The cult of Steve Jobs continues to reign even at the box office. Fresh out of its New York Film Festival splash, the film directed by Danny Boyle easily became the year’s best theater average debut, topping out with over $130K PTA. The Universal film, starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, ranks in the top 15 of all time best opening weekend theater averages. The numbers are all the more impressive given the crowded slate of openers and holdovers. Much more down to earth but still solid was China Lion’s Goodbye Mr. Loser, a feature that has delivered blockbuster numbers in China and has apparently exported some of that pizzazz over to this side of the Pacific. Lionsgate’s Ladrones showed legs in a relatively plentiful 375 theaters its first weekend, while most other reporting limited release debuts didn’t do so well. Second week holdovers Taxi and He Named Me Malala showed some strength. And documentary awards hopeful Cartel Land in $550K on VOD in two weeks.
Director Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs bowed 4 New York and L.A. theaters, giving the director the best opening weekend average of his career and outshining all other openers in terms of PTA this year. The feature grossed sizzling $520,942, averaging $130,236. By comparison, Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) grossed over $360K in 10 theaters its debut weekend, averaging $36K. The drama about the Apple founder, adapted by Aaron Sorkin, easily outpaced Sicario‘s $67K debut PTA, though lands behind last year’s American Sniper ($158K PTA) and The Grand Budapest Hotel ($202K PTA) in the averages race. Steve Jobs will head wide October 23. For more on Steve Jobs, go to my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro’s Box Office report.
After opening in China coinciding with the country’s National Day/Golden Week period, China Lion brought Goodbye Mr. Loser to select theaters in North America. It has grossed over $93M at home since bowing at the beginning of this month, and some of that luster has found its way across the Pacific. In 22 theaters, the feature grossed $350K, averaging almost $16K. “We’ve already confirmed expansion for Friday into more major metro areas [and we] will be trying a number of first time cities such as Ithaca (NY) and Cincinnati,” said China Lion’s Robert Lundberg. “We’ll be a bit more aggressive than we have been in the past, all easy to do with numbers like these.”
Lionsgate/Pantelion opened Ladrones in a relatively hefty 375 theaters, capitalizing on its appeal to Hispanic audiences. The feature grossed a strong $1.335M, averaging $3,560. Their last film, the family-oriented animated Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (“A Chicken With Many Eggs”), was a surprise hit over Labor Day weekend, cracking the top 10 with a $3.4M opening at 395 venues and a current cume just over $9M.
Guy Maddin’s The Forbidden Room headed downtown in NYC to Film Forum after its NYFF screenings last week. The feature grossed $4,500 in the exclusive run over the weekend. Since opening Wednesday, it has grossed $5,795. Kino Lorber will take the feature to “cinephile venues” in San Francisco, L.A., Boston, Seattle and other cities in the coming weeks. Focus World’s Trash by Stephen Daldry, meanwhile, floundered in its 17-cinema bow. It grossed just $10K, averaging a measly $588. Other openers including FilmBuff’s A Better You, (T)Error via The Film Collaborative and Adopt Films’ Victoria did not report numbers as of early afternoon Sunday EDT.
Searchlight added 442 theaters for Davis Guggenheim doc He Named Me Malala in its second frame. The feature grossed $685K, averaging a decent $1,536 in a total of 446 locations, also placing it 14th in the overall box office. Malala grossed $56K its opening weekend, averaging $14K. “We have received an overall CinemaScore of ‘A’ from sources polling our film…,” Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez noted Sunday when reporting the film’s numbers. “With the great CinemaScore, continuing good reviews, and the appeal and recognition of Malala Yousafzai, we are hopeful that on this, the International Day of the Girl, we will see audiences continue to seek out this wonderful documentary.”
Kino Lorber added seven theaters for the second weekend of Jafar Panahi’s Taxi. The film grossed $32K, averaging $3,555. Last week, the film opened to a $22K gross in two theaters, averaging $11K. Its two-week cume is now at $68,345.
Sony Classics added 13 runs for Labyrinth Of Lies‘ second frame, grossing just over $54K, averaging $3,380. In its debut weekend, the film, Germany’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, grossed $21,357 in three theaters, averaging $7,119.
The weekend’s biggest limited release expansion was Broad Green’s 99 Homes. The distributor added 672 theaters in the title’s third weekend, grossing $630,857, averaging $913.
And The Orchard said its doc Cartel Land has grossed $550K in two weeks on-demand, placing it in the top 5 of all movies on iTunes.
The Forbidden Room (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,500, Cume $5,795 (Wed. Open)
Goodbye Mr. Loser (China Lion) NEW [22 Theaters] Weekend $350K, Average $15,909
Ladrones (Lionsgate) NEW [375 Theaters] Weekend $1.335M, Average $3,560
Steve Jobs (Universal) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $520,942, Average $130,236
Trash (Focus World) NEW [17 Theaters] Weekend $10K, Average $588
Freeheld (Lionsgate) Week 2 [51 Theaters] Weekend $94K, Average $1,843, Cume $144,054
Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (Kino Lorber) Week 2 [9 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $3,555, 68,345
He Named Me Malala (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [446 Theaters] Weekend $685K, Average $1,536, Cume $768,448
Labyrinth Of Lies (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $54,076, Average $3,380, Cume $93,570
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures) Week 3 [691 Theaters] Weekend $630,857, Average $913, Cume $808,463
Peace Officer [Submarine Deluxe/Gravitas] Week 4 [11 Theaters] Weekend $6,695, Average $609, Cume $26,632
Sicario (Lionsgate) Week 4 [2,620 Theaters] Weekend $7.35M, Average $2,805, Cume $26.7M
Goodnight Mommy (RADiUS) Week 5 [86 Theaters] Weekend $135,140, Average $1,571, Cume $650,482
Meet The Patels (Alchemy) Week 5 [90 Theaters] Weekend $171,455, Average $1,905, Cume $963,561
Sleeping With Other People (IFC Films) Week 5 [129 Theaters] Weekend $51,600, Average $400, Cume $765,246
The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution (PBS Distribution) Week 6 [11 Theaters] Weekend $47,237, Average $4,294, Cume $370,775
Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 6 [57 Theaters] Weekend $20K, Average $351, Cume $9,011,099
The Second Mother (Oscilloscope) Week 7 [18 Theaters] Weekend $15K, Average $833, Cume $335,281
Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [205 Theaters] Weekend $240,722, Average $1,174, Cume $6,272,038
Learning To Drive (Broad Green Pictures) Week 8 [71 Theaters] Weekend $63,101, Average $889, Cume $3,284,084
Phoenix (Sundance Selects) Week 12 [29 Theaters] Weekend $29K, Average $1K, Cume $2,974,350
Mr. Holmes (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 13 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $, Cume $
Cartel Land (The Orchard) Week 14 [ 3 Theaters] Weekend $964, Average $321, Cume $698K; Week 2 VOD: $550K