Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
It’s not every weekend that a specialty film can claim a record, but The Master opened with an incredible $145,949 per-theater average, the best limited release ever for a live-action film, topping another record-breaker from earlier this year, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which bowed with with an average of $130,749 at four locations. The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous film, There Will Be Blood averaged $95,370 when it opened back in 2007 in two theaters.
“We’re thrilled with the numbers. It set the screen record and all the credit in the world goes to Paul Thomas Anderson with his guerrilla marketing strategy combined with moving the [release date] to this weekend,” said said TWC Head of Distribution Erik Lomis. “I’m expecting my phone to ring off the hook from exhibitors tomorrow.” The Weinstein Company had initially set an October rollout of The Master which picked up best director and actor awards at the recent Venice Film Festival where it was reportedly also the be jury’s pick for the top prize, the Golden Lion, until fest officials enforced a rule that limits the number of big awards per film. Lomis credited the cast’s performances for bringing out audiences over the weekend and Anderson for organizing pop-up screenings, driving word-of-mouth. Lomis called the strategy “an eye-opener” that clearly worked. “We could not be happier”. Weintstein plans to move The Master into 600-800 theaters in its second round.
Roadside Attractions bowed Arbitrage in 197 theaters and would have otherwise grabbed specialty weekend headlines had it not opened opposite The Master. The narrative directorial debut from Nicholas Jarecki and starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Brit Marling averaged $10,505 in 197 theaters. “Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate had a spectacular opening weekend with Arbitrage – the biggest opening ever for a film opening in both movie theaters and On Demand – by a wide margin,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen. “Between strong reviews and a publicity blitz by the film’s stars Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Nate Parker, we managed one of the strongest independent openings of the year for either a conventional or day-and-date release. The film is also #2 on iTunes movies overall, and #1 in Drama and Thriller categories.”
IFC Films opened Liberal Arts in four theaters, grossing $30K with a fair $7,500 average. The distributor said the film directed by Josh Radnor sold out weekend showings in L.A. The title will roll out into the top 15 markets next weekend.
Among holdovers, last week’s opening specialty hit Detropia held strong after adding four locations in its second round for an average of $8,478. The film will open in top markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle in the coming weeks as it continues to roll out across the country, with over 25 markets booked and more to come. Keep The Lights On stayed in 5 theaters, averaging $6,400. It bowed last week, averaging $10,746. Oscilloscope’s Hello I Must Be Going remained in two locations, averaging $4,740. Its first run averaged $12,500. Radius/TWC’s The Bachelorette averaged $1,600 in 60 locations in its second round. In its debut last week The Bachelorette averaged $4,064 in 47 theaters.
Wrekin Hill did not release figures for the second weekend of The Inbetweeners. Magnolia Pictures did not report numbers for any of its movies.
Arbitrage (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [197 Theaters] Weekend $2,069,770, Average $10,505
Bangkok Revenge (China Lion) NEW [22 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $1,136
Liberal Arts (IFC Films) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $7,500
The Master (The Weinstein Company) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $729,745, Average $145,949
Somewhere Between (Long Shot Factory) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,692
Stolen (Nu Image/Millennium Films) NEW [141 Theaters] Weekend $203,686, Average $1,445, Cume $203,686 (Wed. Open)
RETURNING / 2nd Weekend
Detropia (Loki Films) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $42,390, Average $ 8,478, Cume $68,515
Hello I Must Be Going (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $9,480, Average $4,740, Cume $41,019
Keep The Lights On (Music Box Films) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $6,400, Cume $112,046
HOLDOVERS / 3RD+ Weekends
The Bullet Vanishes (China Lion) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $6,500, Average $1,625, Cume $109,175
For A Good Time, Call… (Focus Features) Week 3 [107 Theaters] Weekend $271,319, Average $2,535, Cume $818,224
Lawless (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 [3,063 Theaters] Weekend $4,219,000, Average $1,377, Cume $30,140,754
Little Birds (Millennium Films) Week 3 [2 Theater] Weekend $4,031, Average $ 2,016 Cume $16,594
Samsara (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 4 [62 Theaters] Weekend $241,205, Average $3,891, Cume $826,796
Sleepwalk With Me (IFC Films) Week 4 [119 Theater] Weekend $416,500 Average $3,500, Cume $1,333,500
Chicken With Plums (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [17 Theaters] Weekend $24,096, Average $1,417, Cume $144,067
Robot & Frank (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Week 5 [209 Theaters] Weekend $428,450, Average $2,050, Cume $2,623,355
Nitro Circus Movie (Arc Entertainment) Week 6 [7 Theaters] Weekend $1,900, Average $271, Cume $3,368,000
Celeste And Jesse Forever (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [152 Theaters] Weekend $155,666, Average $1,024, Cume $2,913,411
Killer Joe (LD Entertainment) Week 8 [75 Theaters] Weekend $114,923, Average $1,532, Cume $1,810,327
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [34 Theaters] Weekend $112,524, Average $3,310, Cume $1,054,231
2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 10 [1,876 Theaters] Weekend $2.031M, Average $1,083, Cume $30,080,253
Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight) Week 12 [212 Theaters] Weekend $256K, Average $1,208, Cume $10,673,433
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (Lionsgate) Week 12 [160 Theaters] Weekend $110K, Average $688, Cume $65,629,797
To Rome With Love (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [85 Theaters] Weekend $78,250 Average $921, Cume $16,439,605
Safety Not Guaranteed (FilmDistrict) Week 15 [46 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $652, Cume $3,920,971
Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 17 [157 Theaters] Weekend $195,978, Average $1,248, Cume $44,925,060
Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) Week 21 [10 Theaters] Weekend $12,472, Average $1,247, Cume $9,204,490
The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company) Week 23 [180 Theaters] Weekend $263K, Average $1,461, Cume $11,949,575