Ahead of a wide roll-out for Christmas, Paramount opened Denzel Washington’s Fences in four New York and Los Angeles locations to $128K, easily outpacing its fellow limited release newcomers, though the top per theater average, of course, went to the weekend’s number one film Rogue One. The Orchard bowed Golden Globes nominee Neruda in three locations grossing $28,265, while China Lion opened The Wasted Times in 20 theaters grossing $90K. Lionsgate’s La La Land opened last week with the best per theater average of 2016 and it continued to perform solidly in expansion. La La Land grossed over $4 million in 200 theaters, while Oscar contender Manchester By the Sea crossed $14 million in its fifth week.

Paramount teased Denzel Washington’s third feature directorial, Fences, in four theaters this weekend. Friday to Sunday, the title grossed $128K, averaging $32K. Washington also stars in the film opposite Viola Davis. Paramount said this week that it wanted to court the Specialty crowd ahead of a full-scale roll-out timed to Christmas.

“This is an event for upscale moviegoers,” said Megan Colligan, President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution at Paramount. “You may miss the upscale moviegoers if you don’t do that, and in this era of social media, it’s good to have the wind at your back and get it going that way. I think people in New York and L.A. are going to be blown away.”

fencesposter-1
Paramount Pictures

Fences will climb to 2K theaters over the holiday weekend.

Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín has his second movie of the month in theaters. Opening on the heels of Jackie, The Orchard bowed Spanish-language feature Neruda starring Gael García Bernal in three locations grossing $28,265, giving it a $9,422 average. The opening is a bit more than half the PTA of No, Larraín’s previous feature which also stars García Bernal. No grossed $71,742 in four theaters when it opened in February, 2013, averaging $17,936 via Sony Classics. It went on to cume over $2.34 million. The Orchard said Sunday that it performed well at its three locations, coming in at number one among new releases at its venues. Neruda will stay in New York and L.A. through Christmas ahead of additional markets in January.

China Lion opened Chinese filmmaker Cheng Er’s The Wasted Times starring Ge You, Tadanobu Asano and Zhang Ziyi in 20 theaters Friday. The drama grossed $90K, averaging $4,500. China Lion said it had some competition from Rogue One, but is OK with its opening. “We’re happy with the performance, especially given that Rogue One played at all but one of our twenty locations — and all 19 locations had Rogue One on multiple screens. It was boosted by some great last minute social media support by star Tadanobu Asano, through his Facebook and Twitter pages. We’re looking to take advantage of the fact that we’ll be the only new Chinese language release for the next two weekends.”

Among other limited release openers, Magnolia Pictures launched doc Harry Benson: Shoot First with four runs grossing $4,798 ($1,596 average), and FilmRise opened its doc The Bad Kids in an exclusive engagement grossing $2,250.

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone - La La Land.jpeg
Lionsgate

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is the year’s best PTA opener and it is still a strong performer in its second frame and in expansion. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land grossed $4.02 million in 200 locations, giving it a stellar $20,100 PTA. La La Land also has bragging rights as the seventh highest-grosser of the week, though it is in far fewer theaters than anything else in the top 10. The film has seven Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Last week the film opened in five theaters grossing $855K, giving it a sizzling $176K PTA, handily the year’s best figure.

Fox Searchlight added 58 theaters for Jackie in its third weekend, holding its own. Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, grossed $550K in 84 theaters, averaging $6,548. Last weekend it grossed $495K in 26 locations, averaging just over $19K. Said Searchlight Sunday when giving its numbers: “As we move into the busy holiday season playtime, we expect to continue to perform well as we expand once again, jumping to between 300 – 325 playdates and 50 new markets. We are opening the film in some of the very best art houses in the country as well as in many superior upscale suburban multiplexes.”

Dev Patel - Lion.jpeg
Mark Rogers

TWC added a run for Lion in its fourth weekend grossing $130,539 in 16 theaters. The title averaged $8,159, down about 29% from last week’s $11,461 PTA in 15 theaters. It has cumed $701,613.

Manchester By the Sea is now fairly wide with over twelve hundred locations, up considerably from last week’s 366 runs. The Awards contender grossed over $4.15 million in a total of 1,208 theaters, averaging $3,440. Last week it grossed over $3.155 million, averaging $8,621. “The Golden Globe and numerous other national nominations, awards and ten-best lists propelled the film to a great wide release this weekend,” said Bob Berney, head of Marketing and Distribution, Amazon Studios Sunday when giving numbers. “Manchester is great storytelling and the family dynamics are touching people across the country.” Manchester crossed $14 million this weekend.

Focus Feature’s Loving has now cumed over $7.1 million in two months of release. Over the weekend, it grossed $205,780 in 396 theaters, averaging $520. And Moonlight grossed $400,525 in 305 theaters, averaging $1,313. The feature by Barry Jenkins has cumed over $11.5 million in nine weeks.

NEW RELEASES

The Bad Kids (FilmRise) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $2,250

Fences (Paramount) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $128K, Average $32K

Harry Benson: Shoot First (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $4,798, Average $1,596, Cume $6,385

Gael Garcia Bernal - Neruda.jpeg
The Orchard

Neruda (The Orchard) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $28,265, Average $9,422

The Wasted Times (China Lion) NEW [20 Theaters] Weekend $90K, Average $4,500

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Eyes Of My Mother (Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [17 Theaters] Weekend $4,401, Average $418, Cume $21,570

La La Land (Lionsgate) Week 2 [200 Theaters] Weekend $4.02M, Average $20,100, Cume $5.26M

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Incarnate (High Top Releasing) Week 3 [318 Theaters] Weekend $180K, Average $566, Cume $4,719,414

Jackie (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [84 Theaters] Weekend $550K, Average $6,548, Cume $1,592,735

Things To Come (Sundance Selects) Week 3 [21 Theaters] Weekend $36,246, Average $1,726, Cume $157,246

Lion (The Weinstein Company) Week 4 [16 Theaters] Weekend $130,539, Average $8,159, Cume $701,613

Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 5 [1,208 Theaters] Weekend $4,156,338, Average $3,440, Cume $14,016,643

Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features) Week 5 [1,246 Theaters] Weekend $1,391,380, Average $1,117, Cume $8,812,746

Elle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [24 Theaters] Weekend $35,534, Average $1,481, Cume $696,230

Peter And The Farm (Magnolia Pictures) Week 6 [3 Theaters] Weekend $303, Average $168, Cume $16,650

Shut In (EuropaCorp) Week 6 [78 Theaters] Weekend $23K, Average $299, Cume $6,863,647

The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [112 Theaters] Weekend $146,021, Average $1,304, Cume $1,719,300

'Gimme Danger' photocall, 69th Cannes Film Festival, France - 19 May 2016
REX/Shutterstock

Gimme Danger (Magnolia Pictures) Week 7 [13 Theaters] Weekend $6,295, Average $830, Cume $435,705

The Handmaiden (Magnolia Pictures) Week 8 [44 Theaters] Weekend $34,905, Average $1,348, Cume $1,796,133

Loving (Focus Features) Week 8 [396 Theaters] Weekend $205,780, Average $520, Cume $7,100,022

Moonlight (A24) Week 9 [305 Theaters] Weekend $400,525, Average $1,313, Cume $11,505,200

Harry & Snowman (FilmRise) Week 12 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1,500, Average $500, Cume $540,990