Few new titles dared to go up against Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend, but Sony Pictures Classics’ Foreign-Language Oscar hopeful Son Of Saul showed the will to survive in its limited debut. The short-listed Hungarian-produced drama opened in three theaters in New York and LA with an average of almost $13K per location. The Force Awakens aside, the weekend’s specialty star goes to Paramount’s The Big Short which had the second highest PTA of $43,750, holding steady in 8 theaters for its second frame. Carol held her own in its fifth weekend with the third-best PTA of $14,368 across 16 cinemas. And, Bollywood title Dilwale opened in 268 theaters crooning to the tune of $1.9 million.
Son of Saul, a Foreign Language Golden Globe nominee, debuted with a fairly good kickoff. The Cannes Grand Jury prize winner grossed $38,891 in three theaters, averaging $12,964 in New York and Los Angeles. SPC’s Michael Barker expected a tough time heading into a weekend that would be dominated by one movie, but recalled they’d done it before. “We tend to open our movies opposite big movies,” said Barker earlier this week. “We opened Orlando opposite Jurassic Park and Midnight In Paris opposite Pirates Of The Caribbean.” Son Of Saul will expand to a few additional cities January 8 followed by another five or so cities January 15 and go wider by January 29.
UTV Communications’ Dilwale opened in 268 theaters packing some punch. The latest from India superstar Shah Rukh Khan grossed $1.9 million, giving it a $7,089 average. Another Bollywood pic, Bajirao Mastani from Eros Communications, grossed an estimated $1.7M in 304 cinemas for an average of $5,592. The two pictures cracked the Top 10 for national box office in the last two slots.
The weekend’s biggest (still) limited release headline is Paramount’s The Big Short, which maintained its base in 8 theaters in its second frame. Considering its includes Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Christian Bale, the story would really be if it didn’t hold up at the box office. Its real test comes this week when the movie goes wide over Christmas. Last weekend The Big Short opened in its 8 locations grossing $705K with a stellar $88K average.
Amazon Studios’ Chi-Raq shed 212 theaters in its third weekend. Now at The Spike Lee-directed feature based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata grossed over $114K on the big screen, giving it a $1,564 average. It opened in 305 theaters December 4, grossing nearly $1.2 million, averaging $3,929. It has cumed $2.42M in theaters.
Fox Searchlight added 44 runs for Youth in its third weekend. Starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, the feature by Oscar-winning Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino grossed $247K, giving it a $4,049 average. Youth debuted in four theaters December 4 grossing just over $78K ($19,521 average).
Macbeth lost 11 theaters from the previous weekend. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the title grossed $136,300 from 97 runs, giving it a $1,405 average. It had a so-so start at the beginning of the month, grossing nearly $70K in five theaters, averaging just under $14K.
Oscar hopeful Brooklyn lost 333 theaters compared to the previous week. In its seventh frame, the title starring Golden Globes nominee Saoirse Ronan grossed $1.2M in 614 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging a still solid $1,954. It has now cumed more than $16.5 million.
With three Golden Globes nominations, Open Road’s Spotlight played 825 locations also in its seventh weekend. The drama tarring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber grossed $1.48 million in 825 theaters, down 264 runs from the previous weekend’s 1,089 locations. Spotlight has cumed just over $22.86 million.
Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $38,891, Average $12,964
Dilwale (UTV Communications) NEW [268 Theaters] Weekend $1.9M, Average $7,090
Bajirao Mastani (Eros Entertainment) NEW [304 Theaters] Weekend $1.7M, Average $5,592
RETURNING / SECOND WEEKEND
The Big Short (Paramount) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend 350K, Average $43,750, Cume $1,292,000
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKEND
Chi-Raq (Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios) Week 3 [73 Theaters] Weekend $114,136, Average $1,564, Cume $2,425,681
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [22 Theaters] Weekend $24,392, Average $1,109, Cume $165,404
Macbeth (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 [3 Theaters] Weekend $136,300, Average $1,405, Cume $653,672
Youth (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [61 Theaters] Weekend $247K, Average $4,049, Cume $516,322
The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 4 [81 Theaters] Weekend $538K, Average $6,642, Cume $1,325,633
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 4 [20 Theaters] Weekend $16,564, Average $828, Cume $195,157
Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [16 Theaters] Weekend $229,893, Average $14,368, Cume $1,626,721
Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [3 Theaters] Weekend $114,335, Average $3,229, Cume $114,335
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [614 Theaters] Weekend $1.2M, Average $1,954, Cume $16,518,413
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Submarine Deluxe) Week 7 [18 Theaters] Weekend $18,547, Average $1,030, Cume $343,302
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 7 [825 Theaters] Weekend $1,483,167, Average $1,798, Cume $22,861,193
Trumbo (Bleecker Street) Week 7 [273 Theaters] Weekend $385,240, Average $1,411, Cume $6,252,60
Suffragette (Focus Features) Week 9 [75 Theaters] Weekend $34K, Average $453, Cume $4,615,838
The Assassin (Well Go USA) Week 10 [7 Theaters] Weekend $9,875, Average $1,411, Cume $632,542
Room (A24) Week 10 [171 Theaters] Weekend $173,052, Average $1,012, Cume $4,534,916