Who wouldn’t want to go to Italy in the summer for good food and entertaining conversation with a clever traveling companion? Quite a few people did just that, at least vicariously, via IFC Films‘ The Trip To ItalyThe light-hearted sequel to The Trip easily had the weekend’s highest bow among specialty films, grossing $71,577 and averaging a tasty $23,859 in three theaters.

A trip to Italy promo image“The Trip to Italy opened with one of the highest per-screen (average)s of the summer, playing to sold-out shows this weekend in New York and Los Angeles,” IFC said in a statement. “The Michael Winterbottom-directed sequel has received wonderful reviews and strong word of mouth.”  As with The Trip, which also starred Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a food and talk travelogue across U.K. countryside, the road ahead looks wide open for the Italian Trip. The original opened in June 2011 with a $12,984 PTA in 6 theaters, and went on to cume over $2 million in the U.S.

“We told [Winterbottom and his Revolution Films] that if there was ever a [follow-up] to The Trip, we’d be on board,” IFC Films’ Jonathan Sehring told me this week. So far, it’s been a very pleasant ride for the film’s distributors.

Magnolia Pictures bowed Sundance debut Frank at the Sunshine in New York stateside this weekend, grabbing the second-highest average from its single U.S. location in the U.S. (it also opened in several Canadian theaters), grossing $16K. The film stars a mostly masked Michael Fassbender as an eccentric rock musician, as well as Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Moira Booker and Scoot McNairy. Its initial tune-up behind it, Frank will have to sing a little louder as it heads into additional markets next week, including Los Angeles, with a wider expansion slated for Aug. 29.

Jealousy movie posterIn other openers, A24 debuted Life After Beth in a pair of locations, grossing $18K for a $9K average, while Distrib Films opened Jealousy, a family affair of sorts from French filmmaker Phillippe Garrel, starring his son Louis and daughter Esther in an exclusive NYC run. It grossed $5,800.

CBS Films had a big expansion for What If, adding 767 theaters for the title starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. It held decently, grossing $829K for a $1,053 average. The title jumped 15% from Friday to Saturday ($280K to $323K). It also passed the $1M mark. No numbers were reported for James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D, the diving doc from the box office king of the world.

Fox Searchlight added 90 runs (22 new markets) for Calvary in its third frame. The thriller featuring an aging priest played by another Gleeson, Brendan, grossed $400K for a $3,053 PTA ($890K cume). Searchlight will add all remaining planned markets this week, bringing its theater count to between 200 and 250 locations.

Sony Classics added 794 theaters for Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight in its fourth weekend, holding decent numbers with a $1.88 million gross. The film averaged $1,954 in 964 locations. Allen has such a large body of work that it is easy to compare this one to a whole basket of proverbial fruit, not just apples and oranges. That said, the obvious comp is his last one, the box office powerhouse and Oscar winner Blue Jasmine — though his success there would have made just about any successor film look bad by comparison.

MAGIC-IN-THE-MOONLIGHT-posterThat said, here goes: in its 5th week, SPC added 1,054 theaters for Blue Jasmine, its biggest expansion, bringing its total to 1,283 runs, the film’s peak. That week, Jasmine averaged $4,651 in 1,283 theaters and already had cumed more than $16.46 million.

Magic In The Moonlight, by contrast, will be lucky to reach that total ever in its theatrical run. Still, it should be noted that Magic still has the fourth biggest cume among reporting Specialty titles to date, only a month into its theatrical run. Another title on a serious roll, Chef, has the biggest cume ($29.2M in week 15) among titles still in release. It’s followed by Boyhood ($13.8M in week 6) and A Most Wanted Man (12.62M in week 4). Among all 2014 specialty releases, Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel remains far ahead, with a $59 million cume.

Boyhood had a good-sized expansion again, adding 264 runs, and grossing more than $2.15 million in 771 theaters, for a maturing $2,789 per-theater average in its sixth week. The Richard Linklater film has now easily out-grossed any of his previous films other than studio titles Bad New Bears ($32.8 million) and School Of Rock ($81.2 million). Boyhood also landed in the overall box office top 10 this weekend.

NEW

Frank (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $16K

Jealousy (Distrib Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $5,800

Life After Beth (A24) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $18K, Average $9K

The Trip To Italy (IFC Films) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $71,577, Average $23,859

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

The Dog (Drafthouse Films) Week 2 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $

What If (CBS Films) Week 2 [787 Theaters] Weekend $829K, Average $1,053, Cume $1,034,855

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Calvary (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [131 Theaters] Weekend $400K, Average $3,053, Cume $890,036

Finding Fela (Kino Lorber Films) Week 3 [11 Theaters] Weekend $23K, Average $2,091, Cume $68,675

Rich Hill (The Orchard) Week 3 [11 Theater] Weekend $15,185, Average $1,380, Cume $42,274

The Fluffy Movie (Open Road) Week 4 [51 Theaters] Weekend $39,448, Average $773, Cume $2,784,432

Magic In The Moonlight (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [964 Theaters] Weekend $1,883,196, Average $1,954, Cume $4,713,652

A Most Wanted Man (Roadside Attractions) Week 4 [650 Theaters] Weekend $1,238,500, Average $1,905, Cume $12,623,548

Alive Inside (Bond/360) Week 5 [15 Theaters] Weekend $21,520, Average $1,435, Cume $111,622

Wish I Was Here (Focus Features) Week 5 [54 Theaters] Weekend $37K, Average $685, Cume $3,544,579

Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 6 [771 Theaters] Weekend $,2,150,319 Average $2,789, Cume $13,800,781

America: Imagine The World Without Her (Lionsgate) Weekend $26,500, Average $427, Cume $14,383,206

Begin Again (The Weinstein Company) Week 8 [62 Theaters] Weekend $59K, Average $952, Cume $14,459,023

Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC) Week 8 [42 Theaters] Weekend $44,425, Average $1,057, Cume $4,377,085

Le Chef (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [6 Theaters] Weekend $4,576, Average $764, Cume $342,925

Obvious Child (A24) Week 11 [21 Theaters] Weekend $20,921, Average $996, Cume $3,012,669

Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon (RADiUS-TWC) Week 11 [2 Theaters] Weekend $374, Average $187, Cume $212,588

Chinese Puzzle (Cohen Media Group) Week 14 [6 Theaters] Weekend $4,576, Average $763, Cume $342,925

Chef (Open Road) Week 15 [122 Theaters] Weekend $170,126, Average $1,394, Cume $29,297,948

Fed Up (RADiUS-TWC) Week 15 [5 Theaters] Weekend $1,936, Average $387, Cume $1,537,321