A scene from Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer’

*Both Spike Lee and Chris Rock have reasons to smile. Their movies debuted with strong numbers in one of the toughest cities in the country: New York. Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer,” was placed on four New York screens. The film, which follows 13-year-old Flik Royale as he is sent from Atlanta to Red Hook,Brooklyn to live with his preacher grandfather, grossed an estimated $42,100.

Released by Variance Films/40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks, the movie will expand in the NYC area next week and go national on August 24.

“We’re very excited,” said Dylan Marchetti, president of Variance Films, “We made sure the film was available to audiences in Harlem and of course, the Republic of Brooklyn right on the break, and the reaction from the crowds showed it was clearly worth it.”

Variance and Lee’s 40 Acres plan to keep ‘Red Hook Summer’ in the New York area next week, followed by an expansion into Atlanta, D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and L.A. in two weeks with more expansions to come on August 31st.

Meanwhile the new addition of Chris Rock to French filmmaker Julie Delpy’s film, “2 Days in New York” appears to be a winner. The film, a romantic comedy starring Delpy and Rock, is a sequel to Julie Delpy’s 2007 film, “2 Days in Paris.” It grossed $27,000 from only two New York screens; the best of any film this past weekend.

Excerpt from Chris Rock romantic comedy, ’2 Days in New York’