Noah Baumbach ruled the specialty box-office weekend with While We’re Young – his latest film starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts – which had a robust debut in four theaters. The filmmaker joked Monday that the film was his “most accessible” and “the happiest I get.”
The numbers back that up, with While We’re Young topping the debut of It Follows as 2015’s best specialty debut. Among other newcomers, Sony Classics opened its Oscar-nominated The Salt Of The Earth to decent numbers. Magnolia opened two films, White God and Serena. The latter, widely panned by critics despite a cast starring Oscar favorites Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, came in slow at the box office, though the company said the film was doing “very well” on demand.
A24 opened While We’re Young in four New York and L.A. theaters, grossing $242,152 for a stellar $60,538 theater average. 2015’s previous PTA king was RADiUS thriller It Follows, which opened to a $41K average two weeks ago (RADiUS capitalized on the film’s momentum by going wide this weekend).
“The generational comedy, buoyed by strong reviews, excellent performances by the ensemble cast, along with the movie’s ability to provide hilarious insight, strikes a chord for audiences of all ages,” A24 said in a release.”The box-office increase from Friday to Saturday was very strong, and had several sellouts throughout the weekend in both NY and LA.”
While We’re Young will open in select additional markets next week leading up to a nationwide expansion April 10.
SPC opened Oscar-nominated doc The Salt Of The Earth in four theaters. It grossed just under $45K, averaging $11,234 for a cume (including its qualifying run) of $57,035. Oscar-winner Citizenfour opened in 5 theaters grossing $126,321 ($25,264 PTA). Other best documentary nominees Finding Vivian Maier had a $21K PTA in its initial 3 theaters, while Last Days In Vietnam had a $15,250 PTA in 2 theaters. SPC will add cities next weekend with a further expansion coming in April.
Serena was slow out of the gate on the theatrical side, despite Cooper and Lawrence, showing it couldn’t completely outrun bad reviews. It grossed only $110K in 60 theaters for a $1,833 PTA.
That weak theatrical opening has been buoyed, however, with Serena’s on-demand ultra-VOD window. The feature became available for home viewing in late February and has done solid business there.
“It has done very well, grossing nearly seven figures” said Magnolia head Eamonn Bowles . The company also opened White God in two locations this weekend, grossing $16K ($8K PTA).
Kino Lorbeer also had two debuts over the weekend. It bowed Australian feature 52 Tuesdays with an exclusive NYC run. It grossed $1,750. It also opened the quirky hybrid Kidnapping Of Michel Houellebecq in a single theater, grossing $3,800.
Bleecker Street added two dozen runs for Al Pacino‘s Danny Collins in its second frame. It grossed $230,508 for a $7,948 average. The feature opened last weekend in five theaters, grossing $73,157 ($14,631 PTA).
“Based on the 82% B.O. increase, [from Friday to Saturday], Danny Collins is sustaining this important B.O. trend,” Bleecker Street said in a release. “Last week’s increase was 79%. Saturday’s surging ticket sales indicate that Danny C continues to secure its core adult audience in great numbers. Sunday’s business should be very strong for the film, as was the case last Sunday.”
Amplify added 26 theaters for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. The film grossed $91K for a PTA just over $3K. It opened last weekend in four locations grossing $37,200 ($9,300 PTA). Next week, Kumiko will expand to at least 40 additional markets, including Atlanta, San Fran/Berkeley, Portland, Philadelphia, Nashville, Phoenix, Baltimore with additional cities later.
Kino Lorber’s La Sapienza went to an additional five theaters in its second weekend, grossing $28K ($4,666 PTA). It opened in one theater last weekend, grossing $13,500.
RADiUS took David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows wide in its third weekend. The title grossed over $4M for a solid $3,301 PTA in 1,218 theaters (just 32 last weekend). “With a 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating and excellent word-of-mouth, It Follows’ expansion manages to crack the top 5. These are strong results and bodes well for what’s possible with a predominantly digital and social media targeted campaign,” said RADiUS’ Tom Quinn in a release Sunday. RADiUS will take It Follows to more theaters in the next week.
Unison/Paladin’s What We Do In The Shadows also continues to perform. In its 7th weekend, the vampire feature crossed $2M, grossing $254,355 in 146 theaters ($1,742 average). The film grossed over $309K in 134 theaters last weekend ($2,309 PTA).
52 Tuesdays (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $1,750
Kidnapping Of Michel Houellebecq (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $3,800, Cume $5,126 (Wed. open)
The Salt Of The Earth (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $44,936, Average $11,234, Cume $57,035 (includes Academy run grosses)
Serena (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [60 Theaters] Weekend $110K, Average $1,833
While We’re Young (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $242,152, Average $60,538
White God (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $16K, Average $8K
Danny Collins (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [29 Theaters] Weekend $230,508, Average $7,948, Cume $327,478
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (Amplify) Week 2 [30 Theaters] Weekend $91K, Average $3,033, Cume $147,254
La Sapienza (Kino Lorber Films) Week 2 [6 Theater] Weekend $28K, Average $4,666, Cume $47,732
Lost And Love (Shi Gu) (China Lion) Week 2 [18 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $1,778, Cume $158,712
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
3 Hearts (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [29 Theater] Weekend $45,998, Average $1,586, Cume $141,463
It Follows (RADiUS) Week 3 [1,218 Theaters] Weekend $4,021,000, Average $3,301, Cume $4.755M
Seymour: An Introduction (IFC Films) Week 3 [31 Theaters] Weekend $94,860, Average $3,060, Cume $209,236
Merchants Of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [27 Theaters] Weekend $37,178, Average $1,377, Cume $159,651
’71 (Roadside Attractions/Black Label Media) Week 5 [121 Theaters] Weekend $192,650, Average $1,592, Cume $989,353
A La Mala (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 5 [68 Theaters] Weekend $50K, Average $735, Cume $3,578,003
Deli Man (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [34 Theaters] Weekend $60,190, Average $1,770, Cume $392,578
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) Week 5 [12 Theaters] Weekend $11,334, Average $944, Cume $134,811
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [116 Theaters] Weekend $297,221, Average $2,562, Cume $1,595,869
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 7 [146 Theaters] Weekend $254,355, Average $1,742, Cume $2,190,858
Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [28 Theaters] Weekend $42,429, Average $1,515, Cume $979,284
Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [71 Theaters] Weekend $42,844, Average $603, Cume $648,997
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [401 Theaters] Weekend $370,977, Average $925, Cume $17,871,422
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 15 [71 Theaters] Weekend $71,075, Average $1,001, Cume $3,958,546
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 18 [271 Theaters] Weekend $251K, Average $926, Cume $90,545,380
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 23 [4 Theaters] Weekend $2,854, Average $713, Cume $2,775,598
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 25 [42 Theaters] Weekend $30,246, Average $720, Cume $13,092,006