This weekend’s Specialty Box Office did not follow the form set last week, which had been dominated by It Follows. Of the several openers reporting Sunday, the best per-theater numbers came from Danny Collins, a music-minded pic starring Al Pacino that is the first full-fledged roll-out from Bleecker Street, the distribution company founded by former Focus co-head Andrew Karpen.
Kino Lorber’s La Sapienza bowed in a single location, trailing Danny Collins in per-theater averages, while Amplify’s Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter had a decent start bowing in several locations. China Lion’s Love And Lost (Shi Gu) opened with two-dozen runs. It Follows, meanwhile, continues to find a following, holding solid in expansion.
Danny Collins is the story of an aging rock star whose outlook is transformed after discovering a letter from John Lennon, in five New York and L.A. theaters Friday. The film, which also stars Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Plummer, grossed $73,157, averaging $14,631.
“We are pleased with Danny Collins’ good weekend business,” said Jack Foley, president, Theatrical Distribution. “We expect strong results today based on the weekend’s results arising for its core adult audience’s patronage, which the film has effectively secured this weekend.”
Foley touted the film’s 79% Friday-to-Saturday increase, noting that the “usual trend is 45% – 50%” as proof the title has legs going forward. Saturday was “driven by near-sell-out late matinee and prime evening shows, which is indicative of the adult audience movie-going behavior.”
Foley said last week that Bleecker Street was targeting the over-40 audience for Danny Collins. He said the title was No. 1 at the Landmark in L.A., No. 4 at Arclight Hollywood and No. 2 at the Angelika in downtown New York. At the Uptown at Lincoln Square in New York, it placed third behind blockbusters Cinderella and Divergent, which together dominated the overall box office the past two weekends.
“We’re off to a good start and it portends a good trend,” Foley said. “We’re sticking to our plan with a careful roll out. We’re going to open in eight new markets and expand in New York and LA a bit, going to up to 30 theaters (next week).”
La Sapienza by American expatriate director Eugene Green opened at Lincoln Plaza in New York, grossing $13,500, which gave the title the top weekend performance at the popular arthouse venue. Kino Lorber said it will expand the title, Green’s first U.S. commercial release, to “major U.S. markets in the coming weeks.”
Amplify Releasing opened David Zellner’s Kumiko in several locations Wednesday. It’s Friday-to-Sunday estimate is $37,200 for a $9,300 PTA and $43,491 overall, which includes Wednesday and Thursday gross.
“This is a fantastic film, and the Zellner Bros and Rinko [Kikuchi] have been working their tails off,” said Amplify’s Dylan Marchetti. “Add that to Amplify’s marketing team, and I don’t think there’s another group of people as good at putting out what others would call ‘difficult’ films for a fraction of the budget others would spend on ads alone – and here we are celebrating…”
Kumiko sold out “multiple showings at all venues,” Marchetti said, suggesting the numbers do not give the full story of the film’s success.
“[We’re setting] up for an expansion to over 100 screens over the next four to five weeks,” Marchetti said. “We don’t play the per-screen game at Amplify, so in addition to full runs at Manhattan’s IFC Center and LA’s Nuart, the film opened at Brooklyn’s BAM Rose Cinemas and Seattle’s SIFF Cinema on split schedules.”
China Lion opened Andy Lau’s Chinese-language drama Love And Lost (Shi Gu), a departure from its typical fare of Chinese romantic-comedy. The title bowed in 24 theaters, grossing $85K for a so-so $3,542 PTA.
“We’re happy with the opening and look to build on the excellent response from critics and word-of-mouth from audiences in the coming weeks,” said China Lion’s Robert Lundberg. “We are still reviewing if we will expand.”
In its second weekend, RADiUS added 28 runs (far fewer than some had predicted) for genre hit It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell. The feature grossed $352,248 for a robust $11,008 per-theater average.
It Follows, a smart horror take on teen lust and much more, surprised last weekend when it opened with a nearly $41K PTA in four theaters. There was ample chatter this week that the the company would take the film wide fairly quickly and delay its VOD release. For now, the speculation will continue as the company declined comment.
In other second-weekend holdovers, Cohen Media Group took French filmmaker Benoît Jacquot’s 3 Hearts to 17 locations after opening in a single theater last week. The romantic drama grossed $38,475 ($2,263 PTA) in its second frame for a $55,637 cume.
IFC Films’ Seymour: An Introduction, a documentary directed by Ethan Hawke, added 15 theaters in its second weekend. The title grossed $59,500 ($3,500 PTA) for an $89,500 two-week cume. It will head to the top ten markets next weekend.
Abramorama added nine theaters for its documentary An Honest Liar in its third weekend and saw PTA tick upward. The title grossed $39,543, averaging $2,624 ($2,155 PTA last week in six theaters). It has now cumed $75,767.
Sony Classics added 11 locations for doc Merchants Of Doubt in its third weekend. It grossed $40,145 ($1,912 PTA vs $2,859 PTA last week). It has cumed $113,264.
Roadside Attractions/Black Label Media, added 50 theaters for ’71, the military thriller starring Jack O’Connell and set in the Northern Ireland “Troubles.” It grossed $241,057 for a $2,096 PTA and a $696,722 cume.
Audiences continued to sink their teeth into New Zealand vampire feature What We Do In The Shadows. The title grossed $309,385 in 134 theaters (up 8 from the previous weekend), averaging $2,309. Last weekend the film grossed $336,420 ($2,670 PTA), so clearly the film is riding great word-of-mouth. It has cumed $1,816,878 and should easily pass $2M over the next week.
Music Box Films added 28 theaters for its Israeli divorce drama Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem. The title grossed just over $122K for a $2,244 average. It averaged $2,500 in 34 theaters last week. Gett has cumed over $531K.
TWC’s The Imitation Game, the highest-grossing Specialty release of 2014, continues to be the real thing in 2015, hitting a milestone in its 17th weekend. The Oscar-nominated biopic of computer pioneer Alan Turing crossed the $90M threshold from a $374K gross in 337 theaters.
Also marking a box-office milestone was SPC’s Whiplash. In its 24th weekend, the film surpassed $13M. The multiple Oscar-winner grossed $56,778 ($778 PTA) over the weekend in 73 theaters.
Danny Collins (Bleecker Street) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $73,157, Average $14,631
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (Amplify) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $37,200, Average $9,300, Cume $43,491 (Wed. Open)
La Sapienza (Kino Lorber Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $13,500
Love And Lost (Shi Gu) (China Lion) NEW [24 Theaters] Weekend $85K, Average $3,542
3 Hearts (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [17 Theater] Weekend $38,475, Average $2,263, Cume $55,637
It Follows (RADiUS) Week 2 [32 Theaters] Weekend $352,248, Average $11,008, Cume $576,275
Seymour: An Introduction (IFC Films) Week 2 [17 Theaters] Weekend $59,500, Average $3,500, Cume $89,500
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
An Honest Liar (Abramorama) Week 3 [15 Theaters] Weekend $39,543, Average $2,624, Cume $75,767
Merchants Of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [21 Theaters] Weekend $40,145, Average $1,912, Cume $113,264
’71 (Roadside Attractions/Black Label Media) Week 4 [115 Theaters] Weekend $241,057, Average $2,096, Cume $696,722
A La Mala (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 4 [123 Theaters] Weekend $150K, Average $1,220, Cume $3,482,222
Deli Man (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [38 Theaters] Weekend $70,271, Average $1,849, Cume $307,455
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) Week 4 [12 Theaters] Weekend $17,926, Average $1,494, Cume $113,709
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [81 Theaters] Weekend $267,327, Average $3,300, Cume $1,187,220
Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem (Music Box Films) Week 6 [62 Theaters] Weekend $122,009, Average $2,244, Cume $531,214
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 6 [134 Theaters] Weekend $309,385, Average $2,309, Cume $1,816,878
Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [37 Theaters] Weekend $55,735, Average $1,506, Cume $908,342
Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [84 Theaters] Weekend $78,222, Average $931, Cume $574,858
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [440 Theaters] Weekend $477,109, Average $1,048, Cume $17,257,988
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 14 [79 Theaters] Weekend $87,089, Average $1,102 Cume $3,839,016
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 17 [337 Theaters] Weekend $374K, Average $1,110, Cume $90,149,768
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 22 [7 Theaters] Weekend $4,592, Average $656, Cume $2,769,495
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 24 [73 Theaters]
Weekend $56,778, Average $778, Cume $13,038,327