26 May 2014 2:09 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

In recent years, Memorial Day weekend has launched several arthouse success stories. "Before Midnight," as well as "Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Tree of Life" off the Cannes Film Festival all rank among the best specialized openers of their years. And even subtitled films have thrived on this date, with both "Fill the Void" and "The Intouchables" having good initial numbers. Though none of this year's openers were projected to be anything like those, several films managed to gain at least some traction with their initial numbers. (And Cannes, which will provide at least a few hits later this year, didn't provide the chance for new films just yet.) The weekend was led by three films -- "The Dance of Reality" (Abkco), "Words and Pictures" (Roadside Attractions) and "Cold in July" (IFC) -- from the most recent top three festivals in impact (Toronto and Sundance along with Cannes). While none had elevated expectations, »


- Tom Brueggemann

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The Tree of Life (2011)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
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