UPDATE with more info: The limited-release arrivals of Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg’s latest Patriots Day and Martin Scorsese’s Silence topped Christmas holiday openers this frame at the specialty box office. CBS Films/Lionsgate’s Patriots Day had a five-day estimate of $256,718 in seven locations, while Paramouspint’s initial four-location run of Silence grossed $180K over four days.

Fox meanwhile opened Theodore Melfi’s drama Hidden Figures in an initial 25 theaters with a robust start, grossing $955K for a $38,200 per-theater average.

The long weekend served up a mishmash of theater counts, with many titles varying locations as the holiday frame progressed. Sony Pictures Classics’ Julieta, the latest from Pedro Almodóvar, was one that stayed the course, playing a half-dozen runs since its Wednesday launch and grossing $151,906. SPC also opened Germany’s Oscar shortlisted Toni Erdmann in three locations beginning Christmas Day, grossing $30,972.

Patriots Day opened with an initial seven runs in New York, L.A. and Boston over the holiday weekend, beginning on Wednesday. The dramatic thriller averaged $36K over the five-day period. CBS Films reported today that the title had a particularly strong Saturday, grossing $74,393, giving it a $10,628 per-theater average on that day alone. 

Additionally, CBS Films and Lionsgate said the title is currently on track for a $48K PTA when adding Monday’s numbers. The pair co-financed the feature, with the former handling production and marketing and the latter spearheading distribution.

“We are very pleased with the numbers for Patriots Day,” Lionsgate President of Domestic Distribution David Spitz said today. “What we’re seeing is a performance driven by great reviews and even better word of mouth, and we look forward to that word of mouth boosting our wide opening on January 13th.

Paramount rolled out Silence in four New York and Los Angeles theaters Friday. Starring Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson, the drama had a four-day average of $45K. “I think Silence is playing incredibly well — I like the balance of it,” said Paramount’s Megan Colligan, president of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing, on Monday morning. “It’s playing strong in the Landmark theater as well as Union Square. It’s a serious piece of cinema and is ‘event viewing.’ ”

Colligan said Silence will continue to play in the same four locations until January 6, when the title will open in an additional 50 theaters. The key is word-of-mouth: “We want people to talk about it and discover it in due time,” she said. “Right now, it’s playing to a cinephile, sophisticated audience of Scorsese fans… Our campaign will ramp up for this in January.”

Focus Features bowed A Monster Calls in four theaters Friday with estimated Friday-Monday grosses at $42,170 for a $10,542 average. Focus said today its exits in New York and L.A. were “very strong,” with rating scores “above audience norms.” The audience skewed 56% female, and 57% were over 30. The pic expands nationally January 6.

fences
Paramount Pictures

In its second week, Paramount took Fences from just four theaters Friday and Saturday to a count of 2,233 theaters Sunday. Ahead of its wide launch, the feature grossed $48K before coming in at $6.64 million on Sunday. That was good for No. 6 overall at the domestic box office.

Lionsgate’s La La Land, which earlier this month opened to the year’s best per-theater average, expanded to 734 runs, grossing $9.7 million with its next expansion due January 6. It also landed in the top 10 this weekend, playing an additional 534 locations compared with a week ago. Directed by Damien Chazelle, the title averaging $13,215 over the four-day period, giving it a three-week cume of $17.58 million.

Among international pics hitting U.S. screens, Disney UTV opened Dangal starring Bollywood icon Aamir Khan in 331 North American theaters, the widest-ever opening of a Bollywood title. It grossed $4,298,016, averaging $12,985 since its Wednesday bow. In addition to the obvious Indian diaspora, the company is hoping to lure others to see the wrestling bio-drama.

Our target audience is mainly South Asians and Indian film lovers,” said Lokesh Dhar, North American head of Disney UTV. “However we are confident that there will be a good percentage of first timers — people who have never seen a Bollywood film — for this.”

Two other foreign titles opened over the holiday: Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, Julieta, rolled out Wednesday in six locations and grossed $151,906, averaging $25,318. Its opening outpaces his 2013 U.S. release I’m So Excited, which had an initial five-theater run when it opened in June, grossing $97,328 for a $19,466 average. The feature ended up with a cume of $1.36 million stateside.

Almodóvar’s highest-grossing film is 2006’s Volver, which took in nearly $12.9 million in the U.S. SPC will take Julieta to major markets around the country in time for New Year’s.

Toni_Erdmann_Hueller_Simonischek
SPC

SPC also opened Germany’s foreign-language short-listed Toni Erdmann in three locations on Christmas Day. The company estimated its Sunday and Monday grosses at $30,972, giving it a $10,324 average. That’s certainly a solid number considering the title comes in at 2 hours and 42 minutes, which limits its showings. Toni Erdmann will have a steady roll-out into the New Year.

Fox Searchlight added 264 locations for Jackie over the previous weekend. In 348 theaters, the feature starring Natalie Portman as the former First Lady grossed $1.855 million, averaging $5,330. Last weekend, the title averaged $6,548 from 84 locations ($550K gross). Jackie’s four-week cume is now over $3.93 million.

In its fifth week, The Weinstein Company played Lion in 55 theaters Friday and Saturday before jumping the title to 500 locations later in the weekend. Lion had a four-day gross of $1.655 million over the holiday, with a $2,960 average for Sunday and Monday with its expanded runs. It has now cumed $2.5 million.

Manchester By The Sea added five locations vs. last weekend, though it is in a fairly wide 1,213 theaters. The drama starring Casey Affleck grossed $4.4 million, averaging $3,631. Last weekend, Manchester grossed $4.15 million Friday to Sunday, averaging $3,440. The title’s six-week cume is now $21,119,514.

Focus Features’ Loving had a theater count fluctuation, playing 112 runs Friday and Saturday before settling at 75 theaters Sunday and today. Its weekend total came to $197,730, averaging $962, for a cume of $7.36 million.

A24’s Moonlight meanwhile is edging toward the $12 million mark, grossing $223,266 in 159 theaters, averaging $1,404 in its 10th weekend of release. Its cume is now at $11,957,074.

NEW RELEASES

Dangal (UTV Communications) NEW [331 Theaters] Weekend $4,298,016, Average $12,985 (Wednesday open)

Hidden Figures (Fox) NEW [25 Theaters] Weekend $955K, Average $38,200

A Monster Calls (Focus Features) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $42,170, Average $10,542 (4-day)

Julieta (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend $151,906, Average $25,318, Cume $174,770 (Wednesday open)

Silence (Paramount Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $180K, Average $45K (4-day)

Patriots Day (CBS Films/Lionsgate) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $256,718, Average $36K (5-day, Wednesday open)

Toni Erdmann (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $30,972 (2-day), Average $10,324 (Christmas Day open)

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Fences (Paramount) Week 2 [4 Theaters Friday and Saturday; 2,233 Theaters Sunday] Weekend $48K (Friday and Saturday); $6,640,000 Sunday, Average $12K Friday and Saturday; $2,973 Sunday, Cume $11,528,000

Neruda (The Orchard) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $28,860, Average $7,215, Cume $87,456 (4-day)

The Wasted Times (China Lion) Week 2 [15 Theaters] Weekend $77,500, Average $5,166, Cume $252,846 (4-day)

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

La La Land (Lionsgate) Week 3 [734 Theaters] Weekend $9.7M, Average $13,215, Cume $17,582,711 (4-day)

Incarnate (High Top Releasing) Week 4 [27 Theaters] Weekend $16,215, Average $601, Cume $4,797,704 (4-day)

Jackie (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [348 Theaters] Weekend $1.855M, Average $5,330, Cume $3,935,607

Lion (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [55 Theaters Friday and Saturday; 500 Theaters Sunday and Monday] Weekend $1.655 million (4-day), Averages: $3,181 (Friday and Saturday average); $2,960 (Sunday and Monday average), Cume $2,509,000 (4-day cume)

Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 6 [1,213 Theaters] Weekend $4,404,398, Average $3,631, Cume $21,119,514 (4-day)

Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features) Week 6 [353 Theaters Friday and Saturday; 192 Theaters Sunday and Monday] Weekend $464,875, Average $1,317, Cume $9,952,115 (4-day)

Elle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [39 Theaters] Weekend $71,323, Average $1,829, Cume $795,756 (4-day)

The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [114 Theaters] Weekend $150,499, Average $1,320, Cume $1,971,535 (4-day)

Loving (Focus Features) Week 9 [112 Theaters Friday and Saturday; 75 Theaters Sunday and Monday)] Weekend $107,730, Average $962, Cume $7,364,798 (4-day)

Moonlight (A24) Week 10 [159 Theaters] Weekend $223,266, Average $1,404, Cume $11,957,074 (4-day)

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