François Cluzet in 'Tell No One'
François Cluzet in Tell No One

We’re not talking about an arthouse success on the order of The Visitor ($9 million and counting at the box office), but THR’s Steven Zeitchik reports that Guillaume Canet’s French thriller Tell No One has quietly pulled in nearly $1.7 million in just under 4 weeks from only 77 theaters. That’s pretty good for a movie distributed with very little advertising by a company (Music Box Films) that is only a year old.

Why is it doing so well? Aside from excellent reviews in the major papers, and the fact that Canet came to New York and Los Angeles for interviews (an unusual move for small foreign films according to Zeitchik), no one seems to be able to explain it.

Says Music Box’s Ed Arentz: “I’d love to be able to take credit for it, but I don’t think we’ve innovated too significantly. I think you might even call it a happy accident.”

Accident or not, it’s nice to see a little film breaking through with all the arthouse doom and gloom in the air. Also, it’s a film worth seeing. On a weekend with little else on tap, you might want to look and see if it’s playing in your neighborhood.

Check out the LiC review here.

21 Responses to “Someone Told: ‘Tell No One’ Quietly Rakes in the Cash”

  1. Congratulations, Craig! 100 posts!

    And I say great for Tell No One too. It deserves to do well.

  2. Word of mouth can still count for something. I’m planning on throwing some of my income at this movie this weekend, so this post is fairly apropro.

  3. I think the main reason it’s doing so well is because, as it’s based on an American novel, it’s a film that as a thriller and something of a love story feels like a film that could come out of America, though made in a manner generally more characteristic of the French in many ways (subtlety and dynamic originality).

    I’m happy to see it perform so well, though as you noted over at CCC, Craig, that does probably hasten an American remake, which is likely to suck.

  4. Thanks Alison! I was worried I’d be stuck at 99.

    Consider this my attempt at increasing the word of mouth, though again I don’t want to oversell this thing. It’s not perfect.

  5. Yes, congratulations on 100 posts in July, Craig.

  6. Congrats to you on reaching your own goal.

  7. Congrats to all of us!

  8. My congratulations as well, Craig and Alexander.

    Since the thrust of the thread is on TELL NO ONE, as well as (appropriately) the following comments, I would like to make brief mention of what you say in your first sentence, making reference to the astounding 9 million take by THE VISITOR.
    Although the denizens of LIC seem to stand alone within the pantheon of national critical praise for this film (check all the numbers everywhere, they are absolutely superlative) the film seems to have taken root in what is known as the Art House Staple, a small independent film that takes root in people’s imaginations and affinities, and makes a remarkable run.
    Here in northern New Jersey, the modest Cedar Lane Cinemas in Teaneck has been running the film for 10 weeks, and in Manhattan’s four-screen Quad, the engagement has been even longer than that. Word-of-mouth, excellent reviews and an emotional hook seem to be a winning mix. I say kudos to THE VISITOR.
    And I could not agree more with Alexander on what he says about TELL NO ONE’S unexpected finantial pre-eminence. The film does everything imaginable to seem and come off as an American film with subtitles. That’s not a bad thing, and in this case it has taken hold.

  9. I got into a head-lock with Scott Foundas over The Visitor opening weekend, and punted his Chelsea-boy butt all over Washington Square Park. But nooo, the only wrestling matches anybody cares about now are those starring Mickey Rourke.

  10. Wow, Craig. That is really a milestone! I thought you were going to pull it off in Feb what with all the year-end/award season buzz, but here it is, bang – July!? Just goes to show how committed you are to this, which is awesome.

    While I can’t share the excitement for Tell No One as one of the better films of the year, I am glad to see it succeed. Better that than Step Brothers, and I still say there’s hope for the average American to become interested in foreign films.

    Speaking of a Tell No One remake yesterday – what if Hoffman was cast in Cluzet’s role, just for fun?

  11. Yeah Craig, congrats!

    It’s so funny (to me anyway) that I saw “Tell No One” on DVD for no other reason than the fact that there was nothing else to watch, I figured it was already released in the US or something, and here it is making tons of money. Good for it, it totally does deserve to be seen.

    I still have not seen “The Visitor” and that makes me sad.

  12. Dan, I love that Hoffman idea!!!! LOL.

  13. Don’t be sad, Nicky.

    Your time is gonna come. Soon.

    THE VISITOR is worth the wait, my sweet baboo…

  14. See Sam, I see Tell No one as the exact opposite of an American film and intentionally so, but that’s probably because I never focused on all the American elements – the thriller aspect that is.

    Mark it down: When they do remake this in America, they’re going to over emphasize the drama and the action and it’s going to stink.

  15. Oh, I agree Craig, that inevitable remake will be one to avoid at all costs. LOL!

  16. Tell No One, starring Paul Walker and Jessica Alba! Directed by Brett Ratner! Coming soon to a theater near you!

  17. Evan, that comment just made me nauseous.

  18. It made you nauseous because you know it’s true, Allison. :(

  19. I’m afraid so. Unfortunately.

  20. Ugh.

  21. Damn it, Evan. You nailed that one…my eyes are bleeding now.

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