Oscar winners Birdman, Whiplash and Theory of Everything are available on VOD and DVD, but you wouldn’t think that looking at their fantastic box office results this weekend. And that wasn’t all. Still Alice, The Imitation Game, American Sniper and even foreign language film nominees Leviathan and Wild Tales were basking in the afterglow of last Sunday’s Academy Awards.
Fox Searchlight’s Birdman led with one of the highest weekend-to-weekend percent jumps of 125% (behind Red Army’s 125.7%) following its expansion from 407 theaters to 1,213 theaters. The Alejandro Iñárritu film, which won four Oscars including best director, posted its fourth highest haul this weekend during its 20th frame with $1.975M since posting three back-to-back $2M weekends in November. Since Oscar night, Birdman‘s total cume has jumped 7% from $37.78M to $40.28M. While Manhattan remains king in terms of Birdman’s best markets, it also played well with older folks in Miami and Palm Beach, who might not have frequented the film earlier in its run given its absurdist qualities. Searchlight also pushed the title out to new theaters in the south and midwest.
Young audiences were moved greatly by Oscar winner Graham Moore’s acceptance speech about how he pondered suicide early in life and continued to flock to Weinstein Co.’s The Imitation Game which made close to as much as Birdman with $1.927M. Still a great take considering that Imitation Game shed 305 venues and registered a decent hold of -23%. It’s total B.O. currently stands at $86.8M. It continues to play strong across the U.S.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Still Alice with its best actress win for Julianne Moore cracked the top 10 in ninth place during its seventh weekend with $2.695M, up 24% with a running cume just under $12M. Speaking to Deadline this morning, Sony Pictures Classics co-head Michael Barker said he’s looking forward to Still Alice posting some decent legs given its word of mouth, saying, “It’s the first film to portray Alzheimer’s from the patient’s point of view. People are turning out not just in major markets but rural as well. They’re curious because of Julianne Moore’s Oscar win, but people who normally don’t attend a movie on this subject are coming. The movie works as entertainment, and it’s not dark. The movie is enjoyed as a drama, and it’s not taken as a downer.” Still Alice has affected audiences given its insight on how Alzheimer’s disease can impact a person during their middle age. The Alzheimer’s Association is a strong supporter of the film.
Even though it just won an Oscar for sound editing, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper continues to rack up business. It slipped 23% in its 10th frame with $7.7M in seventh place raising its cume to $331.1M. Within a week’s time, the Clint Eastwood film will overtake The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 ($336.7M domestic B.O.) as the highest grossing 2014 release.
Whiplash fueled by J.K. Simmons’ best supporting actor win swelled 19% this weekend with $677K. It’s set to make $1M by the end of the week. Pic is up 98 locations for a total of 538 in its 21st sesh and its cume currently stands at $12.265M. Even though the film is available in the home entertainment market, Barker says that “keeping it alive at theaters is good for DVD/VOD as its makes more of an impression on the audience.”
The Theory of Everything which won a best actor Oscar for Eddie Redmayne saw a 17% weekend-to-weekend uptick after increasing 66 theaters to 611 locales with $649K. Pic’s cume stands at $35.05M.
They might have lost the Oscar for best foreign language film, but they haven’t lost at the box office. Nominees Leviathan from Russia and Wild Tales from Argentina both from Sony Classics saw respective increases of 50% and 28%. Leviathan took $125K at 80 theaters its 10th frame raising its cume to $874K, while Wild Tales grossed $109K at 18 theaters with a total cume of $365K. Mauritania’s Timbuktu from Cohen Media slipped 22% with $93K in its fifth weekend with a cume of $609K.