La La Land sat atop the Specialty box office chart with the year’s best per theater average (read more about that here). Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the Lionsgate release opened in five locations averaging $171K, outpacing the year’s previous PTA star Moonlight, which had an average of over $100K in its debut weekend in October. Fox Searchlight’s Jackie sparkled in its second weekend with a 21 theater expansion grossing $495K, while both TWC’s Lion and Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions’ Manchester By The Sea added locations in their third and fourth weekend’s respectively, drawing crowds. And in its sixth frame, Focus’ Loving has cumed over $6.5 million.
La La Land director Damien Chazelle can take bragging rights for the year’s best per theater average — and it’s not even close. Lionsgate’s Oscar contender released grossed $855K in five locations, averaging $171K. Until now, Moonlight had reigned with the year’s best PTA, opening in October in four locations grossing $402K ($100,519 average). Chazelle’s previous title, Whiplash, bowed with a $22,565 PTA in October, 2014 in its initial six location run.
Noted Lionsgate’s president of Distribution David Spitz Sunday when reporting numbers: ”This is a fantastic start. We were thrilled to see in our exits that the film plays female and male, old and young – this is a movie for everyone as we head into the holiday season.”
The company said that the weekend’s audience was almost evenly split at 48% male and 52% female, while 53% were 30-years and older. La La Land, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and played this weekend at the Havana Film Festival, will head to 200 locations and 40 markets December 16 ahead of a further expansion set for Christmas day.
Cannes comedy-fantasy The Brand New Testament opened in five locations Friday. The Belgian feature by Jaco van Dormael starring Catherine Deneuve grossed $8,808 for a $1,762 PTA. Distributor Music Box Films said it will add 14 engagements next Friday including Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
Fox Searchlight’s Jackie played an additional 21 runs in its second frame and it continued to charm audiences. Jackie grossed $495K averaging a robust $19,038 in a total of 26 theaters in 8 North American cities. Last weekend, the film starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy bowed with the sixth best PTA of the year (now seventh counting La La Land) at $55K in five theaters from a $275K gross. The film, directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín, will head to about 14 additional markets December 16 bringing its total to about 60 – 70 theaters. Jackie will be in about 250 to 300 theaters by the Christmas holiday.
Sundance Selects’ Things To Come also played additional runs in its second weekend. Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, the drama-sci-fi starring Isabelle Huppert grossed $61,880 in 26 locations, averaging $2,380. In its debut Things To Come grossed just over $33K in three theaters, averaging $11,030, and has cumed $109,089.
TWC added 8 runs for Garth Davis’ Lion in its third weekend. In a total of 15 theaters, the feature grossed $171,909, averaging $11,461. Lion took in $128,368 last weekend, averaging just over $32K and its three-week cume is now $494,099.
Both Focus Features’ Nocturnal Animals and EuropaCorp’s Miss Sloane went wide this weekend. Focus added 1,135 runs for Nocturnal Animals grossing $3,193,685, averaging $2,531 from a total of 1,262 locations. Last weekend the title grossed $686,095 in 127 theaters ($5,402 average). Its cume is now $6,219,813. Miss Sloane played an additional 1,644 runs over last weekend, grossing $1.9M in $1,648 theaters ($1,153 average) for a three-week cume of $2,038,365. The Jessica Chastain starrer grossed $44K in four theaters last weekend.
Manchester By the Sea starring Casey Affleck held solidly after another expansion. The Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions release grossed $3,155,330 in 366, an addition of 210 runs vs. last weekend. Manchester averaged $8,621 Friday to Sunday. Last weekend, the film grossed over $2.36 million, averaging $15,150.
“Manchester has crossed over to a broad audience and the movie is working strongly in all locations,” commented Bob Berney, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Amazon Studios when reporting numbers Sunday. “The film is number 1 or number 2 in 227 of the complexes we are playing in and we’re in the top 10 with only 366 theaters. The strong critical reaction and awards are wonderful but the real story is that Kenny Lonergan’s film is connecting deeply to audiences across the country and it’s doing fantastic business.”
The film’s 4-week cume is now $8,325,531.
Focus’ Loving grossed $623,380 in its sixth weekend. In 572 theaters, the film starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton averaged $1,090. The company reported that its Friday to Saturday gross was up 51%. Last weekend, Loving grossed $997K in 446 theaters, averaging $2,235. Its cume is now over $6.56 million.
A24’s Moonlight is getting closer to $11 million. Over the weekend, the feature by Barry Jenkins grossed $589,627 ($1,313 average). The film’s eight-week cume is $10,804,377.
The Brand New Testament (Music Box Films) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $8,808, Average $1,762
La La Land (Lionsgate) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $855K, Average $171K
Jackie (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $495K, Average $19,038, Cume $859,825
Things To Come (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $61,880, Average $2,380, Cume $109,089
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Lion (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 [15 Theaters] Weekend $171,909, Average $11,461, Cume $494,099
Miss Sloane (EuropaCorp) Week 3 [1,648 Theaters] Weekend $1.9M, Average $1,153, Cume $2,038,365
Seasons (Music Box Films) Week 3 [16 Theaters] Weekend $9,664, Average $604, Cume $78,257
Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 4 [366 Theaters] Weekend $3,155,330, Average $8,621, Cume $8,325,531
Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features) Week 4 [1,262 Theaters] Weekend $3,193,685, Average $2,531, Cume $6,219,813
Elle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [27 Theaters] Weekend $48,567, Average $1,799, Cume $631,985
Shut In (EuropaCorp) Week 5 [53 Theaters] Weekend $22,500, Average $425, Cume $6,836,320
The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [122 Theaters] Weekend $210,052, Average $1,723, Cume $1,488,011
Loving (Focus Features) Week 6 [572 Theaters] Weekend $623,380, Average $1,090, Cume $6,565,642
Moonlight (A24) Week 8 [449 Theaters] Weekend $589,627, Average $1,313, Cume $10,804,377
Christine (The Orchard) Week 9 [13 Theaters] Weekend $1,896, Average $146, Cume $294,049
Harry & Snowman (FilmRise) Week 11 [5 Theaters] Weekend $6K, Average $1,200, Cume $536,815
A Man Called Ove (Music Box Films) Week 11 [56 Theaters] Weekend $43,764, Average $782, Cume $3,233,909