Edith Piaf sings for Picturehouse


A French-language biopic about a singer who has been dead for decades brought the boxoffice to life for HBO Films/ New Line Cinema's specialty division Picturehouse.

Writer-director Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose" examined the tragic life of French chanteuse and drug addict Edith Piaf. Marion Cotillard's critically applauded performance helped lead the film to a long run and a $9.6 million domestic take.

Salsa legend Hector Lavoe — another dead, drug-addicted singer — didn't prove quite as lucky in theaters. Picturehouse won the largest bidding war at last year's Toronto International Film Festival to score Leon Ichaso's "El Cantante," but the film made little more than its nearly $6 million price tag. "An Inconvenient Truth" director Davis Guggenheim's girls' soccer drama "Gracie" was based on the true story of his wife and star Elisabeth Shue. But the film didn't quite bend it like Beckham, taking in slightly less than $3 million. Jeffrey Blitz's teen comedy "Rocket Science" scored good reviews but never took off at the boxoffice, grossing a bit more than $543,000 in limited release.

The game isn't over for Seth Gordon's video game documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters," released in mid-August. The small acquisition from January's Slamdance Film Festival was treated to a modest rollout and has delivered more than $331,300 to date — not a lot by Hollywood standards, but a lot of quarters nonetheless.