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The real art in the arthouse market may be the way gross figures are reported, if "Gabriela" is any indication.
The film has never screened at a festival. It is a low-budget, English-language melodrama devoid of big stars. Its distributor is a new company called Power Point, based in downtown L.A. and backed by funds from Germany, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Given its modest roots, "Gabriela's" gross to date of $1.7 million is astonishing -- so astonishing, in fact, that many veterans of the indie distribution trench wars question the figure. The scrutiny of rivals is not surprising, especially since only a handful of limited releases annually sniff the $2 million mark. Moreover, grosses -- real or otherwise -- can affect acquisition prices at film markets.
While it's tough to conclusively prove the numbers are inflated, a careful …