Update with more details: Woody Allen’s latest topped 2016 debuts. The Cannes debut is the best screen average of the year at $71K, giving the Specialty box office a needed shot. And on the eve of the Republican convention in Cleveland, doc Hillary’s America: The History of the Democratic Party topped spring roll out Weiner for the best doc PTA of the year in three theaters at nearly $26K. And in a second week expansion, Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic is a bonafide hit.
Woody Allen’s latest Café Society is on track to open wide this summer. The film, which opened the Cannes Film Festival, is also the year’s best opener when measuring per theaters average at $71K. Very good for sure, but it’s not the same dazzling numbers that even last year boasted. Paramount’s The Big Short had an average over $88K in 8 theaters in its debut last December, and The Revenant had an $118K-plus PTA in four locations in its Christmas day bow. Universal’s Steve Jobs cha-chinged a $130,381 average also in four theaters last October, but last year’s record holder went to Warner Bros. American Sniper (which opened Christmas, 2014) with a $158K-plus average in four theaters, grossing over $633K Christmas weekend. The feature went on to cume over $350.1 million.
Still, this is a big win for Allen and nearly triples the opening weekend for his last film, Irrational Man last summer. That title opened in 7 theaters, grossing over $175K its opening weekend, averaging $25K. Café Society is still shy of Allen’s 2013 release, Blue Jasmine, which grossed over $612K in its debut, averaging $102K in six theaters its opening weekend. His biggest hit, Midnight in Paris opened with six runs in May, 2011 grossing $599K, averaging over $99K. It went on to much over $56.8 million. “We’re really in a different business than the studio films,” said Allen’s longtime producer (and sibling) Letty Aronson this past week. “There’s a finite amount of money…”
Amazon’s head of Marketing and Distribution Bob Berney gave a shout out Sunday reporting Café Society’s numbers: “We’re really pleased about the initial weekend on Café Society. Woody Allen’s romantic trip to Hollywood and Manhattan of the ‘30s is a great film that audiences are adoring.”
On the doc side, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party scored the year’s best non-fiction PTA in its initial run. The film, by Dinesh D’Souza who also made 2016: Obama’s America in time for the last Republican National Convention, grossed an impressive $77,500 in three theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $25,833.
The debut places Hillary well ahead of Sundance Selects’ doc Weiner — the previous 2016 record-holder — which opened in five theaters grossing well over $85K, averaging above $17 in its debut in May. The title has cumed over $1.56 million to date. Its distribution team is going for the jugular, heading out for a planned 1,200 or so theaters in the coming week. (For more insight on the doc, check out my separate article on its opening weekend on Deadline).
Also making its theatrical debut was GKIDS’ animated feature The Phantom Boy, opening in a single location grossing $4,803. “We worked with the filmmakers on A Cat in Paris, which was the kickoff to a great relationship…,” said Gkids’ David Jesteadt earlier this week. “[The Phantom Boy] comes between a gigantic wave of animated films. [They’re] box office competition, but they’re also an opportunity to show our trailer. Most of the world has seen Finding Dory or The Secret Life of Pets, so this will be an alternative.” A Cat in Paris grossed $350K in theaters and received an Oscar nomination. GKIDS will expand The Phantom Boy July 29.
Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic had a robust start and it’s holding well in expansion in week 2. Directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen, the feature grossed $277,321 in 36 theaters, averaging $7,703. Captain Fantastic opened last weekend in four theaters last weekend, grossing $98,451 for a 24,613 PTA, landing it fifth among all 2016 films debuting under a half dozen locations behind A24’s The Lobster ($190,252 in 4 theaters, $47,563 average), Warner Bros’ Midnight Special ($190,012 in five theaters, $38K average), Amazon/Roadside Attractions’ Love & Friendship ($133,513 in 4 theaters, $33,378 average) and Sony Classics’ Miles Ahead ($114,530 in 4 theaters, $28,633 average).
In its second frame, SPC added 6 runs for Japanese feature Our Little Sister. In 9 theaters, the film grossed $33,773, averaging $3,752. The title opened in three theaters, grossing just over $27K last weekend, averaging $9,030.
Music Box added one more location for its Sundance doc Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You in its second weekend, grossing $12,800 ($4,267 average). Directed by Oscar-nominated doc duo Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, their latest about the legendary series producer opened in two NYC theaters last weekend, grossing $20K.
Music Box doubled its reach for The Innocents in its third weekend, grossing $162K in 69 theaters, averaging $2,348. The distributor noted it was second to Café Society at Lincoln Plaza. The Innocents has cumed over $398K and will continue to expand in the coming weeks.
And The Orchard added 83 runs for its Kiwi-produced Hunt for the Wilderpeople in its fourth weekend. In 155 theaters, the feature by Taika Waititi grossed $563,325, averaging a solid $3,634. Last weekend, it grossed over $413K in 72 theaters, averaging $5,740. The title’s four week cume is now over $1.46M.
Café Society (Amazon/Lionsgate) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend 355K, Average $71K
Hillary’s America (Pure Flix) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $77,500, Average $25,833
The Phantom Boy (GKIDS) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,803
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [36 Theaters] Weekend $277,321, Average $7,703, Cume $406,141
How He Fell In Love (Monument Releasing) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $10,500, Average $1,050, Cume $12,236
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Music Box Films) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $12,800, Average $4,267, Cume $35,887
Our Little Sister (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [9 Theaters] Weekend $33,773, Average $3,752, Cume $71,674
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
The Innocents (Music Box Films) Week 3 [ 69 Theaters] Weekend $162K, Average $2,348, Cume $398,243
Life, Animated (The Orchard) Week 3 [19 Theaters] Weekend $27,300, Average $1,437, Cume $89,436
Our Kind Of Traitor (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [262 Theaters] Weekend $262,045, Average $1K, Cume $2,748,611
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 4 [155 Theaters] Weekend $563,325, Average $3,634, Cume $1,464,970
Swiss Army Man (A24) Week 4 [228 Theaters] Weekend $262,154, Average $1,150, Cume $3,743,408
Wiener-Dog (IFC Films) Week 4 [74 Theaters] Weekend $69,560, Average $940, Cume $83,580
Genius (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) Week 6 [51 Theaters] Weekend $43,165, Average $846, Cume $1,291,020
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) Week 6 [82 Theaters] Weekend $102,850, Average $1,254, Cume $755,035
The Fits (Oscilloscope) Week 7 [4 Theaters] Weekend $3K, Average $750, Cume $130,329
The Witness (FilmRise Releasing) Week 7 [5 Theaters] Weekend $3K, Average $600, Cume $133,337
Maggie’s Plan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [127 Theaters] Weekend $129,318, Average $1,018, Cume $3,125,765
Weiner (Sundance Selects) Week 9 [26 Theaters] Weekend 28,600$, Average $1,100, Cume $1,563,432
The Lobster (A24) Week 10 [101 Theaters] Weekend $185,820, Average $1,840, Cume $8,686,352
Love & Friendship Week 10 (Roadside Attractions/Amazon) [ Theaters] Weekend $196,800, Average $1,405, Cume $13,469,292
The Man Who Knew Infinity (IFC Films) Week 12 [32 Theaters] Weekend $28,800, Average $900, Cume $3,819,731