Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Sundance screenwriting award-winner In A World…, by director/writer/star Lake Bell, reigned over the Specialty Box Office this weekend, which also showed a strong number from a Bollywood title. Roadside Attractions‘ World opened in three L.A. and NYC theaters, grossing nearly $71K and averaging $23,660.
Roadside noted the title received an 86% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes Sunday, touting its weekend numbers. Said Roadside’s Howard Cohen reporting numbers today: “Lake Bell did a large amount of TV, online and print interviews and got wide coverage for her Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award-winning comedy that she starred in, directed and wrote. Next week we expand into 8 new top markets and expect to be in the range of 25 screens, with further expansion in following weeks.”
Indian film Chennai Express also curried favor with North American audiences this weekend, rising atop the Specialty box office in an otherwise banal three days for limited release cinematic newcomers. Touted by its U.S. distributor UTV Communications earlier this week as “one of the most anticipated Indian film” in recent memory, the film debuted in what it described as one of the largest rollouts ever in North America for a film hailing from the subcontinent. In 196 theaters, the feature by powerhouse Indian director Rohit Shetty and star Shah Rukh Khan grossed $2.225 million for a $11,352 average.
Noted UTV Sunday: “Chennai Express has broken the box office record for the biggest Bollywood opening weekend ever. The old record of $1,944,027 was held since 2010 by My Name Is Khan. It also beat the 5-day Christmas holiday weekend opening of $2,149,227 for 2009’s 3 Idiots which holds the record for the largest lifetime gross for a Bollywood film with a cume of $6,533,849.” UTV said earlier this week that the number of theaters it opened in was about the saturation point for a film targeting the South Asian audience, but its momentum may give it some leg-room to try ancillary markets. The film opened at #13.
Magnolia Pictures opened two titles Friday including filmmaker David Gordon Green‘s Prince Avalanche, which bowed in 14 theaters, grossing $40K for a $2,857 average. The film, however, did place in iTunes’ top 10, arguably outshining its theatrical debut. I Give It A Year, meanwhile averaged only about $40 bucks better, grossing $5,800 from two locations. The title became available via ultra-VOD a month ago. Magnolia will take Prince Avalanche to additional cities next weekend and should be in most major markets by the end of the month. I Give It A Year will add about 10 markets next weekend.
Said Magnolia’s Matt Cowal about I Give It A Year: “It’s comedy that combines the sensibility of Love, Actually with Dan Mazer’s raunchy humor.” Mazer, of course is known for penning the likes of The Dictator and Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan. “For us, we thought it would be the best of both worlds,” added Cowal. “It’s already available On Demand and it’s one of our strongest titles of the year in that space.”
Magnolia’s Blackfish, meanwhile, surpassed the $1 million mark in its 4th weekend. It grossed $250K in 83 theaters for a $3K average.
RADiUS opened Sundance title Lovelace on all platforms this weekend including 118 theatrical runs, a comparatively large number of theaters for a debut. It grossed over $184K, averaging $1,561. The Sundance debut placed fourth on iTunes.
Likely awards frontrunner Blue Jasmine added 69 runs for its third weekend in theaters, holding strong momentum for the Woody Allen-directed feature that is a return to a U.S. setting. The Sony Classics film grossed a lavish $2.52 million, averaging $21,205 in the 11th place slot. The film grossed just over $2.02 million last week, averaging over $40K. In three weeks, the feature starring Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins and Alec Baldwin has cumed nearly $6.22 million.
A24 expanded its Sundance mid-summer release The Spectacular Now, adding 15 locations in its second weekend holding steady following a (a-hem) spectacular $50K-plus PSA opening last week. The film, written by the duo behind the 2009 indie hit (500) Days Of Summer, grossed $266K in 19 runs for a $14K PSA.
The Canyons appears to have bottomed out theatrically, though the much media ballyhooed title is apparently soaring outside the cinema much as director Paul Schrader said he envisioned in the lead-up to its release. The film added three run in its second weekend, grossing a slight $9,600 ($2,400 average) for a $30K two week cume. But noted distributor IFC Films Sunday when reported its numbers: “Early VOD numbers are among the strongest in IFC’s recent history.” IFC Films’ Noah Baumbach-directed Frances Ha, meanwhile, passed the $4 million milestone. In its 13th weekend, the film grossed $13K.
Chennai Express (UTV Communications) NEW [196 Theaters] Weekend $2,225,000, Average $11,352, Cume $2,475,000 (Thursday opening in 144 locations)
I Give It A Year (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $5,800, Average $2,900
In A World… (Roadside Attractions) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $70,980, Average $23,660
Lovelace (RADiUS-TWC) NEW [118 Theaters] Weekend $184,176, Average $1,561
Prince Avalanche (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [14 Theaters] Weekend $40K, Average $2,857
Returning / 2nd Weekend
The Artist And The Model (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $19,224, Average $3,845, Cume $45,938
The Canyons (IFC Films) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $9,600, Average $2,400, Cume $30,100
The Spectacular Now (A24) Week 2 [19 Theaters] Weekend $266,119, Average $14,006, Cume $534,222
Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [119 Theaters] Weekend $2,523,355, Average $21,205, Cume $6,219,194
Blackfish (Magnolia Pictures) Week 4 [83 Theaters] Weekend $250K, Average $3,012, Cume $1,061,450
Only God Forgives (RADiUS-TWC) Week 4 [17 Theaters] Weekend $16,445, Average $967, Cume $743,773
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [828 Theaters] Weekend $1,443,000, Average $1,743, Cume $13,490,660
The Way, Way Back (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [780 Theaters] Weekend $1.5M, Average $1,923, Cume $16,320,188
I’m So Excited (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [52 Theaters] Weekend $47,386, Average $911, Cume $1,212,690
The Attack (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [40 Theaters] Weekend $87,849, Average $2,043, Cume $1,364,859
Unfinished Song (The Weinstein Company) Week 8 [53 Theaters] Weekend $56,500, Average $1,066, Cume $1,512,523
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS-TWC) Week 9 [112 Theaters] Weekend $194,117, Average $1,733, Cume $3,851,401
The Bling Ring (A24) Week 9 [40 Theaters] Weekend $17,408, Average $435, Cume $5,806,886
Much Ado About Nothing (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 10 [52 Theaters], Weekend $41,500, Average $798, Cume $4,170,353
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [56 Theaters] Weekend $50,112, Average $895, Cume $7,944,439
Frances Ha (IFC Films) Week 13 [13 Theaters] Weekend $13K, Average $1K, Cume $4,003,050
Mud (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 16 [43 Theaters] Weekend $35,200, Average $841, Cume $21,541,223