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June 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Among films playing in limited release, Anchor Bay Films’s Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandan, Mary-Louise Parker and Danny DeVito, expanded into 53 theaters, where it averaged a solid $6,976 per theater for a total of $871,081. That’s especially impressive given the fact that a few of those theaters have been screening it for as many as four weeks. The movie has been picking up several enthusiastic reviews. Back in May, A.O. Scott in the New York Times described it as “a sharp, small-scale comedy of male misbehavior that turns out to be one of this dreary spring’s pleasant cinematic surprises.” It opened in Washington D.C. on Friday, where Washington Post critic Michael O’Sullivan had particular praise for Michael Douglas’s performance in the title role. “It’s a tribute to Douglas’s acting ability that he makes such an unappealing character believable, if less than likable,” Sullivan wrote. “Ben is a charmer, and what made him a good — if ultimately dishonest — salesman makes him not just the ladies’ man he is, but a character you can’t take your eyes off.” In the Boston Globe, Ty Burr wrote that the movie “is too shapeless and cursorily plotted to fully work as a story, but [writer-director Brian] Koppelman and his co-director, David Levien, generously surround the hero with reliable actors doing solid work; if you can get past the catastrophe of Ben’s behavior, the film’s a genuine pleasure.” And Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune concluded: “It’s a pleasant surprise about an unpleasant guy brought to life by an ingratiating paradox, a movie star who has turned into a wily character man.”