As with the major releases, the specialty film box office this Labor Day holiday weekend is comparatively more tepid than last year's. In 2013, Pantelion began a record-breaking run with Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in the U.S. This year, it hopes to replicate that success with a similar release blueprint for biopic Cantinflas, which opened in 382 theaters Friday, grossing $2.625 million and averaging $6,827 per screen. The estimated 4-day weekend cume is $3.275 million.
The results so far give Cantinflas the edge when compared to other newcomers this weekend, but it's well behind last year's Instructions debut. That film opened the holiday weekend in 347 theaters, grossing $10 million for a very robust $28,818 PTA. It went on to cume $44 million. Cantinflas has a lot of work to do if it hopes to follow suit. Still, Cantinflas has the second-highest PTA of any film currently in release and certainly the highest of any feature running beyond a limited release (SPC's second-week holdover Love Is Strange is highest so far) and Saturday's numbers were 8% higher than Friday.
Pantelion is targeting primarily Latino audiences in the U.S. for the feature about Cantinflas, the Mexican actor best known in the States for co-starring with David Niven and Finlay Currie in Around The World In 80 Days, which won Best Picture and four other Oscars. Pantelion has marketed primarily via Spanish-language media outlets such as Televisa and Univision and by partnering with companies that cater to Latino clientele.
"We are doing grass-roots marketing, partnering with supermarkets that cater to Latin American [clientele]," said Pantelion's Edward Allen. "In L.A. we’re doing an outdoor campaign, but also saturating Spanish-language media across all channels."
Allen said the film's release pattern "will mirror the Latino population across the country [and] we will expand based on performance and adjust the plan accordingly."
Tribeca Film's critically praised British drama Starred Up, starring Jack O'Connell, scored this weekend's second-highest average among newcomers, grossing $11K in two theaters ($5,500 PTA). It opened at IFC Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in a day-and-date release.
Starred Up premiered Tuesday at MoMA and opened the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center on Wednesday. Director David Mackenzie did Q&As Wednesday and Thursday last week. Tribeca Film will expand the title Sept. 5 and again Sept. 12, with additional markets added throughout next month.
In other openers, Roadside and Lionsgate bowed Daniel Schechter's Life Of Crime in 33 theaters. The film - which stars Jennifer Aniston, Yasmin Bey, Isla Fisher and Will Forte - grossed $99,500 for a $3,015 PTA. It will add an additional 20 markets Sept. 12.
And Sony Pictures Classics opened Hungarian drama The Notebook in a pair of locations. The film, which was short-listed for 2013's best foreign-language film Oscar, grossed $3,154 for a $1,577 average. The companies behind other debuts Last Weekend and Canopy did not report grosses.
SPC had much stronger numbers for Ira Sachs' Sundance '14 premiere Love Is Strange in its second-week expansion. The distributor added 22 theaters in the New York drama's second frame, grossing over $261K for a solid $9,691 PTA.
The title grossed over $126K last week in 5 theaters, averaging a strong $25,310 last week. It will add additional markets in the coming weeks.
RADiUS-TWC added 41 runs for The One I Love, which has been available on VOD since Aug. 1. It grossed $87,492 in 49 theaters, averaging $1,786. RADiUS previously said the film also has grossed more than $500,000 in the first three weeks of its VOD run.
SPC's Woody Allen release Magic In The Moonlight passed the $8 million cume threshold in its sixth week. The feature has grossed more than $824K from 438 runs so far this weekend. With far fewer theaters than last weekend, when it grossed $1.33 million in 787 theaters, it pulled in considerably less.
Open Road's box-office star Chef easily passed $30M this weekend, grossing over $664K in 757 theaters ($877 PTA) for a cume just over $30.24 million.
And IFC Films' Boyhood is maturing as it passes the $18.5 million cume level after grossing $1.5 million Friday to Sunday. It averaged $2,344. Last weekend, the film grossed $1.86 million ($2,540 average) from 734 runs.
(The following are 3-day estimates unless otherwise noted):
Cantinflas (Pantelion/Lionsgate) NEW [382 Theaters] Weekend $2.625M, Average $6,872, Cume $3.275M (4-day)
The Last Days Of Robin Hood (Samuel Goldwyn Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $9,577, Average $4,788, Cume $16,674
Life Of Crime (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [33 Theaters] Weekend $99,500, Average $3,015
The Notebook (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,154, Average $1,577
Starred Up (Tribeca Film) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $11K, Average $5,500, Cume $15,294 (Wed. open)
Love Is Strange (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $261,670, Average $9,691, Cume $424,761
May In The Summer (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [7 Theaters] Weekend $7,071, Average $1,010, Cume $11,705
The One I Love (RADiUS-TWC) Week 2 [49 Theaters] Weekend $87,492 (3-day), Average $1,786, Cume $179,272 (4-day est.)
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
What If (CBS Films) Week 4 [197 Theaters] Weekend $,300K Average $1,523, Cume $2,896,099
Calvary (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [322 Theaters] Weekend $520K, Average $1,615, Cume $2,323,419
Rich Hill (The Orchard) Week 5 [15 Theaters] Weekend $8,137, Average $542, Cume $96,364
Magic In The Moonlight (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [438 Theaters] Weekend $824,618, Average $1,883, Cume $8,014,163
A Most Wanted Man (Roadside Attractions) Week 6 [333 Theaters] Weekend $585,400, Average $1,758, Cume $14,922,081
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 8 [640 Theaters] Weekend $1.5M, Average $2,344, Cume $18,500,521
Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [65 Theaters] Weekend $70,543, Average $1,085, Cume $462,405
America: Imagine The World Without Her (Lionsgate) Week 10 [23 Theaters], Weekend $9K, Average $391, Cume $14,439,171
Begin Again (The Weinstein Company) Week 10 [335 Theaters] Weekend $784K, Average $2,340, Cume $15,325,115
Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC) Week 10 [21 Theaters] Weekend $22,426 (3-day), Average $1,068, Cume $4,474,465 (4-day set.)
Chef (Open Road) Week 17 [757 Theaters] Weekend $664,052, Average $877, Cume $30,242,142