With this year’s Sundance Film Festival occupying indie minds and pocketbooks, the weekend’s specialty box office was dominated by holdovers, the lone exception Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston, which had by far the weekend’s biggest debut.
Despite a relentless awards campaign, Aniston missed out on an Oscar nomination, but Cake found some icing anyway with a decent theatrical bow. The drama about a woman with chronic pain and a resulting painkiller addiction – which also stars Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick and Felicity Huffman – grossed just north of $1 million in 482 theaters.
That far better than Aniston’s previous specialty release, Life Of Crime (2014), which only grossed $265,452 at the box office. Her 2006 film Friends With Money opened in 28 theaters to about $590K and went on to cume almost $13.7M. One of her earlier titles, 2002’s The Good Girl cumed just north of $14M.
In other openers, Focus Features debuted submarine thriller Black Sea, directed by Kevin Macdonald, in 5 theaters, grossing $35K ($7K PTA). The film is hardly underwater but that’s hardly an auspicious start for a film starring Jude Law and Scoot McNairy.
Unless something can buoy the box office here, Black Sea may struggle to surface anywhere near even Macdonald’s 2012 doc Marley, which grossed $1.4M in theaters.
His previous Focus release, The Eagle (2011) with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell, grossed $19.49M. Macdonald’s The Last King Of Scotland cumed over $17.6M (Fox Searchlight) and his studio thriller State Of Play with Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams totaled north of $37M.
Sundance Selects opened sexual drama The Duke Of Burgundy in three theaters, grossing just under $13K ($4,332 PTA), while Roadside bowed Mommy in eight locations, taking in about $21K ($2,619 PTA). SPC opened politico-hockey doc Red Army in three theaters, skating to a $20,122 gross and $6,707 PTA.
The Film Arcade’s theatrical opener Song One grossed just $23,837 in 27 theaters ($883 PTA). The title, however, appears to have more momentum through on-demand outlets, where it is a “New & Noteworthy” title on iTunes and among the online giant’s top 30 downloads list.
With eight Oscar nominations – including Best Picture, Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Director for Morten Tyldum and Best Supporting Actress for Keira Knightley – the film added $7.14M in more than 2K theaters ($3,524 PTA) over the weekend, hitting a cume of $60.64, the bulk of that coming in 2015. More in line with a typical specialty title, Budapest never showed in more than 2,000 theaters, and thanks to an early 2014 start, finished its very long run in theaters back in the summer.
With nine Oscar nominations (and last night’s Producers Guild win), Birdman is benefitting from its awards prowess in its 16th weekend, jumping 25 percent over last weekend’s gross with 362 added theaters.The film by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Michael Keaton grossed a high-flying $1.915M in 833 theaters, averaging $2,299.
“We are still in the same four theaters that we opened in on Oct. 17, and have seen our ranking rise in each of these buildings in recent weeks as we continue to reach audiences across North America and indeed all over the globe,” Fox Searchlight said in a release. Birdman also sailed past the $30M threshold over the weekend.
Sony Classics’ Whiplash had great festival buzz that only partially translated at the box office initially, but its five Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor frontrunner J.K. Simmons) has turned heads. SPC added 378 runs in the title’s 16th weekend, grossing just over $787K in 567 theaters, a 48% jump over last weekend. The film has cumed just over $7.6M.
IFC Films’ Boyhood has spent more than half a year in theaters (29 weeks and counting), though it had been showing its age by the beginning of December with only about two dozen runs. Add in three Golden Globe wins and half-a-dozen Oscar nominations, however, it suddenly warranted more showings. The film played in 136 theaters last week, grossing $242,760. This week, it added 61 locations, and grossed $197,394, averaging $1K. That places the film just under the $25M threshold, which it should cross this week.
Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore, had a big boost when Moore won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama just before the film debuted. She is also a frontrunner to win Best Actress at next month’s Oscars. The title is still in limited release, adding 26 theaters in its second weekend, grossing $411,139 ($10,819 theater average). Still Alice opened with a dozen runs, grossing $212,432 ($17,703 PTA).
Searchlight’s Wild has two Oscar noms, including Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon and Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern. It is now in its eighth weekend in theaters, grossing $946K in 505 theaters, down 259 from last weekend. It will easily pass the $35M mark this week. Sony has not reported the week’s numbers for The Interview
Black Sea (Focus Features) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $35K, Average $7K
Cake (Cinelou films) NEW [482 Theaters] Weekend $1,002,500, Average $2,080
The Duke Of Burgundy (Sundance Selects) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $12,996, Average $4,332
Mommy (Roadside Attractions) NEW [8 Theaters] Weekend $20,950, Average $2,619, Cume $3,258,761
Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $20,122, Average $6,707, Cume $26,056 (including qualifying run)
Song One (The Film Arcade/Cinedigm) NEW [27 Theaters] Weekend $23,837, Average $883
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [38 Theaters] Weekend $411,139, Average $10,819, Cume $715,085
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
A Most Violent Year (A24) Week 4 [68 Theaters] Weekend $455,600, Average $6,700, Cume $1,353,631
Leviathan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [38 Theaters] Weekend $72,428, Average $6,584, Cume $272,104
Two Days, One Night (IFC Films) Week 5 [32 Theaters] Weekend $113,728, Average $3,554, Cume $424,212
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [43 Theaters] Weekend $162,208, Average $3,772, Cume $1,851,354
Inherent Vice (Warner Bros.) Week 7 [244 Theaters] Weekend $400K, Average $1,639, Cume $7,419,268
Wild (Fox Searchlight) Week 8 [505 Theaters] Weekend $946K, Average $1,873, Cume $34,708,580
The Babadook (IFC Midnight) Week 9 [28 Theaters] Weekend $17,276, Average $617, Cume $898,966
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [2,025 Theaters] Weekend $7.136M, Average $3,524, Cume $60,642,281
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [516 Theaters] Weekend $580,632, Average $1,125, Cume $10,985,174
The Homesman (Roadside Attractions/Saban Films) Week 11 [ Theaters] Weekend $ Average $, Cume $
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 12 [858 Theaters] Weekend $1.3M, Average $1,515, Cume $29,092,530
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 14 [40 Theaters] Weekend $28,088, Average $702, Cume $2,472,030
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 15 [833 Theaters] Weekend $1,915,000, Average $2,299, Cume $30,913,122
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16 [567 Theaters] Weekend $787,007, Average $1,388, Cume $7,600,391
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 29 [197 Theaters] Weekend $197,394, Average $1,002, Cume $24,919,124