Gwyneth Paltrow's art house film SYLVIA has flopped at the British box office - taking just $472,282 (GBP262,379) after 10 days of release.

The Hollywood superstar made the biopic of acclaimed poet SYLVIA PLATH just after her father BRUCE suddenly died in November 2002, and has often said she was very proud of the intense drama.

But cinema-goers in Paltrow's adopted home have stayed away in their droves, and now executives at BBC FILMS are wondering what went wrong.

An insider says, "In previous years, other art-house movies with a strong female lead like IRIS and The Hours, have been released at the same time of year in January.

"But Sylvia has not got any of the buzz that those films did. It hasn't got any BAFTA nominations, for example."

The film was served mixed reviews on both sides of the Atlantic - British tabloid THE DAILY MAIL scathed, "Gwyneth Paltrow does her best within her limited range as an actress, but only once does she tap into Plath's black rage," while the NEW YORK OBSERVER's ANDREW HARRIS praises the film for "offering a wondrously illuminating artistic experience for its ideal audience."

Paltrow was hoping for a hit after her last few films ROOM FROM THE TOP, POSSESSION and Shallow Hal were critically panned and unsuccessful commercially.

11/02/2004 17:13