Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.
Most specialty newcomers had a rough go in their rollouts over the weekend, but one film – Celeste And Jesse Forever – managed a spectacular debut. Magnolia Pictures‘ 360 also enjoyed a respectable opening, while others failed to gain traction. Sony Classics’ Sundance Film Festival pick-up Celeste And Jesse Forever, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and co-written by and starring Rashida Jones averaged a solid $28K at four locations in New York and Los Angeles over the weekend, easily topping other specialty debuts. “This is a real labor of love that took so long to get to the screen,” Krieger told Deadline. “The happy ending was when Sony Pictures Classics picked it up.” Sony Classics’ Michael Barker praised Krieger as a “true American independent talent.” The film, which had a budget under $1 million, will next head to Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.
Magnolia Pictures’ 360 bowed in two theaters averaging $6,300. The distributor picked up the film directed by Fernando Meirelles and starring Rachel Weisz, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins out of Toronto last year. “It’s a sophisticated team of filmmakers and a lovely cast,” said Magnolia exec Matt Cowal told Deadline just before it opened. “It’s a smart and elegant movie that will appeal to the classic art-house audience.” Considering its cast and filmmaking pedigree, the film has opened fairly soft, but Magnolia hopes that word-of-mouth will boost prospects as 360 expands to six additional markets next weekend including San Francisco, Washington, D.C and Philadelphia.
Soldiers Of Fortune, meanwhile, landed with a thud in 50 theaters averaging a dismal $445 despite a cast that includes Christian Slater, Sean Bean, Freddy Rodríguez and James Cromwell. Distributor Roadside Attractions hasn’t responded to questions about the title’s continued release, although it’s going out via MGM day-and-date VOD and on iTunes. Almost equally disappointing, Millennium’s The Babymakers averaged $578 from 10 theaters. Niche distribution group China Lion debuted Girlfriend Boyfriend in 16 theaters with a comparatively better $1,746 average. China Lion will continue to open the Taiwanese title around the U.S. with an eye on its core audience of people of Chinese descent and the LGBT audience.
Among holdovers, William Friedken’s Killer Joe remained strong in its second outing, averaging $11,647 in 14 theaters. Last week, the LD Entertainment release rolled out with its NC-17 rating in just 3 locations, averaging $12,621. Also staying solid in its second weekend, Sundance Selects’ Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry added 21 locations, averaging $2,500. The Sundance doc opened last week in 5 theaters, averaging $9K. Fox Searchlight expanded Ruby Sparks into 51 additional theaters in round two, averaging a solid $6,252 and a 184% jump in gross. The film doesn’t have the specialty box office punch of the same filmmakers’ Little Miss Sunshine, but its 12-day cume is now just under $643K. Searchlight will add 200 theaters next week, taking Ruby Sparks into 35 to 40 new markets. “We continue to build momentum for the film which has been gathering positive reviews, and good word of mouth,” noted Fox Searchlight SVP Frank Rodriguez. Sony Pictures Classics added four locations for Searching For Sugar Man averaging $5,500 and earning a 40% increase in overall gross from the previous weekend.
And in its 6th weekend, Searchlight’s Sundance narrative winner Beasts Of The Southern Wild added 110 theaters for a total of 318. The film grossed $1.175M ($3,695 average) and posted a 27% increase in overall gross. The title also ranked 12th in the overall box office. “The film is still performing best in the core art-house theaters, however there are instances where we can see signs of life in the commercial upscale theaters,” noted Rodriguez.
Celeste And Jesse Forever (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $112,011, Average $28,003
360 (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $12,600, Average $6,300
Girlfriend Boyfriend (China Lion) NEW [16 Theaters] Weekend $27,933, Average $1,746
The Babymakers (Millennium Entertainment) NEW [10 Theaters] Weekend $5,783, Average $578
Soldiers Of Fortune (Roadside Attractions) NEW [50 Theaters] Weekend $22,251, Average $445
Returning / 2nd Weekend
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $65K, Average $2,500, Cume $65K
Killer Joe (LD Entertainment) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $163K, Average $11,647 , Cume $220,282
Ruby Sparks (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [64 Theaters] Weekend $400K, Average $6,252, Cume $642,885
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [7 Theaters] Weekend $38,498, Average $5,500, Cume $81,848
Klown (Drafthouse Films) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $11.8K, Average $737, Cume $40K
Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends
The Queen Of Versailles (Magnolia Pictures) Week 3 [68 Theaters] Weekend $276,589, Average $4,067, Cume $563,478
Easy Money (The Weinstein Company) Week 4 [6 Theaters] Weekend $21,363, Average $3,560, Cume $114K
Farewell My Queen (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [56 Theaters] Weekend $185,991, Average $3,321, Cume $621,956
The Imposter (Indomina) Week 4 [7 Theaters] Weekend $33,320, Average $4,760, Cume $102,308
2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 4 [10 Theaters] Weekend $32,329, Average $3,233, Cume $190.952
Red Lights (Millennium Entertainment) Week 4 [18 Theater] Weekend $14,048, Average $780, Cume $35,058
Trishna (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [25 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $1K, Cume $210K
Runaway Slave (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 5 [6 Theaters] Weekend $16,487, Average $2,748, Cume $46,827
Take This Waltz (Magnolia Pictures) Week 6 [45 Theaters] Weekend $48K, Average $1,067, Cume $1.076M
To Rome With Love (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [382 Theaters] Weekend $811K, Average $2,124, Cume $14.291M
Your Sister’s Sister (IFC Films) Week 7 [55 Theaters] Weekend $49,500, Average $900, Cume $1.52M
Safety Not Guaranteed (FilmDistrict) Week 9 [121 Theaters] Weekend $155K, Average $1,281, Cume $3.458M
For Greater Glory (Arc Entertainment) Week 10 [34 Theaters] Weekend $17K, Average $500, Cume $5.655M
Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 11 [687 Theaters] Weekend $1,231,960, Average $1,793, Cume $40.75M
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 14 [230 Theaters] Weekend $300K, Average $1,304, Cume $45.003M
Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) Week 15 [97 Theaters] Weekend $132K, Average $1,362, Cume $8.801M
The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company) Week 17 [194 Theaters] Weekend $564K, Average $2,907, Cume $8.646M