The good news for Specialty Box Office is that the dollar is strong, so as execs head to France this week for the Cannes Film Festival, they can toss back a few (or more) rosés and try and forget this weekend — or just blame it on Avengers: Age Of Ultron. There are a couple of somewhat silver linings. Tribeca Film’s doc I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story had a decent opening in one theater, while Janus Films’ restoration release of Indian master Satyajit Ray’s seminal The Apu Trilogy had a solid start, also in a single location. On the other side of the coin, IFC Film’s wide release The D Train, which bowed in over 1K theaters, derailed with a $465 per theater average. Roadside Attractions/Lionsage’s Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer Maggie cashed in a bit better in 79 theaters, while Sony Picttures Classics’ Saint Laurent opened in several locations with a $9K-plus PTA.

Janus Films debuted the late Indian director Satyajit Ray’s 1955 restored film Song Of The Little Road (Pather Panchali) at NYC’s Film Forum as part of a trio of films collectively titled The Apu Trilogy that will screen at the venue and later at other theaters around the country. It had the best PTA of the weekend’s Specialty newcomers with $16,333.

“The very strong opening numbers and sell out crowds in New York should come as no surprise,” said Peter Becker, a partner in Janus Films and president of the Criterion Collection via a release. “The Apu Trilogy has always been a huge crowd-pleaser. On its original release nearly 60 years ago, Pather Panchali ran for eight months in New York. These films have legs because they are perfect universal family stories.” The Apu Trilogy will open in Los Angeles at Landmark’s Nuart on Friday, May 29 and continue to other art house theaters around the country throughout the summer.

I Am Big Bird featuredHot Docs debut I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story had a decent bow at IFC Center in New York and on-demand. The feature by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker grossed an estimated $10,150 on the big screen Friday to Sunday ($13,053 since its Wednesday opening). Big Bird also ranked third among docs on iTunes and placed in the top 20 among all indie films. Tribeca Film will nest Big Bird in an additional 15 markets May 15 including L.A., San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis before adding more cities throughout May.

Sony Classics opened French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent in four New York and L.A. theaters. The movie starring Gaspard Ulliel as the iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent grossed $36,136 for a $9,034 PTA. SPC will continue to roll out the feature slowly around the country throughout June.

Maggie 2

Roadside/Lionsgate’s Arnold Schwarzenegger feature Maggie bowed in 79 theaters over the weekend in addition to being available via on-demand platforms. Theatrically, it grossed $131K for a slow $1,658 average. Roadside noted Sunday that the title ranked 5th in the Thriller category on iTunes and is “moving up the charts” with momentum growing. Roadside noted earlier this week that the feature was “One of the most aggressive day and date releases” the company has had to date.

Also opening this weekend was Kino Lorber’s 1001 Grams, which grossed $3,500 at New York’s Lincoln Plaza theater. The romantic comedy will continue to major U.S. markets this summer. A late addition to this report, Noble, from Aspiration Media, opened with $209,000 in 175 locations.

Fox Searchlight’s Far From The Madding Crowd crossed $1M in its second weekend. Searchlight added 89 sites for its second frame, grossing over $760K in 99, averaging $7,684, making the film by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts and Juno Temple a decent bright spot among Specialties. Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez said today via email: “We are very pleased with the great hold in theatres that opened last weekend as well as encouraged by the very solid new market openings” in art houses and upscale multiplexes. Rodriguez said they are hoping for “good word of mouth. With our A- cinemascore it appears that can, and should happen.”

Fox Searchlight will add 25 new markets in addition to expanding in current cities next weekend, bringing the titles reach to 250 – 275 theaters by May 15 and 450-500 theaters by Memorial Day weekend.

Alchemy added 131 theaters for the second weekend of Welcome To Me, holding solidly. It grossed $188,067 from 133 runs for a $1,414 PTA. The film, which is also available on-demand (placing in iTunes Top 10) has cumed over $236K. “On the theatrical side is it’s important to note that film came in at or near the top of key theaters in addition to the Angelika and Sundance such as Lincoln Plaza, Pasadena Playhouse, Music Box Chicago, etc.,” said the company, which “plans to further expand the theatrical release given this weekend’s numbers.”

Adult BeginnersUpdating VOD numbers for Adult Beginners, RADiUS said the title has cumed $432K on-demand, up $86K from last weekend’s $346K reported total. Theatrically, the film has cumed $91,800, brining its overall total to just under $524K.

TWC’s Woman In Gold is zeroing in on $27M. The title starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds grossed $1.652M in 1,080 theaters, averaging $1,530.

A24’s Ex Machina placed 6th in the overall box office in its 5th frame. The cerebral thriller grossed $3,469,949, averaging $1,731. It has now cumed over $15.72M. A24 pointed out today that the movie “is the only film in the top 10 to go up in box office from last weekend and increased an astounding 40% on Saturday in same theaters from last week.”

Unison/Paladin’s What We Do In The Shadows also deserves a little ballyhoo. The Kiwi vampire feature is holding solid in its 13th weekend, grossing $32,410 in 32 theaters ($1,013 PTA). It has now cumed over $3.33M.

Saint Laurent 1NEW

1001 Grams (Kino Lorber Films) NEW [1 theater] Weekend $3,500
The Apu Trilody (Janus Films) NEW [1 theater] Weekend $16,333
The D Train (IFC Films) NEW [1,009 theaters] Weekend $469,185, Average $465, Cume $469,185
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (Tribeca Film) NEW [1 theater] Weekend $10,150, Cume $13,053 (Wed. cume)
Maggie (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [79 theaters] Weekend $131K, Average $1,658
Noble (Aspiration) NEW [175 theaters[ Weekend $209,00, Average $1,194
Saint Laurent, (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 theaters] Weekend $36,136, Average $9,034

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Far From The Madding Crowd (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [99 theaters] Weekend $760,721, Average $7,684, Cume $1,000,881
Welcome To Me (Alchemy) Week 2 [133 theaters] Weekend $188,067, Average $1,414, Cume $236K.

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Adult Beginners (RADiUS) Week 3 [20 theaters] Weekend $6,200, Average $310, Cume $91,800; VOD Cume $432K
Blackbird (Image Entertainment) Week 3 [5 theaters] Weekend $4,328, Average $866, Cume $75,230
Félix And Meira (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [39 theaters] Weekend $65K, Average $1,667, Cume $213,598
True Story (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [127 theaters] Weekend $80K, Average $630, Cume $4,582,202
The Clouds Of Sils Maria (IFC Films) Week 5 [187 theaters] Weekend $201,960, Average $1,080, Cume $1,232,155
Dior And I (The Orchard) Week 5 [95 theaters] Weekend $100,417, Average $1,057, Cume $678,548
ex machinaEx Machina (A24) Week 5 [2,004 theaters] Weekend $3,469,949, Average $1,731, Cume $15,721,737
Woman In Gold (The Weinstein Company) Week 6 [1,080 theaters] Weekend $1,652,000, Average $1,530, Cume $26,977,636
The Salt Of The Earth (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [80 theaters] Weekend $86,581, Average $1,082, Cume $828,694
While We’re Young (A24) Week 7 [258 theaters] Weekend $283,216, Average $1,098, Cume $6,892,937
It Follows (RADiUS) Week 9 [112 theaters] Weekend $70,260, Average $627, Cume $14.425M
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) Week 11 [6 theaters] Weekend $8,300, Average $1,383, Cume $365,821
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [44 theaters] Weekend $58,164, Average $1,322, Cume $2,710,616
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 13 [32 theaters] Weekend $32,410, Average $1,013, Cume $3,333,271