UPDATED with Monday actuals: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight dazzled with muscular debuts this weekend. Fox’s Leonardo DiCaprio survival adventure handily delivered the weekend’s top per theater average with $118,640. The Hateful Eight‘s $46,107 average across 100 locations was all the more impressive because it played exclusively in theaters The Weinstein Company had retrofitted with 70mm film projection equipment. That meant showtimes were limited in most cases to a single auditorium. Other specialty newcomers also found their footing. Sundance Selects’ 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling posted solid numbers in three New York and Los Angeles theaters, while China Lion opened Mr. Six in tandem to the title’s release at home in China with relatively solid results. And TWC’s Carol maintains its allure after a fairly significant expansion.
The Hateful Eight came out with guns blazing in 44 markets. Among the movie’s 100 70mm bookings, only The Village East in New York had the title on two separate screens. The feature starring Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Samuel L. Jackson grossed $4,610,676 for a $46,107 PTA. Hateful Eight beat Creed for the No. 10 spot in overall box office when actuals came in Monday. The movie’s opening is the highest opening weekend PTA for Tarantino, although most of his previous movies debuted as wider releases. TWC opened his previous title Django Unchained in over 3,000 locations, grossing more than $30.1 million on Christmas day in 2012, averaging just over $10K. In 2009, TWC opened Inglourious Basterds in August 2009 in 3,165 locations, grossing just over $38 million, averaging $12,024. The Hateful Eight won’t stay limited for long. TWC plans to take it out wide next week.
“What makes it such an impressive number is that in bigger theaters if there’s a sellout, they’ll add another show, but they can’t do that in this case because we’re limited by capacity who can do 70mm,” said TWC president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis. “We were expecting about a $35K PTA this weekend, so this shows a tremendous response to the film and Quentin Tarantino.” Lomis said numbers across the board from markets in Boston, Sacramento, Miami, Atlanta and elsewhere were consistently strong, “selling out evening showings as well as some daytime” as well. “We’re going to do an earlier expansion since we’re at such capacity,” he added. “We’ll go wide to 2,000-plus theaters. Anyone working tomorrow will be getting calls.”
Fox opened Iñárritu’s The Revenant in four New York and Los Angeles cinemas for its Christmas weekend launch. The New Regency/Appian Way/Anonymous Content/Ratpac production starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy grossed a robust $474,560, giving it a celestial $118,640 PTA, the year’s second best and the best ever for Iñárritu. Fox’s Chris Aronson said Sunday morning: “You have a masterful filmmaker with an extraordinary cast delivering great performances. It’s a very compelling movie.”
Iñárritu’s runner-up career PTA was for 2014 Best Picture Oscar-winner Birdman, which delivered $106K per theater when Fox Searchlight opened the movie in 4 theaters in October 2014 with over $424K. Fox will open The Revenant wide to 2,700-plus locations January 8. (The 2015 PTA title bearer still belongs to Steve Jobs, which Universal opened in 4 theaters in October, averaging $130,381, but the film quickly lost momentum in wide release.)
British filmmaker Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years carved out a respectable audience amid holiday headliners. The Berlin Festival entry starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay grossed $65,775 Friday to Sunday, giving it a good $21,925 PTA. That is on par with Haigh’s previous film, Weekend, which IFC Films opened in September, 2011. Weekend debuted in a single location, grossing $27,245 and went on to cume nearly $485K. 45 Years is doing well with critics, holding a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and Rampling was named Best Actress by the Los Angeles and Boston Film Critics Associations in addition to winning Best Actress at the European Film Awards.
Also taking a Christmas bow was China Lion’s Mr. Six. The feature starring Feng Xiaogang, Kris Wu and Li Yifeng opened in 30 North American theaters, grossing $286,847, giving it a $9,561 per theater average.
TWC added 164 theaters for Oscar-hopeful Carol over the weekend after spending over a month simmering in a handful of locations. Directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, the feature grossed 1,093,571 in 180 theaters, averaging $6,075. Erik Lomis noted Sunday that Carol is actually 12% ahead of the company’s 2011 Best Picture-winner The Artist at the box office at the comparable point in its release. Carol has now cumed over $2.8 million.
Sony Pictures Classics added an additional run for Oscar shortlisted Foreign Language contender Son Of Saul in its second frame. The Hungarian-produced title grossed $34,060 in four theaters, averaging $8,515. Opening weekend the title grossed nearly $39K, averaging just under $13K in three cinemas.
Hitting the two-month threshold over the holiday weekend, Awards heavyweights Spotlight and Brooklyn both shed locations, but still managed to show legs. Open Road’s Spotlight lost 345 locations compared to last weekend, grossing a still solid $1,083,976 in 480 theaters, averaging $2,258. Its eight-week cume is now $24,899,059. Searchlight’s Brooklyn played in 314 fewer theaters vs a week ago. The feature grossed $1,070,674 million, averaging $3,569 in 300 theaters. In eight weeks it has totaled $18,407,589000.
Searchlight’s Youth, meanwhile, has crossed the $1M mark in its fourth weekend. The title grossed $346,877 in 149 theaters, averaging $2,328.
45 Years (Sundance Selects) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $65,775, Average $21,925, Cume $90,357 (Wed. Open)
The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company) NEW [100 Theaters] Weekend $4,606,923, Average $46,069
Mr. Six (China Lion) NEW [30 Theaters] Weekend $286,847, Average $9,561, Cume $375K (Wed. Open)
The Revenant (Fox) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $474,560 Average $118,640
Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $34,060, Average $8,515, Cume $97,944
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Macbeth (The Weinstein Company) Week 4 [30 Theaters] Weekend $45,169, Average $1,506, Cume $806,432
Youth (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [149 Theaters] Weekend $346,877, Average $2,328, Cume $1,002,525
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [12 Theaters] Weekend $12,544, Average $1,045, Cume $190,786
The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 5 [440 Theaters] Weekend $1,536,275, Average $3,492, Cume $3,236,237
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 5 [12 Theaters] Weekend $14,376, Average $1,198, Cume $230,003
Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 6 [180 Theaters] Weekend $1,093,571, Average $6,075, Cume $2,877,882
Legend (Universal) Week 6 [19 Theaters] Weekend $23,780, Average $1,2523, Cume $1,834,334
Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [11 Theaters] Weekend $19,174, Average $1,743, Cume $142,204
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 8 [300 Theaters] Weekend $1,070,674 Average $3,569, Cume $18,407,589
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Submarine Deluxe) Week 8 [6 Theaters] Weekend $11,352, Average $1,892, Cume $366,627
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 8 [480 Theaters] Weekend $1,083,976, Average $2,258, Cume $24,899,059
Trumbo (Bleecker Street) Week 8 [116 Theaters] Weekend $177,977, Average $1,534, Cume $6,702,102
Room (A24) Week 11 [100 Theaters] Weekend $88,841, Average $885, Cume $4,758,422