging of His Hit “Gloria,” Opens Big in Limited Release

Sebastián Leliois making waves with his own English-language adaptation of his hit Spanish film…

The 45-year-old Chilean director’s Gloria Bell handily took the best specialty debut mantle over the weekend with one of the highest opening weekend per-theater averages for a limited release title this year.

Sebastián Lelio

The A24 feature starring Julianne MooreJohn Turturro and Michael Ceragrossed an estimated $154,775 in three-days, averaging $30,955. 

Gloria Bellis the re-imagined English-language and L.A.-set drama of a free-spirit, based on Lelio’s 2014 title, Gloria, set in Santiago, Chile, which took in over $2.1M via Roadside Attractions stateside.

Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell’s nearly $31K opening PTA outpaced Lelio’s 2014 original, Gloria, which took in over $56K in its opening weekend in January of that year, averaging $18,818. That film, however, was set in Chile, was in Spanish and starred a veteran Chilean actor, Paulina García, who is not well known to North American audiences. The film proved to have legs though with its $2.1M North American cume, which in part made it attractive for a re-make in English starring a well known actor here. 

Lelio adapted the story into English and then went on to direct his other projects, including Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman ($2.02M cume) and Disobedience starringRachel Weiszand Rachel McAdams. That film, released by Bleecker Streetlast April, continues to be the filmmaker’s North American benchmark with a $237K opening weekend in five theaters ($47,479 PTA). It went on to cume over $3.49M on this continent.

Lelio and Moore reconnected after the director completed Disobedience. “She finished her other projects and we had a window in 2017,” said Lelio earlier in the week. “We put financing together very quickly and built a ‘family’ around Julianne including John Turturro and Michael Cera. I’ve always loved John Turturro’s work.” 

A24 reported “enthusiastic sellouts” for Gloria Bell in New York and L.A. throughout the weekend. The company will roll the title into top markets this week ahead of a nationwide expansion set for March 22.

3 Faces (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,196
Babylon (Kino Lorber Repertory / Seventy-Seven) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $20,096
Badla (Reliance) NEW [94 Theaters] Weekend $614,328, Average $6,535
Ferrante Fever (Greenwich Entertainment) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,000
Gloria Bell (A24) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $154,775, Average $30,955
The Kid (Lionsgate Premiere) NEW [267 Theaters] Weekend $505,000, Average $1,891

Escalante’s “Heli” Named Best Film at Lima Film Festival

Amat Escalante is having one Heli of an festival season…

The 34-year-old Mexican director’s latest film, Heli, won the prize for best film at the 17th Lima Film Festival, which drew more than 121,000 people, according to organizers.

Amat Escalante

Escalante won the best director prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and Heli was named best international film award at this year’s Munich International Film Festival.

The ultra-violent film, which takes a look at Mexico’s blood-drenched drug wars, tells the story of a family caught up in gangland battles in an unnamed desert region of contemporary Mexico and contains protracted torture scenes.

Argentine-Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio won the best director prize for Gloria, whose star, Paulina Garcia, took home the best actress prize.

Uruguayan actor Nestor Guzzini won the best actor prize for his role in Tanta Agua, a work by Uruguayan filmmakers Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge.

Brazilian actress Gloria Pires was honored during the festival’s closing ceremony.

“I feel honored, I don’t believe I deserve to be at the same level as the other honorees,” Pires said.

The actress thanked her father, actor and comedian Antonio Carlos Pires, and filmmakers Fabio and Bruno Barreto, with whom she worked on movies like Flores raras and O Quatrilho.

Garcia Wins Silver Bear at Berlin International Film Festival

It’s turning out to be an award-winning weekend for Paulina Garcia

The Chilean actress and costume designer has claimed the Silver Bear award for Best Actress at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

Paulina Garcia

Garcia earned the prestigious prize for her starring role in the Sebastián Lelio-directed dramatic comedy Gloria, which centers on a middle-aged woman who rediscovers love with a former naval officer in his mid-60s that she meets out in a Santiago club.

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Chilean director’s earned the Ecumenical Jury prize for Gloria, which the jury called a “refreshing and contagious plea that life is a celebration to which we are all invited, regardless of age or condition, and that its complexities only add to the challenge to live it in full.”

Lelio’s film also earned the Prize of the Guild of Herman Art House Cinemas.

Roadside Attractions will handle the distribution of the critically acclaimed Gloria in the United States.