Film falls short of 'West Bank'

Ari Sandel's first feature-length project flopped hard at the US box office.

Following up an Oscar victory can't be easy - a fact demonstrated over the weekend by director Ari Sandel, whose previous effort, West Bank Story, won the Academy Award last year for best short film. The director's first feature-length project, a stand-up comedy film starring Vince Vaughn, flopped hard at the US box office in its opening weekend, taking in just $507,000 at nearly 1,000 theaters across the country. Bearing the rather unwieldy title Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland, the film ranked far behind the weekend's box office winner, Fools' Gold, a romantic comedy with Kate Hudson that took in $22 million despite getting thrashed by critics. Sandel's West Bank Story was a parody combining Middle East politics with the similarly named Broadway musical and also served as his final project in film school. It scored victories at 28 film festivals and was screened in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The son of an Israeli father and an American mother, Sandel attended a screening of his film last April at the Eilat International Film Festival.