A day after its co-creator died, the restored version of landmark 1975 documentary Grey Gardens enjoyed one of the few strong outings among specialty box office debuts. Fellow docs An Honest Liar and Merchants Of Doubt weren’t so fortunate, opening to considerably less moviegoer zeal.
A beautifully restored version of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens opened at Film Forum in New York a day after the film’s great co-director Albert Maysles died at age 88, grossing $12K in the single venue.
Maysles created Grey Gardens with his brother David, pioneering a “direct cinema” technique that let the film’s principals tell their own stories to the camera. The result introduced the world to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric cousins Edith Bouvier Beale and Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale. The documentary inspired a Broadway musical and an HBO film. It also has been named to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and rated the ninth-best doc of all time in a 2014 Sight & Sound poll of critics.
Albert Maysles Dies: Documentary Filmmaker Was 88
“The late, great filmmaker Albert Maysles would have been thrilled to see the crowds turning out for Grey Gardens 40 years after its original release,” said Peter Becker, a partner in Janus Films and president of the Criterion Collection. “This weekend’s strong opening is only the beginning for this new restoration. We feel confident that the film is going to play to full houses all across the country as a new generation discovers the weird, wise, whimsical world of Big and Little Edie Beale.”
Grey Gardens will head out to more than a dozen markets throughout March and April with additional engagements planned through the summer.
Abramorama bowed the James Randi documentary An Honest Liar in two theaters this weekend. The film grossed just more than $15K for a $7,511 theater average. The feature will head to more than a dozen markets later this month.
Sony Pictures Classics, meanwhile, opened Robert Kenner’s Merchants Of Doubt, the follow-up to his hit documentary Food, Inc. The new pic proved not quite as appetizing to audiences as Food, Inc‘s 2009 debut, opening in four theaters and grossing over $20K for a $5,082 per-theater average. Food, Inc. opened in three theaters in June 2009, grossing $60,513 for a $20,171 PTA on its way to a $4.42M cume.
FilmBuff opened radio personality Adam Carolla‘s semi-autobiographical feature Road Hard in a day-and-date release. The film had 11 regular weekend showings, grossing $27,649 for a tepid $2,514 PTA, but the title also had 11 one-night engagements where it grossed a more robust $85,260. A spokesperson noted that some of the one-nighters were in “alternative venues” that allowed for greater capacity and were bolstered by appearances by Carolla.
Fellow specialty openers Faults from Screen Media Films, Indican Pictures’ Straight Outta Tompkins and Well Go USA’s These Final Hours did not report numbers Sunday morning.
In its second weekend, Roadside/Black Label Media’s ‘Jack O’Connell starrer ‘71 played 12 additional locations. It grossed $70,590 in 16 theaters, averaging $4,411. The drama, set in the “Troubles” of Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, opened last weekend in four theaters, grossing just over $60K for a PTA just over $15K (nearly $146K cume).
A La Mala, Pantelion/Lionsgate’s romantic drama, held in 384 theaters in its second frame, grossing $850K ($2,214 PTA). It has now cumed just under $2.6M. The title opened with the same number of runs, grossing $1.44M ($3,750 PTA).
Cohen Media Group added 10 runs for Deli Man, grossing $64,527 and averaging $2,581, which is an uptick from the film’s opening. It bowed in 15 theaters, grossing $35,868 last weekend for a $2,391 PTA. Focus World’s Maps To The Stars lost five locations in its second frame and grossed $64K for a $1,049 PTA. The film opened in 66 locations last weekend, grossing $139K ($2,106 PTA).
Unison/Paladin added 54 theaters for What We Do In The Shadows‘ fourth weekend. The New Zealand vampire pic grossed $329,140 in 100 theaters, averaging $3,291 ($932,211 cume). The film grossed just under $263 in 46 theaters last weekend.
Grey Gardens (Janus Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $12K
An Honest Liar (Abramorama) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $15,022, Average $7,511
Merchants Of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $20,327, Average $5,082
Road Hard (FilmBuff) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $27,649, Average $2,514; 11 One-night Engagements, $85,260 gross
’71 (Roadside Attractions/Black Label Media) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $70,590, Average $4,411, Cume $145,838
A La Mala (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 2 [384 Theaters] Weekend $850K, Average $2,214, Cume $2,599,305
Deli Man (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [25 Theaters] Weekend $64,527, Average $2,581, Cume $120,159
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $8,936, Average $4,468, Cume $45,822
Maps To The Stars (Focus World) Week 2 [61 Theaters] Weekend $64K, Average $1,049, Cume $264,128
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [28 Theaters] Weekend $144,960, Average $5,177, Cume $538,661
Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem (Music Box Films) Week 4 [15 Theaters] Weekend $53,361, Average $3,557, Cume $226,528
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 4 [100 Theaters] Weekend $329,140, Average $3,291, Cume $932,211
Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [36 Theaters] Weekend $63,565, Average $1,766, Cume $734,204
Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [40 Theaters] Weekend $63,360, Average $1,584, Cume $375,431
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [1,197 Theaters] Weekend $1,650,885, Average $1,379, Cume $14,723,495
Leviathan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [71 Theaters] Weekend $71,160, Average $1,002, Cume $994,198
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [114 Theaters] Weekend $127,322, Average $1,117, Cume $3,531,948
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 15 [862 Theaters] Weekend $1.161M, Average $1,347, Cume $88,483,673
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 17 [66 Theaters] Weekend $27,288, Average $413, Cume $12,096,275
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 18 [355 Theaters] Weekend $257K, Average $724, Cume $35,497,383
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 20 [15 Theaters] Weekend $13,348, Average $890, Cume $2,739,239
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 21 [777 Theaters] Weekend $733K, Average $943, Cume $41,549,827
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 22 [289 Theaters] Weekend $276,205, Average $956, Cume $12,733,706
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.