A lonely 'Heart' for Par Vantage


Paramount Vantage went into its second summer as Paramount's specialty division riding high after Davis Guggenheim's global-warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." The film was the unit's biggest hit by far last summer, grossing $24.1 million, and it capped that off by winning the best docu Oscar in February.

But this summer, Angelina Jolie headlining another politically charged film didn't result in the same winning combination — at least, not yet.

"A Mighty Heart," Michael Winterbottom's portrait of the wife of slain Middle East journalist Daniel Pearl, collected just $9.2 million this summer, a disappointment considering its $16 million budget and stellar reviews. Tabloid staple Jolie gamely promoted the film heavily, and Vantage took a gamble releasing it on 1,355 screens on its June 22 opening weekend. At least one of the filmmakers felt that, in retrospect, a slower, word-of-mouth-building platform release might have been the wiser course.

Writer-director Mike White's April 13 release "Year of the Dog" was allowed to build, and it took in the bulk of its business during the summer months. The comedy made slightly more than $1.5 million during its theatrical run.

Vantage next trekked to the melting tundra for Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's polar bear docu "Arctic Tale." The family-friendly film has made a little more than $727,000 since its mid-August release despite a promotional jolt from Starbucks.