Québécois romantic drama Félix And Meira had this weekend’s biggest debut among specialty films on a per-screen average , but it was A24’s sci-fi thriller Ex Machina that continued to dazzle in its second weekend, easily topping all titles.
Thriller Beyond The Reach, starring Michael Douglas, opened poorly in 28 theaters, grossing $28,802 for a $1,029 PTA. But the title also was also available via digitally and on-demand, so conceivably most people watched it at home rather than in theaters.
The film had its best showing Friday, grossing more than $12K, but it lost 16% Saturday, when it picked up another $10K. The cat-and-mouse thriller should have been buoyed by Q&As with the director and co-star Jeremy Irvine at the Arclight, though numbers remained soft throughout the weekend.
Ex Machina stars Oscar Isaac as an intense Internet billionaire who has crafted an artificial-intelligence robot, played by Alicia Vikander. Isaac’s character brings in his top coder, played by Domhnall Gleeson, to conduct a Turing test to determine if the AI is “human” or not. Alex Garland wrote and directed the film, which last week had 2015’s biggest specialty debut in a great week when four other specialty films made the overall box office top 10.
“The film is playing very strong in all markets across the country, in both arthouse and commercial theaters,” A24 said in a release Sunday. “With incredible word-of-mouth and overwhelmingly strong reviews, the film seems to have really tapped into the zeitgeist and hit a nerve with audiences.”
Ex Machina will expand nationwide on Friday. It has been running TV ads to help push its burgeoning hit to a broader audience, as its cume has already hit $1.14 million in two weeks. This weekend, in 39 theaters, the film averaged nearly $21,000 per theater, for a gross of more than $814,000.
Toronto Film Festival award-winner Félix And Meira opened exclusively at Lincoln Plaza in New York, grossing just over $15K, giving it bragging rights as the highest PTA title of this weekend’s newcomers. Distributor Oscilloscope likened the debut to recent starts at the location that have had box-office success.
“[Félix And Meira] posted the strongest per-screen of any new release this weekend,” the company said in a release. “The film’s $15k+ opening puts it on par with other recent Lincoln Plaza titles Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem ($12K PTA in first weekend, $885 come), Two Days, One Night (first weekend $15K PTA in 2, $1.42M cume) theaters and Force Majeure (first weekend $11,655 PTA in 2 theaters, $1.36M cume).”
O-scope will open Félix And Meira at the Laemmle Royal in L.A. on Friday, followed by the Bay Area, Philadelphia, Seattle and Scottsdale May 1 with the top 25 markets added throughout the month.
1915, about the Armenian genocide in Turkey that began 100 years ago this week, opened in 5 theaters via Bloodvine Media. The film grossed $25,760, averaging $5,152.
Pope Francis acknowledged the tragedy this past week, grabbing headlines and the ire of Turkey and focusing attention on the subject. The filmmakers have also written an open letter to Warner Bros. to protest sympathetic treatment of the issue in the upcoming Russell Crowe directorial debut, The Water Diviner, set after the Battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during WWI. 1915 will add New York and availability by digital download on iTunes next weekend, with the filmmakers taking part in Q&As.
True Story and Child 44 rolled out in hundreds of theaters Friday, the weekend’s biggest specialty titles. True Story bowed with 831 runs, grossing $1.93M, averaging a decent $2,322. Searchlight will keep the film in a fairly ‘limited’ run in the coming weekend, adding a “small number of theaters” next Friday.
Also opening this weekend was Tangerines, the Oscar-nominated feature (it was Estonia’s candidate) from Goldwyn. Despite its Oscar pedigree, the film had a modest start, grossing $4,600 at a single NYC location over the weekend.
Fashionista doc Dior And I also maintained momentum in its second frame. The film by Frédéric Tcheng grossed $43,884 in 3 theaters, averaging a robust $14,628. The film bowed in 2 theaters last week, grossing more than $50K ($25,286 PTA). The Orchard will take the doc to the top 25 markets throughout May.
Clouds Of Sils Maria, starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, held solid in its second weekend. The mostly English-language film by French director Olivier Assayas grossed more $173K in 27 theaters, averaging $6,427. Last weekend, it opened in 3 theaters, grossing just under $70K for a $23,242 PTA.
Distributor IFC Films said “reviews in the field were extremely strong with special praise for the performances of Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart and the film is at 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Clouds Of Sils Maria will expand to the top 15 markets next weekend.
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young continues strongly too, crossing the $4M threshold in its fourth weekend with another $1.58M in 713 theaters. The film surpassed Baumbach’s previous title Frances Ha, which cumed just over $4M in 2013. The new film is also nearing his 2010 feature, Greenberg, which grossed over $4.23M.
Baumbach’s 2005 Oscar-nominated film The Squid And The Whale grossed more than $7.37M. While We’re Young appears headed to top that.
And Unison/Paladin’s Kiwi vampire-comedy What We Do In The Shadows crossed $3M this past week. The film by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi grossed more than $93K in its 10th weekend. It averaged $1,076 in 87 theaters ($3,097,257 cume).
1915 (Bloodvine Media) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $25,760, Average $5,152
Beyond The Reach NEW [28 Theaters] Weekend $28,802, Average: $1,029
Child 44 (Lionsgate) NEW [510 Theaters] Weekend $600K, Average $1,176
Félix And Meira (Oscilloscope) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $15,018
Tangerines (Samuel Goldwyn Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,600
True Story (Fox Searchlight) NEW [831 Theaters] Weekend $1,930,000, Average $2,322
Clouds Of Sils Maria (IFC Films) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $173,527, Average $6,427, Cume $270,423
Dior And I (The Orchard) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $43,884, Average $14,628, Cume $109,642
Ex Machina (A24) Week 2 [39 Theaters] Weekend $814,293, Average $20,879, Cume $1,141,909
Rebels Of The Neon God (Big World Pictures) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,266, Average $1,633, Cume $11,598
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
5 To 7 (IFC Films) Week 3 [26 Theaters] Weekend $24,830, Average $955, Cume $91,432
David And Goliath (RiverRain/Ripple Effect) Week 3 [8 Theaters] Weekend $14,256, Average $1,782, Cume $316,117
Let’s Get Married (China Lion) Week 3 [19 Theaters] Weekend $31K, Average $1,632, Cume $418,307
Woman In Gold (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 [2,011 Theaters] Weekend $4,587,000, Average $2,281, Cume $15,942,512
The Salt Of The Earth (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [40 Theaters] Weekend $81,496, Average $2,037, Cume $374,411
While We’re Young (A24) Week 4 [713 Theaters] Weekend $1,584,286, Average $2,222, Cume $4,152,105
Danny Collins (Bleecker Street) Week 5 [648 Theaters] Weekend $848,579, Average $1,309, Cume $3,852,815
Lost And Love (Shi Gu) (China Lion) Week 5 [1 Theater] Weekend $1K, Cume $185,673
3 Hearts (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [2 Theaters] Weekend $1,744, Average $872, Cume $180,495
It Follows (RADiUS) Week 6 [941 Theaters] Weekend $803K, Average $853, Cume $13.264M
Seymour: An Introduction (IFC Films) Week 6 [45 Theaters] Weekend $45,900, Average $1,020, Cume $486,784
Deli Man (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [6 Theaters] Weekend $5,455, Average $909, Cume $468,944
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) Week 8 [25 Theaters] Weekend $8,900, Average $356, Cume $246,875
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [81 Theaters] Weekend $117,842, Average $1,455, Cume $2,379,451
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 10 [87 Theaters] Weekend $93,625, Average $1,076, Cume $3,097,257
Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group) Week 12 [5 Theaters] Weekend $2,790, Average $558, Cume $1,048,642
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 14 [120 Theaters] Weekend $51,662, Average $431, Cume $18,562,749
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 26 [4 Theaters] Weekend $5,027, Average $1,256, Cume $2,790,538
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