Brooklyn, Room and Spotlight cashed in on their Oscar Best Picture nominations over the weekend, with all three capitalizing on the Awards bump with increases in theater count and grosses over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. Room, however, was alone in seeing an increase in its per theater average week over week, despite the relatively big jump in location count, though Brooklyn had the highest PTA of the three overall. Sony Pictures Classics opened The Lady In The Van starring Maggie Smith in 4 theaters over the weekend with a solid start. The feature averaged just over $18K, leading the pack of this weekend’s Specialty newcomers. China Lion’s Detective Chinatown placed second with an $8,333 average from 33 runs. And The Orchard said that its feature Lamb by writer-director-star Ross Partridge grossed just over $100K on VOD in its first week.
Fox Searchlight, Open Road Films and A24 added theaters for Brooklyn, Spotlight and Room, respectively, in the wake of Thursday’s nominations. John Crowley’s Brooklyn starring Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan had the best PTA of the three, landing at $2,416 from a $1.66 million gross in 687 theaters (an increase of 393 runs vs. last weekend). Searchlight said that it expects a 4-day gross over over $2 million, which will take it above $25 million after 11 weeks in release. Said the distributor Sunday when reporting grosses: “We are gratified that audiences all across North America are finding out about ‘America’s love story’ and that the film has continued to find traction in Art and Specialty houses as well as suburban multiplexes in big cities and little towns.”
Paramount’s The Big Short appears to have the highest PTA among the group of Best Picture nominees so far this weekend. The feature averaged $2,946 in 1,765 locations ($5.2 million gross).
While Brooklyn edged out Spotlight and Room in the weekend average, the latter was actually alone among the three to increase its PTA compared to last weekend. A24 added 205 locations in Room‘s 14th weekend in release, grossing $700K, giving it a $2,389 average, a 35% increase from last weekend’s $1,569 PTA from just 88 theaters. “Room had a tremendous weekend at the box office, up over 500% from last weekend despite increasing to only 293 screens, and many still with limited show times,” A24 said Sunday when reporting numbers. Added A24’s Heath Shapiro, “Compared to years past, we had a higher average increase compared to 12 Years A Slave after it received its (Oscar) nomination.” Slave, Shapiro said, saw a 468% post-nom increase.
Since opening over three-and-a-half months ago, Room had only been in upwards of 200 theaters at its highest point, but A24 plans to take the title into many more locations and markets in the coming weeks. “Room is going to go nationwide this coming weekend and we should get to 1,000 theaters,” said Shapiro.
Spotlight, meanwhile, continues to have the highest cume, easily crossing $30 million over the weekend. Open Road added 617 theaters for the title starring Mark Ruffalo, grossing nearly $1.55 million in 985 theaters. That is close to its widest release of just under eleven hundred theaters since opening in early November. Spotlight averaged $1,573 Friday to Sunday.
Among the holiday weekend’s openers, SPC’s Toronto ’15 premiere The Lady In The Van handily boasted the weekend’s best per theater average of any title, reporting numbers Sunday morning in the overall box office. Directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Maggie Smith and Jim Broadbent, the feature grossed $72,264, averaging $18,066. The only other title with a 5-figure PTA was Universal’s Ride Along 2, which averaged $10,720 from 3,175 locations. “We are very pleased. We were up 88% from Friday to Saturday,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker Sunday. “People adore Maggie Smith and the word of mouth is great.” Barker noted the title’s one-week qualifying run last month had done “very well,” which jump-started the good word in New York and L.A. SPC will take The Lady In The Van to five additional markets next weekend including San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Miami, with 8 to 10 more markets planned for the following week.
China Lion bowed Detective Chinatown on these shores in 33 theaters, grossing $275K ($8,333 average). Detective Chinatown bowed over Xmas weekend in China and had cumed nearly $100 million in China, according to the distributor. “We picked it up in December, looking for a film that we could release when our international students were back from vacation,” said China Lion’s Robert Lundberg earlier this week. “We were very excited to snag it from Wanda to fill a prime release date.” Gravitas Ventures, meanwhile, opened Band Of Robbers by Aaron and Adam Nee in 11 locations grossing a slow $15K, averaging $1,364.
The Orchard released its first week VOD numbers for Ross Partridge’s Lamb, starring Partridge, Scoot McNairy, Jess Weixler and Tom Bower. The title grossed $100,230 on-demand, according to the company, which certainly outstrips its two-week theatrical cume of $14,547. Theatrically, the title grossed $10,800 in 43 locations, averaging just $251.
Paramount added 20 theaters for its Best Animated feature nominee Anomalisa in its third frame, grossing $290K, a 24% increase from last weekend’s $221K in 17 theaters. The feature averaged $7,837, vs. $13K last week.
Sundance Selects’ 45 Years received a boost with a Best Actress nomination for Charlotte Rampling, though the title had already been doing solidly out of the gate. The Andrew Haigh-directed feature grossed $100,028 in 14 theaters, averaging $7,152. Last weekend, the title averaged $10,063 from 9 runs. Its 4 week cume is now $474,610. Said the distributor Sunday: “45 Years continues to perform well in limited release, underscoring the film’s word-of-mouth and strong appeal to an older audience and now buoyed by the Oscar nomination of Charlotte Rampling for Best Actress. The film will begin its national expansion this coming weekend with a rollout to the top 10 markets.”
SPC added 17 theaters for its Best Foreign Language nominee Son Of Saul. The Hungarian-produced title grossed $113,748, averaging $5,417, vs last week’s $7K average from just four runs. SPC’s Michael Barker noted that Son Of Saul‘s box office has tended to increase from Fridays to Saturdays, noting the Jewish Sabbath has been weak for the title. Son Of Saul has cumed $334,676.
Cohen Media Group added 43 theaters for its Best Foreign Language nominee Mustang (France). The title grossed $98,246, averaging $1,724. That is actually an increase from last weekend’s $1,555 average in 14 locations $21,774 gross). Mustang‘s 9 week come is $311,234.
Band Of Robbers (Gravitas Ventures) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $15K, Average $1,364
Detective Chinatown (China Lion) NEW [33 Theaters] Weekend $275K, Average $8,333
The Lady In The Van (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $72,264, Average $18,066, Cume $119,936 (includes Academy run gross)
Lamb (The Orchard) Week 2 [43 Theaters] Weekend $10,800, Average $251, Cume $14,547; VOD Week 1 estimate: $100,230
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Anomalisa (Paramount) Week 3 [37 Theaters] Weekend $290K, Average $7,837, Cume $920K (4-day cume)
45 Years (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [14 Theaters] Weekend $100,028, Average $7,152, Cume $474,610
Son Of Saul (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [21 Theaters] Weekend $113,748, Average $5,417, Cume $334,676
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media Group) Week 7 [12 Theaters] Weekend $2,791, Average $233, Cume $238,182
Youth (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [94 Theaters] Weekend $142K, Average $1,511, Cume $2,222,607
The Danish Girl (Focus Features) Week 8 [479 Theaters] Weekend $649K, Average $1,355, Cume $8,693,637
Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) Week 8 [8 Theaters] Weekend $8K, Average $1K, Cume $331,217
Carol (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [790 Theaters] Weekend $1,383,000, Average $1,751, Cume $9,078,854
Mustang (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [57 Theaters] Weekend $98,246, Average $1,724, Cume $311,234
Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) Week 11 [687 Theaters] Weekend $1.66M, Average $2,416, Cume $24,609,613
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Submarine Deluxe) Week 11 [9 Theaters] Weekend $11,719, Average $1,302, Cume $447,087
Spotlight (Open Road Films) Week 11 [985 Theaters] Weekend $1,549,967, Average $1,573, Cume $30,870,372
Trumbo (Bleecker Street) Week 11 [66 Theaters] Weekend $83,278, Average $1,262, Cume $7,349,715
Room (A24) Week 14 [293 Theaters] Weekend $700K, Average $2,389, Cume $6,164,867