Clearly it was always going to be a Star Wars weekend, but some Specialties braved going against the herd. Neon/30West’s I, Tonya won gold in its second frame, grossing over $176K with an added run. James Franco’s The Disaster Artist went over a thousand locations grossing $2.6M, while Fox Searchlight more than tripled outings for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water in its third weekend, taking in over $1.73M. Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri went over $21M. And A24’s Lady Bird is edging to $26M as it goes into its second month of release this next week.

Openers went up against the very definition of franchise, but some audiences checked out a galaxy not so far away via a Western set in Montana starring Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda, Kathy Baker and Jim Caviezel. Jared Moshé’s The Ballad Of Lefty Brown opened in two New York and Los Angeles theaters grossing $6,115 ($3,058 average). The A24/DirecTV release is also available on digital platforms where it will likely play out well into the New Year.

The highest per theater average for the weekend among the Specialties went to China’s Youth by Feng Xiaogang, which opened in 30 theaters Friday from China Lion. Youth took in 260K, averaging a solid $8,667. “We’re very, very happy with our weekend results and we’re looking towards expansion and [to a] healthy run into the holidays baed on these opening results,” commented China Lion’s Robert Lundberg Sunday. China Lion had initially planned to release Youth last September, but the film was pulled last minute at home in China. The company plans to take Youth to 35 theaters next Friday.

GKIDS

Also in U.S. theaters this weekend was Spain’s animated feature Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, which opened in four locations Friday. Released by GKIDS, the film grossed $5,684.

I, Tonya, however, took the spotlight again this weekend in its second bow. Distributor Neon, along with 30West, are giving the Tonya Harding-based feature a “deluxe” qualifying run this month before skating wide in the New Year. I, Tonya had an additional run this weekend, grossing $176,189 in five theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging a robust $35,238 (-42%). The Toronto ’17 debut opened last weekend in four theaters grossing $245,602, averaging $61,400, the seventh best opening weekend PTA of the year.

A24 took James Franco’s The Disaster Artist wide in its third weekend, taking in over $2.63M in 1,010, placing 8th in the overall box office for the weekend. The A24 release wasn’t the only title from the distributor to land in the top 10 this weekend. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird also placed as of Sunday morning, playing 947 theaters in its seventh weekend grossing over $2.1M ($2,226 average), bringing its cume to over $25,97M.

The Shape Of Water
Kerry Hayes

Fox Searchlight flowed The Shape of Water to 158 theaters in its third weekend, grossing over $1.7M ($11K average). The Guillermo del Toro directorial grossed over $6.4M last weekend in 840 locations ($7,661 average). It has cumed $3.62M.

SPC’s Call Me By Your Name went from 9 locations last weekend to 30, holding well in its fourth frame. Starring Golden Globe nominees Thimothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, the film took in nearly $492K, averaging $16,398, bringing its cume to just over $2M.

Brigade PR

NEW RELEASES

The Ballad of Lefty Brown (A24/DirecTV) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $6,115, Average $3,058

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (GKIDS) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $5,684, Average $1,421

Youth (China Lion) NEW [30 Theaters] Weekend $260,000, Average $8,667

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

I, Tonya (Neon/30West) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $176,189, Average $35,238, Cume $553,554

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

The Disaster Artist (A24) Week 3 [1,010 Theaters] Weekend $2,636,908, Average $2,611, Cume $12,932,039

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [158 Theaters] Weekend $1,738,000, Average $11,000, Cume $3,620,564

Amazon Studios

Wonder Wheel (Amazon Studios) Week 3 [536 Theaters] Weekend $472,216, Average $881, Cume $851,469

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [30 Theaters] Weekend $491,933, Average $16,398, Cume $2,005,411

Darkest Hour (Focus Features) Week 4 [84 Theaters] Weekend $850,000, Average $10,119, Cume $2,341,000

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleecker Street) Week 4 [319 Theaters] Weekend $263,819, Average $827, Cume $5,010,071

The Breadwinner (GKIDS) Week 5 [28 Theaters] Weekend $13,211, Average $472, Cume $184,080

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Sony) Week 5 [238 Theaters] Weekend $140,000, Average $588, Cume $11,728,747

Thelma (The Orchard) Week 6 [21 Theaters] Weekend $9,184, Average $437, Cume $127,463

Twentieth Century Fox

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [944 Theaters] Weekend $1,625,000, Average $1,721, Cume $21,373,978

My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) Week 7 [40 Theaters] Weekend $40,000, Average $1,000, Cume $1,246,287

Lady Bird (A24) Week 7 [947 Theaters] Weekend $2,108,117, Average $2,226, Cume $25,977,506

Last Flag Flying (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) Week 8 [18 Theaters] Weekend $8,700, Average $483, Cume $959,413

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard) Week 9 [1 Theater] Weekend $1,442, Cume $89,694

Jane (National Geographic Films/Abramorama) Week 9 [27 Theaters] Weekend $27,686, Average $1,025, Cume $1,376,981

Marshall (Open Road Films) Week 10 [71 Theaters] Weekend $16,432, Average $231, Cume $9,426,045

Tom of Finland (Kino Lorber) Week 10 [7 Theaters] Weekend $11,500, Average $1,643, Cume $288,136

Faces Places (Cohen Media Group) Week 11 [9 Theaters] Weekend $11,613, Average $1,290, Cume $566,116

A24

The Florida Project (A24) Week 11 [66 Theaters] Weekend $57,552, Average $872, Cume $5,133,289

Loving Vincent (Good Deed Entertainment) Week 13 [82 Theaters] Weekend $79,626, Average $971, Cume $5,970,045

Victoria And Abdul (Focus Features) Week 13 [56 Theaters] Weekend $20,000, Average $357, Cume $22,178,000