Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsUPDATED: Just in time for the debauchery of Spring Break that has long provided fodder for Hollywood, distribution newcomer A24 Films scored big time with this weekend’s three-theater opening of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. The Venice/Toronto debut headlining James Franco and Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens grossed a whopping $270K for a $90K average. That’s the best opening per-theater-average in the specialty arena for 2013. A24 also fared well with their other rollout, Ginger & Rosa, which had the third-highest per theater average of the current weekend with $15K. Both titles should prove strong box office contenders in the weeks to come. GKids released Studio Ghibli’s From Up On Poppy Hill, which averaged an impressive weekend second-best $27,514 in a pair of theaters. The animated film was directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of master Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, who was co-writer on the movie. YouTube channel AwesomenessTV partnered with AMC Entertainment to open the teen R&B concert pic Mindless Behavior: All Around The World in 117 theaters, grossing over a half-million dollars with a solid $4,351 average. Oscilloscope bowed Matteo Garrone’s Reality in one theater, grossing $8K, while Millennium took Upside Down to 11 locations, averaging $2,570.

Spring Breakers’ $90K average compares to last year’s opening heavy-hitters The Master (a whopping $147K average last September) and Moonrise Kingdom (nearly $131K last May). Spring Breakers, a candy-colored crime comedy which boasts plentiful skin and dark humor, expands to nearly 600 theaters next weekend in a test of the film’s cross-over appeal. Noted A24’s Nicolette Aizenberg: “A cultural phenomenon was officially launched this weekend … Harmony Korine’s film smashed all expectations. The film sold out shows throughout the weekend in both NY and LA” and additional showings were added to accommodate demand.

A24’s Ginger & Rosa shows promise for its expansion to an additional six markets next weekend before going wider in April to a theater count in the hundreds. Its $45K weekend gross was bolstered by a 55% increase in business from Friday to Saturday, according to the distributor, suggesting positive word-of-mouth. The duel A24 releases did not appear to hinder either film’s debuts.

ummm you know
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1 year
Ah why is it that when a polarising film gets praise the critic's of said film deride...
Jonathan
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1 year
@I want my money back - Spring Breakers has a critic rating of 67%, top critic rating...
take harmony korine's
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1 year
"A masterpiece?" Are you serious? I think you need to get a dictionary and look up the...

AwesomenessTV partnered with AMC for its initial run of Mindless Behavior: All Around The World, targeting fans of R&B/hip-hop boy band Urban. The release was by far the weekend’s widest opener among specialty movies, grossing $509K with a $4,351 average. “We’re really pleased. The movie cost less than a half-million to make and practically nothing on marketing other than talking to our audience over our platform” on YouTube, said AwesomenessTV’s Brian Robbins. “So if we go onto to do $1 million, it’s a homerun for us. We went to where the band sold tickets. At first we were just going to do less screens, but the fans were annoyed. For us it was a great experience and we’ll look to do more of these.”

Italian filmmaker Matteo Garone’s Reality opened more modestly. The Cannes entry grossed $8K over the weekend, a stronger showing than Garrone’s last feature, Gomorrah, which opened with $5,532 in one location in December 2008. That film went on to cume just under $1.6 million domestically.

Among holdovers, last weekend’s specialty winner Somebody Up There Likes Me, shifted to LA’s Cinefamily venue on Fairfax Avenue opening exclusively in Chicago. The Tribeca Film release grossed $12,240 one LA theater. Noted a Tribeca Film spokesperson: “Bob Byington’s Somebody Up There Likes Me took its show to Los Angeles where it once again played to capacity audiences. The film … played just two evening shows per day — four of which were already sold out earlier in the week as Nick Offerman appeared at screenings with guest moderators including Zach Galifianakis and Jason Schwartzman. The 180-seat theater would go on to sell out the additional two shows.” Tribeca Film will next take the title to San Francisco on March 22 followed by New York on the 29th and Austin on April 5, with additional markets to follow. It’s also available on iTunes and VOD via major providers.

Sony Pictures Classics continued to expand Oscar-nominated Chilean film No, adding 13 runs in its 5th weekend, grossing almost $200K with an average just under $4K. The film should hit the $1 million mark within the next couple of weeks. Oscar-winner Amour, also from Sony Classics, is beginning to see its theatrical run wind down. The film dropped 76 locations in its 13th weekend, grossing just over $100K and for a $789 average. It’s cume will easily pass the $6.5 million mark in the coming days.

NEW

From Up On Poppy Hill (GKids) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $55,028, Average $27,514

Ginger & Rosa (A24 Films) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $45K, Average $15K

Mindless Behavior: All Around The World (AwesomenessTV) NEW [117 Theaters] Weekend $509K, Average $4,351

Reality (Oscilloscope) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8K

Spring Breakers (A24) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $270K, Average $90K

Upside Down (Millennium Entertainment) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $28,270, Average $2,570

RETURNING / 2ND WEEKEND

Beyond The Hills (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $25,200, Average $1,800, Cume $48,200

Emperor (Roadside Attractions) Week 2 [311 Theaters] Weekend $632,350, Average $2,033, Cume $2,035,413

Girl Rising (Gathr Films) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $14,880, Average $2,976, Cume $378,786

Somebody Up There Likes Me (Tribeca Film) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $12,240, Cume $47,417

HOLDOVERS / 3RD+ WEEKENDS

Stoker (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [94 Theaters] Weekend $265,700, Average $2,826, Cume $646,500

Bless Me, Ultima (Arenas Entertainment) Week 4 [45 Theaters] Weekend $48,278, Average $1,073, Cume $1,465,640

Like Someone In Love (Sundance Selects) Week 5 [18 Theaters] Weekend $34,300, Average $1,900, Cume $151,400

NO (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [48 Theaters] Weekend $191,442, Average $3,988, Cume $736,047

A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III (A24 Films) Week 6 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $

The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [86 Theaters] Weekend $239,103, Average $2,780, Cume $1,344,516

Quartet (The Weinstein Company) Week 10 [688 Theaters] Weekend $913K, Average $1,327, Cume $14,809,892

Amour (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [129 Theaters] Weekend $101,726, Average $789, Cume $6,495,924

The Impossible (Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate) Week 13 [105 Theaters] Weekend $75K, Average $714, Cume $18,605,561

Hyde Park On Hudson (Focus Features) Week 15 [31 Theaters] Weekend $21,900, Average $706, Cume $6,336,217