Warner Bros. moonlighted on the Specialty side this weekend with Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama Midnight Special taking its bow in style. Starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst, the title handily topped all releases in a per theater average basis at $37K in five theaters. Next up among limited releases was Magnolia’s My Golden Days, which was released exclusively in theaters, averaging a more sober $9K. Fox Star Studios touted its opening of Bollywood title Kappor & Sons with the widest debut among the Specialties this weekend. Last week’s Specialty debut Eye In The Sky from Bleecker Street held well in its second frame, as did Roadside/Stage 6 Films’ Hello, My Name Is Doris with Sally Field in expansion. And Oscar Best Picture winner Spotlight crossed $44M in its 20th weekend on the big screen.
SXSW’s U.S. Premiere Midnight Special opened with five runs in New York, L.A. and Austin Friday with gusto. Nichols’ directorial follow-up to Indie Spirit-winning Mud, the Cannes-winning Take Shelter and Shotgun Stories, Midnight Special is also one of the year’s best Specialty debuts, grossing $185K in five theaters, averaging $37K. “We had an incredible screening at SXSW and the Q&A was fascinating,” said Warner Bros.’ Jeff Goldstein earlier this week. “The story itself lends the [feature] a Specialty release.” Goldstein said the film will go to ten markets in the next couple weeks and will continue to roll it out in a “strategic way, allowing word-of-mouth to drive it.”
The weekend saw a good number of Specialty openers, though their launches were quieter than Midnight Special. Magnolia Pictures’ prize-winning Cannes Directors Fortnight title My Golden Days from vet French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin landed second in PTA for the weekend. The film grossed $27K in three theaters, averaging $9K. Magnolia gave My Golden Days a traditional open in theaters. “It flew a bit under the radar since it wasn’t in competition, though it was one of the best reviewed films out of Cannes that year,” said Magnolia’s Matt Cowal this past week. “The film speaks for itself, it’s very satisfying.” My Golden Days will in open additional markets in the coming weeks.
Bollywood movie Kappor & Sons opened in 143 theaters Friday in North America alongside its bow in India. On these shores, the feature starring Siddhartha Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Farad Khan took in $965K, easily making it the highest grosser among the Specialties this weekend. It averaged $6,748. Earlier this week, Fox Star Studios’ Rohit Sharma noted that Bollywood titles are growing 10% year over year in the U.S., with grosses from this continent accounting for 25 – 30% of their international total. “Watching a film with your family in a cinema hall is still the best viewing experience for the audience of Bollywood films in the U.S.,” said Sharma. “They prefer this to watching the film on other platforms such as TV or the internet.”
The self-distributed Too Late, filmed in 35mm Techniscope, had a decent start in an exclusive L.A. run grossing $7K. “With access to additional private financing and with the existing infrastructure of Vanishing Angle —a full scale commercial production company — we felt we had the resources necessary to do this ourselves,” said co-producer Matt Miller this week. “The only elements we didn’t feel we could handle internally were booking, for which we partnered with Michael Tuckman and mTuckman Media, and publicity.” For the latter, producers partnered with Alex Klenert and Prodigy. Too Late will open in Austin next week, followed by New York April 1 and additional markets launching through the second week of May.
A24 opened Krisha in two locations to a comparatively slow start. The film grossed $10,250 in two theaters, averaging $5,125. IFC Films bowed The Preppie Connection also in two theaters, grossing $5,600 ($2,800 average), while Kino Lorber played Japanese title Sweet Bean in an exclusive run, grossing $4,200.
Bleecker Street’s Eye In The Sky had a good second weekend in theaters, with 30 additional runs added. The film had the weekend’s second-best PTA, following Midnight Special with a $12,194 average from a gross of $426,775 in 35 theaters. Its cume is now just under $576K.
Sally Field starrer Hello, My Name Is Doris held strong in its second frame amidst a sizable expansion. Released via Roadside Attractions and Sony’s Stage 6 Films, Doris grossed over $1M in 128 theaters, averaging $7,909. The feature opened last week in 4 theaters, grossing $85,240 ($21,310 average). “Friday-to-Saturday uptick was a great 70%, indicating strong word-of-mouth,” said Roadside Sunday when reporting its numbers. “This bodes extremely well for further expansions nationwide in the next two weeks.”
Among other second week hold-overs, Sundance Selects’ doc City Of Gold played an additional 10 locations, grossing $66,500, averaging $4,750 from 14 runs ($156,500 cume); FilmRise kept Julie Delpy’s Lolo in a single theater, grossing $1K ($6,691 cume); and A24’s Remember with Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau expanded to 25 additional locations grossing $75K for a $2,778 average in 27 theaters ($723,064 cume).
In its fifth week, Oscilloscope’s foreign-language Oscar nominee Embrace Of The Serpent continues to hold its own. In 85 theaters, the Colombian film grossed $145K ($1,706 average). The winner in the category, Son Of Saul from Sony Classics grossed $25,325 in 57 theaters, for a slower $444 average ($1.72 cume) though it is in its 14th week. Also still in theaters is fellow nominee Mustang, which grossed $48,835 in 11 theaters ($803 average).
The Academy Awards Best Picture winner, Spotlight, played 443 theaters for week 20, crossing the $44M mark in the box office. It grossed $436,725, averaging $986.
Kapoor & Sons (Fox Star Studios) NEW [143 Theaters] Weekend $965K, Average $6,748
Krisha (A24) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $10,250, Average $5,125
Midnight Special (Warner Bros.) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $185K, Average $37K
My Golden Days (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $27K, Average $9K
The Preppie Connection (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $5,600, Average $2,800
Sweet Bean (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,200
Too Late (Self-Distributed) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7K
City Of Gold (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $66,500, Average $4,750, Cume. $156,500
Eye In The Sky (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [35 Theaters] Weekend $426,775, Average $12,194, Cume $578,798
Hello, My Name Is Doris (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6 Films) Week 2 [128 Theaters] Weekend $1,012,420, Average $7,909, Cume $1,130,087
Lolo (FilmRise Releasing) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $1K, Cume $6,691
Marguerite (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [13 Theaters] Weekend $33,126, Average $2,548, Cume $63,945
Remember (A24) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $75K, Average $2,778, Cume $723,064
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Knight Of Cups (Broad Green Pictures) Week 3 [68 Theaters] Weekend $109,662, Average $1,612, Cume $337,350
Embrace Of The Serpent (Oscilloscope) Week 5 [85 Theaters] Weekend $145K, Average $1,706, Cume $748,070
Where To Invade Next (Drafthouse Films) Week 6 [110 Theaters] Weekend $102,600, Average $933, Cume $3,456,073
Rams (Cohen Media Group) Week 7 [10 Theaters] Weekend $13,964, Average $1,396, Cume $110,222
The Lady In The Van (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [301 Theaters] Weekend $429,948, Average $1,428, Cume $8,766,599
Anomalisa (Paramount) NEW [573 Theaters] Weekend $740K, Average $1,291, Cume $3,424,684
45 Years (Sundance Selects) Week 13 [52 Theaters] Weekend $46,800, Average $900, Cume $4,125,670
Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 14 [57 Theaters] Weekend $25,325, Average $444, Cume $1,721,731
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 17 [1 Theater] Weekend $1,900, Cume $395,343
Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 18 [11 Theaters] Weekend $8,835, Average $803, Cume $811,431
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 20 [152 Theaters] Weekend $145K, Average $954, Cume $37,918,848
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 20 [443 Theaters] Weekend $436,725, Average $986, Cume $44,013,263
Room (A24) Week 23 [92 Theaters] Weekend $72,500, Average $788, Cume $14,457,894