Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon in the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir of a life-changing hike, blazed a trail into solid box office territory, opening in 21 theaters over the weekend with a $630K gross. The feature, which Witherspoon also produced under her Pacific Standard label, was easily the weekend’s biggest newcomer with a $30K per-theater average. Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, meanwhile, once again took the weekend’s highest PTA numbers as it added locations in its second week.
The Searchlight title opened in New York and L.A. Wednesday, expanding for the weekend to 21 theaters in 7 markets. Director Jean-Marc Vallée‘s previous film, Dallas Buyers Club, opened in November 2013 with a nearly $29K PTA, and went on to cume nearly $27.3M and three Oscars, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey. Searchlight said it plans to keep Wild hiking through theaters for a lengthy period to come.
“The reviews have been phenomenal and the response at the box-office this weekend was great as well,” Searchlight said in a release. “The film performed well in both Art/Specialty venues as well as in upscale mainstream complexes indicating to us that the film should be able to reach a very broad audience. We are very encouraged by this weekend’s results,” the company said Sunday reporting its numbers. Wild will open in 13 additional markets and expand in some cities where it’s currently playing, playing up to 100 theaters by Dec. 12, and as many as 900 theaters by Christmas Day.
Most other openers this weekend had single-location bows. Zeitgeist Films opened Zero Motivation, which grossed $9,692 in one theater with a $13,410 cume since its Wednesday start. International Film Circuit bowed doc She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a decade in the making, in a single location grossing $9,225.
Kino Lorber’s Concerning Violence by Swedish documentarian Goran Olsson grossed $4K in a three-show-a-day schedule at IFC Center in New York. The film will open at the Laemmle Royal in L.A. and other major markets early in the new year, the company said. IFC Films, meanwhile opened Comet in two locations, grossing $3K. It had a two-show per day run at IFC Center. It is also available on-demand.
TWC’s The Imitation Game opened last week with the year’s second best PTA and it continued to set the pace with the year’s second-best week 2. Directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game also had the weekend’s best PTA at $50,196 from a $401,570 gross in 8 theaters. Last week the feature opened with a $120,518 PTA, topping Birdman which had been the year’s second best per theater average opener at $106,099 in four locations in mid October. Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel still rules 2014 with a stunning $202,792 PTA back in March. That title went on to average $55,122 in its second frame in 66 theaters.
“You’d expect a steep drop-off especially with the holiday [last week], but the numbers speak volumes about The Imitation Game’s great word-of-mouth,” said TWC’s Erik Lomis on Sunday. “The audience is also getting younger — 40% were under 35 this weekend. It was 32% last week.”
TWC will add an additional six markets, taking the title to 30 to 35 theaters next week.
“We’re going to stick to our plan and go nationwide Christmas Day,” Lomis added. “We’re going to see that pay off. The more people see it, the more people talk about it.”
IFC Midnight added 19 runs for The Babadook‘s second frame grossing $66,550. It averaged just over $3K. The film opened in three theaters last week, grossing $27K.
“We will expand to top markets this coming weekend,” IFC said in a release. “The Babadook has crossed the $100k mark in less than two weeks in release on mostly late-night schedules in theaters. The film has also held up extremely well on iTunes as it was still No. 1 on the horror charts all weekend long.”
In other holdovers, Roadside Attractions and Saban Films added 104 locations for The Homesman in its fourth weekend. The title grossed $501,450, averaging $3,256, taking the film directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones with Hilary Swank over the $1M threshold. “[The Homesman] performed well in the West, Southwest and South, in particular, and will continue to expand gradually over the next few weeks,” said Roadside in a release.
Focus added 24 additional locations for The Theory Of Everything‘s fifth weekend, maintaining a solid run. It grossed $2.668M in 826 theaters, placing it 7th in overall box office. Also in the weekend’s top 10 once again is Searchlight’s Birdman, which continues to fly high. In its 8th week, the film grossed $1.15M in 738 theaters (an increase from the previous week’s 710 locations), giving it a cume just under $19M.
Comet (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3K, Average $1,500
Concerning Violence (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4K
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (International Film Circuit) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,225
Wild (Fox Searchlight) NEW [21 Theaters] Weekend $630K, Average $30K, Cume $677,248 (Wed. open)
Zero Motivation (Zeitgeist Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,692, Cume $13,410 (Wed. open)
The Babadook (IFC Midnight) Week 2 [22 Theaters] Weekend $66,550, Average $3,025, Cume $112,327
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $401,570, Average $50,196, Cume $1,012,769
Women Who Flirt (China Lion) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $77K, Average $2,852, Cume $263,567
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Kino Lorber) Week 3 [7 Theaters] Weekend $21,500, Average $3,071, Cume $89,017
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [75 Theaters] Weekend $574,727, Average $7,663, Cume $2,842,240
The Homesman (Roadside Attractions/Saban Films) Week 4 [154 Theaters] Weekend $501,450, Average $3,256, Cume $1,066,715
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Week 4 [294 Theaters] Weekend $135,240, Average $460, Cume $2,656,365
Rosewater (Open Road) Week 4 [204 Theaters] Weekend $175,904, Average $862, Cume $2,909,612
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 5 [826 Theaters] Weekend $2.668M, Average $3,230, Cume $13.613M
Point And Shoot (The Orchard) Week 6 [20 Theaters] Weekend $17,097, Average $855, Cume $52,202
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 7 [104 Theaters] Weekend $135,939, Average $1,307, Cume $1,724,183
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 8 [738 Theaters] Weekend $1,15M, Average $1,558, Cume $18,919,495
Dear White People (Roadside Attractions) Week 8 [43 Theaters] Weekend $53,025, Average $1,233, Cume $4,267,930
Awake: The Life Of Yogananda (Counterpoint) Week 9 [6 Theaters] Weekend $31,588, Average $5,265, Cume $735,060
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [179 Theaters] Weekend $351,474, Average $2,008, Cume $4,415,205
Keep On Keepin’ On (RADiUS) Week 11 [6 Theaters] Weekend $6,700, Average $1,117, Cume $159,669
Art And Craft (Oscilloscope) Week 12 [4 Theaters] Weekend $1,401, Average $350, Cume $223,051
My Old Lady (Cohen Media Group) Week 13 [19 Theaters] Weekend $,16,167 Average $859, Cume $3,942,226
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 22 [18 Theaters] Weekend $25,650, Average $1,425, Cume $24,050,321