A trio of Specialty newcomers had mostly solid starts over the weekend, with the annual theatrical showcase of Oscar shorts leading the way, grossing over a half-million in over a hundred locations. Amplify launched the regular theatrical roll out of Rooster Teeth’s Lazer Team with fairly sharp results. The title has cumed over $1.1 million on the big screen when adding its TUGG ‘theatrical on-demand’ screenings. Well Go USA’s Ip Man 3 continued with steady footing in its second weekend in expansion. Oscar contenders Spotlight, Brooklyn and Room either crossed or neared cumulative milestones as the three Best Picture Nominees shed some locations following post-nomination highs. Also, Sony Classics’ Son Of Saul and Lady In The Van increased their per theater averages in expansion.
Shorts International and Magnolia release of the 15 Oscar nominated live-action, animated and documentary shorts continues an annual rite since 2006. Over the weekend, the 2016 Oscar Shorts grossed $505K in 112 theaters, averaging $4,509. The figure is a more than 17% increase from last year’s $416,850 opening weekend gross in 118 theaters ($3,533 average). In 2015, the Oscar Shorts program grossed over $2.41 million and reached 280 theaters at its widest point. In its first year, the shorts showcase cumed $157,415, reaching just a dozen theaters.
“I’ve found that the success of the Oscar Shorts is inversely proportional to current trends,” said Magnolia’s Neal Block this week. “In an economy where theatrical revenue is becoming a smaller piece of the overall pie, this program consistently brings audiences to movie theaters. It’s become an anticipated part of dedicated moviegoers’ annual Oscar-time treks to the theater.”
Next week, the shorts head to an additional 80 runs. Beginning February 12 and continuing through Oscar weekend, special engagements at select Cinemark and AMC venues will be added. Also joining for the first time will be showings at Regal and Carmike at select locations.Sci-fi comedy Lazer Team had a box office head start before its regular theatrical roll out this weekend. The first feature film created by Fullscreen’s production company Rooster Teeth sold over 100,000 tickets in pre-sale, grossing over $1 million worldwide facilitated through TUGG, the cinema on-demand platform that lets audiences organize screenings in their local theaters. Lazer Team‘s TUGG screenings, which took place January 27 and 28, were the largest to date for the platform, out-grossing its previous record set by documentary Touch the Wall about Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, which sold 47,100 tickets in its first seven months.
Distributor Amplify is handling the title’s traditional theatrical run, which launched Friday in 35 theaters. Lazer Team grossed nearly $115K from that part of its release, averaging a milder $3,284. “One of the things we want to accomplish is to find new audiences,” said director Matt Hullum, who is also a principal at Rooster Teeth. “Our Amplify screenings will be a way of getting to them. We’re targeting theaters in more suburban areas and malls where our fan base tends to skew.” Amplify will expand the feature next week.
Also making its debut this weekend was Israeli-born filmmaker Amos Gitai’s doc-drama Rabin, The Last Day. The feature played an exclusive engagement grossing $7,854. Kino Lorber will open the feature February 5 in Phoenix before taking it to three locations in Los Angeles March 11. The company said it is waiting to clear the Oscars before moving the film into the top 10 markets in March.
Well Go USA added a dozen runs for Ip Man 3‘s second weekend. The title grossed over $503K in 115 theaters, averaging $4,376. The company opened Ip Man 3 in 103 theaters last weekend, grossing over $762K for a $7,402 average. Its two-week cume is now over $1.62M.
Sony Classics added 20 locations for The Lady In The Van in its third frame, increasing its per theater average. Starring Maggie Smith, the feature grossed nearly $322K in 50 theaters, averaging $6,439, a jump from last weekend’s $6,234 PTA in 30 theaters. The Lady In The Van has cumed $743,205. SPC’s Foreign Language Oscar nominee Son Of Saul played 21 additional theaters over the previous weekend. The Hungarian-produced film grossed over $168K, averaging $3,058, compared to last weekend’s gross of $98,367 in 34 theaters, averaging $2,893. Its seven-week cume is now $720K.
Sundance Selects added 54 runs for 45 Years starring Best Actress nominee Charlotte Rampling. Directed by Andrew Haigh, the title grossed over $472K in 94 theaters, averaging $5,024, a 9% decrease from last weekend’s $5,500 PTA despite the big increase in locations. 45 Years easily crossed the seven-figure cume mark, landing at over $1.25 million through this weekend. Sundance Selects will take the title to an additional 15 – 20 screens this Friday.
Best Picture nominees Spotlight, Brooklyn and Room all landed in the top 15 in the overall box office this weekend as of Sunday morning PST. Brooklyn had the highest gross and PTA Friday to Sunday, grossing over $1.7 million in 748 theaters, 214 fewer locations vs. last weekend, crossing the $30M milestone in its 13th weekend. Distributor Fox Searchlight had a big week – picking up the buzzy Birth of a Nation at the Sundance Film Festival for a reported $17.5 million. No doubt the company hopes Birth will follow Brooklyn in making a strong showing at next year’s Oscar race.
Open Road’s Spotlight neared $35 million over the weekend as the cast won the best ensemble prize at Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. The title grossed $1.12M in 715 theaters, averaging $1,567.
A24 no doubt toasted last night’s SAG Award win for Brie Larson as Room continued to show muscle at the box office in its 16th weekend. Room grossed over $1.21 million, averaging $1,532, and will easily cross the $10M mark in the coming days.
Paramount added 26 runs for its Best Animation Oscar nominee Anomalisa. The feature grossed $355K in 169 theaters, averaging $2,100. Last weekend it grossed $375K in 142 theaters ($2,622 average). It will cross $2 million in the coming days. And Focus Features’ The Danish Girl hit the $10 million mark in its 10th weekend. Up for four Oscars including Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne and Best Supporting Actress for Alicia Vikander, the film grossed $242K in 224 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,080.
2016 Oscar Shorts (Shorts International, Magnolia Pictures) NEW [112 Theaters] Weekend $505K, Average $4,509
Lazer Team (Amplify) NEW [35 Theaters] Weekend $114,950, Average $3,284, Cume $1,123,697 (includes TUGG screenings on 1/27 and 1/28)
Rabin, The Last Day (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,854
Ip Man 3 (Well Go USA) Week 2 [115 Theaters] Weekend $503,200, Average $4,376, Cume $1,622,565
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
The Lady In The Van (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [50 Theaters] Weekend $321,972, Average $6,439, Cume $743,205
Anomalisa (Paramount) Week 5 [169 Theaters] Weekend $355K, Average $2,100, Cume $1,932,000
45 Years (Sundance Selects) Week 6 [94 Theaters] Weekend $472,256, Average $5,024, Cume $1,258,441
Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [55 Theaters] Weekend $168,175, Average $3,058, Cume $720,006
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [5 Theaters] Weekend $3,409, Average $682, Cume $290,971
The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 10 [224 Theaters] Weekend $242K, Average $1,080, Cume $10,315,404
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 10 [3 Theaters] Weekend $4K, Average $1,333, Cume $355,300
Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 11 [313 Theaters] Weekend $425K, Average $1,358, Cume $11,392,245
Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 11 [32 Theaters] Weekend $44,530, Average $1,391, Cume $517,880
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 13 [748 Theaters] Weekend $1,715,000, Average $2,293, Cume $30,386,171
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 13 [715 Theaters] Weekend $1,120,319, Average $1,567, Cume $34,686,107
Trumbo (Bleecker Street) Week 13 [78 Theaters] Weekend $66,472, Average $852, Cume $7,623,344
Room (A24) Week 16 [795 Theaters] Weekend $1,217,940, Average $1,532, Cume $9,882,725