By Deadline’s Brian Brooks and Jen Yamato.
Thanksgiving weekend yielded a box office bounty for The Weinstein Co. and a turkey for FilmDistrict and Spike Lee in a holiday weekend with slim competition from indie comers. TWC made a pair of bold moves, opening awards hopeful Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom on 4 screens to a strong $100,306 take averaging $25,076 per screen; the drama starring Idris Elba as South African president Nelson Mandela built up word of mouth on the fest circuit at Toronto, Mill Valley, The Hamptons, Chicago, and AFI Fest. TWC also seized the chance to bump last week’s Judi Dench-starrer Philomena from 4 theaters to 835 theaters and the pic subsequently broke into the Top 10 with a $4,538 average and a $3.789M weekend. Dench stars alongside Steve Coogan in the true story of a woman searching for the son she gave up for adoption decades earlier, a heartwarming family tale that was primed for holiday viewing. Alas, Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t quite so kind to FilmDistrict’s Oldboy which in its own bloody way is also about the ties that bind. Spike Lee‘s remake of the brutally violent Korean thriller from Park Chan-Wook, stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharlto Copley in a vengeance saga with extreme twists and turns not for the faint of heart. It took in a paltry $850K on the weekend, averaging $1,458 in 583 theaters.
In other openers this weekend, IFC Films’ doc The Punk Singer bowed to a $24K gross in three locations from Friday to Sunday. The company noted that the doc “sold out multiple shows in New York and LA for its debut. The documentary on punk singer icon Kathleen Hanna will roll out to the top 10 markets in December. And Vitagraph opened Caught In The Web in one location. It was a slow start with a $330 gross.
IFC Films added three additional theaters for Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? in its second frame, grossing just under $20K for a $3,390 PSA. The feature averaged $10,620 in its opening last weekend in a trio of locations.
Paramount Vantage added 74 theaters for Nebraska. The Cannes debut grossed $728K in 102 locations, averaging a cool $7,137. The black and white feature by Alexander Payne averaged $12,500 last week in 28 theaters. Janus Clubs expanded Italy’s entry for Oscar consideration, The Great Beauty, into 20 additional runs, holding strong in its third weekend. The film grossed just under $139K, averaging over $6K.
Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club placed 12th in the overall box office, adding 30 theaters in its 5th week. The film grossed just under $2.6 million ($3,734 average)Said Focus earlier Sunday when reporting the numbers: “Dallas Buyers Club continues to generate solid B.O. results during the competitive holiday play period.The core art and smart houses remain the box office drivers for the film where Dallas Buyers Club‘s momentum remains strong and the film is generating grosses that are close to or even greater than many of the new high end films in the market — a significant achievement.”
*Numbers below are 3-day estimates
Caught In The Web (Vitagraph Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $330
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (The Weinstein Company) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $100,306, Average $25,076
Oldboy (FilmDistrict) NEW [583 Theaters] Weekend $850,000, Average $1,458
The Punk Singer (IFC Films) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $24K, Average $8K
Returning / 2nd Weekend
Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? (IFC Films) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $19,800, Average $3,390, Cume $59,230
Philomena (The Weinstein Company) Week 2 [835 Theaters] Weekend $3.789M, Average $4,538, Cume $4.754M
Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends
Dear Mr Watterson (Submarine Deluxe) Week 3 [6 Theaters] Weekend $3,233, Average $539, Cume $15,428
The Christmas Candle (Echolight Studios) Week 3 (352 Theaters) Weekend $405.6K, Average $1,153, Cume $1.63M
The Great Beauty (Janus Films) Week 3 (23 Theaters) Weekend $138,775, Average $6,034, Cume $260,887
Nebraska (Paramount Vantage) Week 3 (102 Theaters) Weekend $728K, Average $7,137, Cume 1.476M
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [31 Theaters] Weekend $30,616, Average $988, Cume $193,381
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) Week 5 [696 Theaters] Weekend $2,598,902, Average $3,734, Cume $10,295,054
Blue Is The Warmest Color (Sundance Selects) Week 6 [92 Theaters] Weekend $127,880, Average $1,390, Cume $1,622,530
All Is Lost (Roadside/Lionsgate) Week 7 [51 Theaters] Weekend $196,700, Average $3,857, Cume $5,270,562
12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [1,165 Theaters] Weekend $2.3M, Average $1,974, Cume $33,142,146
Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [74 Theaters] Weekend $72,306, Average $977, Cume $764,769
Inequality For All (RADiUS-TWC) Week 10 [9 Theaters] Weekend $2,076, Average $1,038, Cume $1,162,573
Enough Said (Fox Searchlight) Week 11 [121 Theaters] Weekend $126K, Average $1,041, Cume $17,203,128
Generation Iron (Vladar) Week 11 [1 Theater] Weekend $5,100, Average $, Cume $821,796
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 19 [33 Theaters] Weekend $27,482, Average $1,240, Cume $32,747,960
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS-TWC) Week 25 [6 Theaters] Weekend $2,802, Average $467, Cume $4,774,565