Updated mid-day Sunday: Specialty newcomers took a hit this weekend with mostly slow debuts, although two movies — Roadside/Lionsgate’s Z For Zachariah and IFC Films’ Queen Of Earth — likely found their primary audience on-demand. Oscilloscope opened The Second Mother in a few locations, grabbing the highest per theater average among new limited release titles, while last week’s specialty star, Sony Pictures Classics’ Grandma, held solid in an expansion and even achieved the the weekend’s highest PTA among all reporting releases. Fox Searchlight added well over 100 runs for Mistress America with decent results. Also maintaining momentum with added theaters is Music Box’s doc Meru. And The Orchard said that Joe Swanberg’s Digging For Fire grossed an estimated $250K on-demand. Meanwhile, Lionsgate Premiere again didn’t release figures for Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way. The comedy stars Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston and Kathryn Hahn.
'The Souvenir' Gifted Best Weekend Average; 'Trial By Fire' is Burned: Specialty Box Office
Oscilloscope opened Sundance title The Second Mother in three theaters. The Brazilian feature, which also had its theatrical rollout this weekend at home, grossed $27,750, averaging $9,250. The picked up the movie after seeing it at Sundance. Oscilloscope is hoping Mother will share some of the good fortune other films from South America have enjoyed stateside in the past few years including Sony Classics’ Wild Tales ($21,275 PTA in four theaters its first weekend, $3.1M domestic cume) and Roadside Attractions’ Gloria ($18,818 PTA in three theaters its first weekend, $2.1M domestic cume), though it is having a slower start than those films.
Oscilloscope said today the company is “pleased with these initial results. After a modest start on Friday, we were thrilled to see major gains at all locations yesterday. In LA, we saw the film’s Saturday gross triple from Friday. We feel this is a clear indication that word-of-mouth is already positively affecting our box office results.” The Second Mother will bow in the Bay Area for Labor Day weekend with additional runs planned for LA suburbs as well. It will continue to roll out nationally throughout September.
IFC Films debuted Alex Ross Perry’s thriller Queen Of Earth starring Elisabeth Moss day and date theatrical/VOD in two locations. The feature grossed $11,684, averaging $5,932. Perry likened the film’s production and budget to Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas which was similarly made on a shoestring budget with minimal locations (Swanberg is a producer of The Second Mother and sold the title to IFC Films through his Forager Film Company label). Queen Of Earth fared comparatively stronger in its initial release. Happy Christmas averaged $1,881 in its opening weekend in 4 theaters (also day and date). IFC Films will expand the film to the top 10 markets throughout September.
Roadside and Lionsgate opened Craig Zobel’s Garden of Eden-esque post-apocalyptic Z For Zachariah in 29 locations in a day and date release. The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine and Margot Robbie grossed just over $58K, averaging a slow $2K, although Roadside noted the feature showed some strength on demand. It is currently the No. 1 independent film on iTunes as well as the No. 2 thriller/sci-fi offering as well as the No. 6 film on the platform overall. Roadside’s Howard Cohen said today “It appears all the good press done the past couple of weeks for Chiwetel Ejiofor, the director and the other actors as well as the positive reviews — 80% Fresh on RT — is paying off on VOD platforms.”
In other openers, Epic Pictures Releasing opened Turbo Kid in 38 theaters day and date, grossing $50,388 for a $1,326 screen average. The film found its footing on-demand, grossing an estimated $350K, the company said Sunday, placing it No. 5 among sci-fi/ fantasy titles and No. 14 in action-adventure
New distribution label Cinema Slate bowed I Touched All Your Stuff in two LA and NYC showings, grossing $2,500 ($1,250 PSA). The company noted the film was the top grosser at New York’s Cinema Village though it played in their small theater and during prime time showings at 7pm on Friday and Saturday they were “near capacity.” Noted Cinema Slate Sunday: “This cult Brazilian documentary opened to strong reviews by Salon, Village Voice, Slant Magazine and several other outlets, and is playing specially well among young audiences who like the film’s mixture of web and film aesthetics.” Cinema Slate’s next release is Caetano Gotardo’s The Moving Creatures on September 11.
Sony Classics added 15 runs for Lily Tomlin’s Grandma in its second frame, holding strong and even grabbing the weekend’s highest theater average of all releases (as of Sunday morning). The title grossed $308,616, averaging $16,243. The weekend’s second-best PTA was Sony’s debut, War Room, which averaged $9,692 on 1,135 screens.
The Orchard added 27 theaters for Joe Swanberg’s Digging For Fire, which is also on-demand. Theatrically, the feature grossed $48,473 in 30 theaters, averaging $1,616. Kudos to The Orchard for revealing its on-demand estimates. The company said Digging For Fire grossed an estimated $250K its first week and placed No. 5 among Indies as well as comedy and romance on iTunes as well as the top 15 overall.
Fox Searchlight jumped Mistress America into 118 additional theaters in its third weekend. The title grossed $430K on 150 screens, averaging $2,867 ($909,733 cume). Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez said Sunday: “The film continues to perform best in art and specialty theaters and has attracted fans of Noah Baumbach and cinephiles across the U.S. and Canada. The film is performing best in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Toronto but there are great results in new markets in the West such as San Diego, Portland Oregon, and Sacramento.” Next week, Searchlight will add more locations heading into a national release, going to over 450 theaters for Labor Day weekend. Rodriguez noted it will be “The highest theatre count for any of Noah Baumbach’s films other than While We’re Young,” which went to 762 theaters ($7,587,485 cume).
The weekend’s biggest specialty expansion was Sony Classics’ The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, which added 726 theaters. On 795 screens, the Sundance title grossed $424,984, averaging $535. The seven-figure threshold remains elusive, though the film should cross that mark in the coming week. It has cumed just over $925K.
Broad Green Pictures added 11 locations for its first English-language release, Learning To Drive, in its second weekend, holding fairly solid. The feature grossed $121,616 in 15 theaters, averaging $8,108.
Music Box Films jumped Meru from 32 to 79 locations in the doc’s third weekend. It grossed $284,400, averaging a healthy $3,600, lead by new markets in Salt Lake City, Boston, Dallas and expansions in the Bay Area and other locations. Its momentum should bring the title across $1M in the coming weeks. It will expand to about 125 theaters including Portland, OR, Phoenix and Chicago.
Sundance Selects’ Phoenix crossed $1M this past week. The feature grossed just over $349K in 142 theaters, averaging a solid $2,458. The label will continue to expand Phoenix into the top 50 markets next weekend.
And Ciesla Foundation’s Rosenwald grossed just over $47K in 15 theaters in the film’s third frame ($3,135 average), with added exclusive engagements in Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles, while continuing to play in the New York area and Philadelphia. The doc next opens in subject Julius Rosenwald’s hometown market, Chicago, as it continues to make its way across the country throughout the fall.
I Touched All Your Stuff (Cinema Slate) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $2,500, Average $1,250
Queen Of Earth (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $11,684, Average $5,932
The Second Mother (Oscilloscope) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $27,750, Average $9,250
Turbo Kid (Epic Pictures Releasing) NEW [38 Theaters] Weekend $50,388, Average $1,326; VOD Estimate: $350K
Z For Zachariah (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [29 Theaters] Weekend $58,025, Average $2K
Zipper (ALCH) NEW [17 theaters] $2.5K Fri. / $3K Sat. (+31%) / $2K Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $8K
Digging For Fire (The Orchard) Week 2 [30 Theaters] Weekend $48,473, Average $1,616, Cume $76,582; Week 1 VOD Estimate: $250K
Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [19 Theaters] Weekend $308,616, Average $16,243, Cume $486,498
Learning To Drive (Broad Green Pictures) Week 2 [15 Theaters] Weekend $121,616, Average $8,108, Cume $213,546
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Meru (Music Box Films) Week 3 [79 Theaters] Weekend $284,400, Average $3,600, Cume $700,399
Mistress America (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [150 Theaters] Weekend $430K, Average $2,867, Cume $909,733
Rosenwald (The Ciesla Foundation) Week 3 [15 Theaters] Weekend $47,025, Average $3,135, Cume $79,064
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [795 Theaters] Weekend $424,984, Average $535, Cume $925,065
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (GKIDS) Week 4 [35 Theaters] Weekend $38,401, Average $1,097, Cume $208,205
Listen To Me Marlon (Showtime Documentary Films) Week 5 [38 Theaters] Weekend $41,506, Average $1,092, Cume $313,049
The End Of The Tour (A24) Week 5 [256 Theaters] Weekend $321,356, Average $1,255, Cume $2,304,049
Phoenix (Sundance Selects) Week 6 [142 Theaters] Weekend $349,036, Average $2,458, Cume $1,417,489
Irrational Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [91 Theaters] Weekend $104,117, Average $1,144, Cume $3,719,593
Mr. Holmes (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 7 [367 Theaters] Weekend $467,850, Average $1,275, Cume $16,120,801
Cartel Land (The Orchard) Week 9 [12 Theaters] Weekend $9,516, Average $793, Cume $661,343
The Overnight (The Orchard) Week 11 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1,343, Average $448, Cume $1,109,808
Love & Mercy (Roadside/Lionsgate) Week 13 [39 Theaters] Weekend $23,450, Average $601, Cume $12,458,533
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.