Straight outta Toronto, Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin was a hit in a half-dozen locations for the year’s best opening-weekend average — also easily the weekend’s top performer in a fairly crowded arena of limited release debuts.
Lionsgate’s Sicario (it means ‘hit man’ in Spanish) opened only days after its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival with a robust $390K in six theaters, averaging $65K. Lionsgate said the audience this weekend was 81% over 25, and “almost evenly split” male/female.
The year’s previous top opening weekend PTA performers were A24’s Ex Machina with about $60K per theater and the same distrib’s While We’re Young with roughly $57K per theater. By comparison, the year’s top-grossing movie with nearly $650M domestic, Universal’s Jurassic World, debuted in June with a PTA of $48,855 across 4,274 cinemas.
Last year enjoyed bigger opening PTAs among limited-release pictures, with the best being Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which averaged nearly $203K in four theaters when it opened in March 2014, while TWC’s The Imitation Game had a nearly $120K average at its November launch in four cinemas for a nearly $480K opening weekend. WB’s American Sniper had a roughly $158K PTA in its Christmas Day rollout in four locations for a total of more than $633K.
Among other specialty newcomers, Bleecker Street’s Pawn Sacrifice — with Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard — grossed nearly $207K in 33 theaters for a decent $6,269 PTA . Since opening Wednesday, Pawn Sacrifice, directed by Edward Zwick, has grossed an estimated $222,812.
Showtime Documentary Films’ Prophet’s Prey opened exclusively at IFC Center in New York grossing $5K. It will head to L.A. next weekend followed by 8 additional markets October 2. Cohen Media Group’s French feature The New Girlfriend bowed in 13 theaters, grossing just over $41K ($3,158 PSA).
Regarding another new specialty release, the Vladar Company’s previously reported weekend estimates for Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer, Vlad Udin’s documentary about the designer-du-jour, could not be independently verified and have been removed from this post and from the overall Specialty Box Office Chart below.
IFC Films added 22 theaters for last weekend’s top specialty debut, Sleeping With Other People, directed by Leslye Headland and starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie. The feature grossed nearly $104K, averaging $3,850 from 27 runs, dropping from its $20,625 PTA in its initial bow in five theaters. It has cumed nearly $218K. IFC Films will take Sleeping With Other People into the top 25 markets next weekend.
Samuel Goldwyn Films added 15 theaters for A Brilliant Young Mind‘s second frame. The feature grossed $39,708 in 18 theaters, averaging $2,206. It averaged $12K last weekend from its initial three runs. Alchemy added 29 runs for its rom-com doc Meet The Patels for its second weekend. The feature grossed just over $160K, averaging $4,707. The title grossed over $75K its first weekend in five theaters, averaging over $15K. SPC took Coming Home into 7 additional locations, grossing over $38K in 10 theaters, averaging $3,831.
Sony Classics added 931 theaters for its awards contender Grandma. The Lily Tomlin starrer grossed nearly $1.6M in 1,061 theaters, averaging $1,504. Last weekend it grossed over $738K from 130 runs. It has now cumed almost $3.79M.
Adding $142,350 in 268 theaters in its 10th weekend, Mr. Holmes became Roadside’s second-highest grosser with more than $17.5M to date. Roadside’s 2013 Mud remains the company’s champ with a cume of $21.59M.
The New Girlfriend (Cohen Media Group) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $41,052, Average $3,158
Pawn Sacrifice (Bleecker Street) NEW [33 Theaters] Weekend $206,879, Average $6,269, Cume $222,812 (Wed. Open)
Prophet’s Prey (Showtime Documentary Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $5K
Sicario (Lionsgate) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend $390K, Average $65K
A Brilliant Young Mind (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Week 2 [18 Theaters] Weekend $39,708, Average $2,206, Cume $80,990
Coming Home (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $38,307, Average $3,831, Cume $82,625
Goodnight Mommy (RADiUS) Week 2 [9 Theaters] Weekend $45,764, Average $5,085, Cume $140,676
Meet The Patels (Alchemy) Week 2 [34 Theaters] Weekend $160,040, Average $4,707, Cume $253,735
Sleeping With Other People (IFC Films) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $103,950, Average $3,850, Cume $217,935
Time Out Of Mind (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $23K, Average $2,300, Cume $55,642
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Before We Go (RADiUS) Week 3 [3 Theaters] Weekend $380, Average $127, Cume $36,320
The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution (PBS Distribution) Week 3 [8 Theaters] Weekend $46,985, Average $5,871, Cume $151,282
Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 3 [606 Theaters] Weekend $1M, Average $1,650, Cume $8,204,356
The Second Mother (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [27 Theaters] Weekend $41K, Average $1,519, Cume $217,328
Digging For Fire (The Orchard) Week 5 [5 Theaters] Weekend $557, Average $111, Cume $118,379; Week 4 VOD Estimate: $400K
Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [1,061 Theaters] Weekend $1,595,820, Average $1,504, Cume $3,789,539
Learning To Drive (Broad Green Pictures) Week 5 [339 Theaters] Weekend $530,335, Average $1,564, Cume $2,368,632
Mistress America (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [97 Theaters] Weekend $66K, Average $680, Cume $2,396,684
Rosenwald (The Ciesla Foundation) Week 6 [18 Theaters] Weekend $36,940, Average $2,052, Cume $287,418
Phoenix (Sundance Selects) Week 9 [165 Theaters] Weekend $174,240, Average $1,056, Cume $2,684,780
Mr. Holmes (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 10 [268 Theaters] Weekend $142,350, Average $531, Cume $17,505,985
Cartel Land (The Orchard) Week 12 [7 Theaters] Weekend $2,023, Average $289, Cume $693,874