Best Picture contenders grabbed stragglers this weekend, widening their audiences considerably. with and wider audiences this weekend. Open Road’s Independent Spirit Awards winner Spotlight as well as Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn and A24’s Room added theaters to max out their gross potential in the lead-up to Sunday’s big night at the Dolby Theater. Likewise, foreign language contenders Son Of Saul from Sony Classics, which took the Spirit Award in its category yesterday, as well as Oscilloscope’s Embrace Of The Serpent and Cohen Media Group’s Mustang added theaters well into their releases. The Oscar hopefuls overshadowed the weekend’s new titles, though Rialto’s 4K restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran technically took the weekend’s highest per-theater average, even though only in one location. Mark Stewart Production and Gravitas Ventures opened Mark Craig’s doc The Last Man On The Moon in a day and date roll out averaging $2,375 in just over a theaters.

Craig’s doc The Last Man On The Moon opened in 13 locations in a day and date release over the weekend. Theatrically, the feature grossed $30,880, averaging $2,375, a presumably decent figure considering the majority of viewers opted for on-demand options. The Last Man On The Moon, a portrait of Gene Cernan, the final astronaut to touch the lunar surface in December, 1972, is currently 90% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The film found particular strength in many regional markets, buoyed by rave reviews,” the distributors said Sunday when reporting numbers. It also found a very strong audience across other platforms, ranking as the #3 new release documentary on iTunes, the #1 documentary on Vudu and in the Top 5 for documentary on Google Play. The Last Man On The Moon will continue to roll out theatrically in additional markets throughout this spring.

Rialto Pictures bowed the restored Ran at New York’s Film Forum to the weekend’s highest per-theater average. The film grossed $10,500 on a single screen at the popular downtown venue. The new restoration premiered at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. The last time the feature was in theaters was in 2010 for its 25th anniversary in new 35mm prints, grossing a total of about $125K in that round. Rialto said that advances for early shows Sunday may push Ran’s weekend take to $11K, a good number given the film’s 170 minute run-time. Ran will head to the Fine Arts in Los Angeles March 18 and select engagements in other major cities this spring.

King Georges poster

Sundance Selects opened foodie doc King Georges in several locations including IFC Center in New York, Hollywood’s Arena Cinema and locations at the film’s home state of Pennsylvania, all with mixed results. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival debut grossed $18K, averaging $4,500, though the feature was also available via iTunes and other platforms. The feature will add select cities in the coming weeks.

Oscilloscope added 18 locations for its Best Foreign Language Oscar contender Embrace Of the Serpent in its second frame. The Colombian title grossed nearly $106K in 21 theaters, averaging $5,035. Embrace opened with a $50K weekend gross in three theaters last week. Its two-week cume is $194,680.

Sony Classics added 76 vs last weekend for its Spirit Award-winner Son Of Saul, which is also up for an Oscar tonight. The Hungarian-produced nominee grossed $156,262, averaging $1,036 in 151 theaters. In 11 weeks, the title has cumed over $1.31 million. Cohen Media Group added 23 runs for France’s Oscar hopeful Mustang in its 15th weekend. The title grossed $35,269, averaging $1,306, giving it a $723,205 cume.

Among other second weekend holdovers, Lionsgate held Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer in 357 theaters, grossing $375K ($1,050 average), giving it a cume of almost $1.5 million. And Fox Star Studios added 48 locations for Neerja in its second frame, grossing $480K ($3,967 average) for a cume of over $1.27 million.

ANOMALISA

Paramount’s Best Animation nominee Anomalisa played 95 additional runs from last weekend. The title grossed just $85K in 140 theaters, averaging $607. Its 9 week cume, however is nearly $2.6 million. Sundance Selects shed 34 locations for 45 Years’ 10th weekend. Starring Best Actress nominee Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years grossed $243,800 ($1,150 average) for a cume of over $3.77 million.

Focus Features’ The Danish Girl starring Best Actor nominee Eddie Redmayne crossed $11 million over the weekend. It grossed $58K in 67 theaters ($866 average).

room movie 2

Trio Spotlight, Brooklyn and Room added theaters to maximize their Best Picture nominee pedigrees. Open Road’s Spotlight, which won five awards at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture and Best Director had the highest Friday to Sunday gross of the three, taking just over $788K in 685 theaters, up from 401 runs last weekend. The title average of $1,150 was, however, the lowest of the three. Spotlight still has the highest cume of over $39.17 million. Searchlight’s Brooklyn averaged $1,541, the highest of the three. The film, starring Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan, grossed $735K in 477 theaters (up from 443 last week), with a 17-week cume over $36.3 million. And in its 19th weekend, A24 added 178 runs for Room starring Best Actress nominee Brie Larson. The feature grossed $650K, averaging $1,226 for a $13.54 million cume.

NEW RELEASES

The Last Man On The Moon (Mark Stewart Production and Gravitas Ventures) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $30,880, Average $2,375

King Georges (Sundance Selects) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $18K, Average $4,500

Ran (4K Restoration) (Rialto Pictures) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $10,500

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer (Lionsgate) Week 2 [357 Theaters] Weekend $375K, Average $1,050, Cume $1,495,356

Embrace Of The Serpent (Oscilloscope) Week 2 [21 Theaters] Weekend $105,738, Average $5,035, Cume $194,680

Neerja (Fox Star Studios) Week 2 [121 Theaters] Weekend $480K, Average $3,967, Cume $1,277,867

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Dough (Menemsha Films) Week 3 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $, Cume $

Where To Invade Next (Drafthouse Films) Week 3 [212 Theaters] Weekend $380,540, Average $1,795, Cume $$2,600,973

Touched With Fire (Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [20 Theaters] Weekend $13,240, Average $662, Cume $139,911

Rams (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [6 Theaters] Weekend $5,044, Average $841, Cume $72,291

The Lady In The Van (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [602 Theaters] Weekend $1,304,800, Average $2,176, Cume $5,947,872

Anomalisa (Paramount) Week 9 [140 Theaters] Weekend $85K, Average $607, Cume $2,594,000

45 Years (Sundance Selects) Week 10 [212 Theaters] Weekend $243,800, Average $1,150, Cume $3,777,847

Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [151 Theaters] Weekend $156,262, Average $1,036, Cume $1,311,890

The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 14 [67 Theaters] Weekend $58K, Average $866, Cume $11,006,670

Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 14 [2 Theaters] Weekend $1,800, Average $900, Cume $385,585

Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 15 [202 Theaters] Weekend $123K, Average $609, Cume $12,504,921

Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 15 [27 Theaters] Weekend $35,269, Average $1,306, Cume $723,205

Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 17 [477 Theaters] Weekend $735K, Average $1,541, Cume $36,309,627

Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 17 [685 Theaters] Weekend $788,088, Average $1,150, Cume $39,173,609

Room (A24) Week 20 [530 Theaters] Weekend $650K, Average $1,226, Cume $13,544,609