The Brazilian documentary film Elena (pictured) by Petra Costa grossed an impressive $12,100 in its opening weekend at the IFC Center, landing in the second spot of the specialty box office, just behind Sebastian Junger's documentary Korengal and beating Kelly Reichart's Night Moves in per-screen-average.
Fueled by strong reviews, Petra Costa's debut feature film scored high at the arthouse box office, making it an impressive opening, not an easy feat for a foreign documentary film in the U.S.
In Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with dreams of becoming an actress. She leaves behind a childhood spent in hiding during the military dictatorship, and she leaves behind Petra, her seven-year-old sister. Two decades later, Petra goes to New York to pursue acting… and in search of Elena. But the film and the filmmaker cannot escape the similarities between Petra and Elena’s stories, and as they overlap, they begin to blur.
Presented by executive producers Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles, the film is distributed in North America by Variance and Syndicado. The film will open on Friday, June 13 at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles, followed by a national rollout.