Two documentaries ruled the Specialty box office over the weekend. A24’s De Palma topped the pack of newcomers, grossing nearly $31K in three theaters, while The Orchard’s The Music Of Strangers took in just over $30K, also in a trio of locations. Other reporting openers were mixed. Lionsgate and Roadside opened Genius with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Laura Linney in 16 theaters, averaging $6,580, while Cohen Media Group’s Diary Of A Chambermaid bowed with two runs with a $5,534 PTA. Reliance opened Bollywood’s TE3N in 104 locations, grossing just over $284K, while Kino Lorber’s Israeli feature Tikkun opened with $3,730 in a pair of locations. Focus World’s Puerto Ricans In Paris, meanwhile grossed just $25K from 41 theaters. And Sony Classics added 277 runs for Maggie’s Plan in its fourth weekend, grossing $690,592.
De Palma, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s doc about celebrated filmmaker Brian De Palma, edged out the competition in three theaters this weekend. The A24 release grossed $30,856, averaging $10,285, making it one of the best non-fiction debuts of the year. The figure is also the weekend’s second-best per theater average, following Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring 2 at just over $12K. The top doc debut remains Sundance Selects’ Weiner, opening in 5 locations last month, averaging $17,105. Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next is the year’s highest doc grosser at over $3.82 million.
“De Palma got off to a very solid start at the box office this weekend. Critics have responded with some of the best reviews of the year with the film at a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes,” A24 said Sunday when reporting numbers. “De Palma, about one of the most celebrated and enigmatic filmmakers of our time, is being considered ‘one of the greatest films about a filmmaker ever.’” A24 will take De Palma to the top 50 markets and beyond in the coming weeks.
Following closely was The Orchard’s The Music Of Strangers by Oscar-winning doc filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom). The feature, which tells the story of an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, grossed just over $30K in three locations, averaging $10,028. The company said Sunday that the film had a 100% rise from Friday to Saturday in a “sign of significant word-of-mouth,” and is especially “resonating strongly with older audiences and music fans alike.” Neville along with members of Silk Road took part in select Q&As in New York and L.A. this weekend. The Orchard will expand The Music Of Strangers to 130-plus locations in the top markets in the coming weeks.
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ Genius opened at a slower pace, perhaps not catching the alternative-programming wave many Specialties try to position in summer. Genius grossed over $105K in 16 theaters, averaging $6,580, the best PTA of the weekend’s group of limited release narrative newcomers. “This is for an upscale, older audience that’s interested in great books and great writers,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen earlier this week about the title. “For this, it’s a hybrid similar to what we did with The Skeleton Twins.” Roadside opened that film starring Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Luke Wilson in 15 theaters in September 2014, averaging $25,379 its opening weekend, eventually grossing over $5.28 million. Genius will head to the top 50 markets June 17.
Among other openers, Cohen Media Group released Berlinale ’15 title Diary Of A Chambermaid in two theaters, grossing just over $11K, averaging $5,534, the second-best of the weekend’s narrative newcomers, while Reliance’s TE3N grossed $284,040 in 104 locations, averaging $2,731. Kino Lorber’s Locarno ’15 pick-up Tikkun grossed $3,730 in a pair of theaters ($1,865 PTA), while Focus World’s Puerto Ricans In Paris fizzled with a $25K gross in 41 theaters, averaging just $610.
Documentary The Witness held strong in its second frame. Directed by James D. Solomon, the feature recalls the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese in New York during which, legend had it, 38 witnesses watched and did nothing. Released by FilmRise, The Witness, which rewrites the crime’s history, grossed $15K in two theaters, averaging $7,500 ($35,094 cume).
Well Go USA added three runs for Korean thriller The Wailing, grossing almost $134K in 35 theaters, averaging $3,827 ($551,858 cume). The film expands to Portland, OR, Miami, and Salt Lake City next weekend as well as other markets.
Oscilloscope brought Venice ’15 feature The Fits to an additional three theaters in its second weekend, grossing $16,500 ($4,125 average). The film opened in a single theater last week grossing $11,300. And Abramorama added three locations for Time To Choose also in its second frame, grossing just over $12K in nine theaters, averaging $1,341.
In its fourth weekend, Sony Classics took Maggie’s Plan to an additional 277 runs. In 311 locations, the feature grossed $690,592, averaging $2,221, a 50% drop from from last Sunday’s reported PTA. Last weekend, the feature grossed nearly $154K in 34 theaters, averaging $4,524. The weekend’s gross brought the film’s cume to well over seven figures, landing at $1,138,363.
Sundance Selects’ doc Weiner played an additional 13 runs in its fourth frame grossing nearly $167K, giving it a $2,352 PTA in 71 theaters. Weiner will open the top 50 markets this coming weekend and has cumed over $760K to date.
Amazon/Roadside Attractions’ Love & Friendship is approaching $10M in its five weeks of release. The feature grossed $1,520,600 ($1,841 average) for a cume of $9,537,475. Last weekend it grossed over $2.16M averaging $2,627.
IFC Films’ The Man Who Knew Infinity crossed $3 million in its seventh weekend. In 124 theaters, the feature grossed $161,200 in 124 locations, averaging $1,300, giving it a $3,183,041 cume. Menemsha Films’ Dough is approaching $1 million. In its seventh weekend, the feature grossed $14,388 in 15 theaters, averaging $959. It has cumed almost $998K.
And in its ninth weekend, TWC added 54 runs for Sing Street which had been shedding locations in recent weeks. The film grossed $69K in 111 theaters, averaging $622. Since its mid-March bow the feature has cumed $2,987,919.
De Palma (A24) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $30,856, Average $10,285
Diary Of A Chambermaid (Cohen Media Group) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $11,067, Average $5,534
Genius (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) NEW [16 Theaters] Weekend $105,280, Average $6,580
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $30,083, Average $10,028
Puerto Ricans In Paris (Focus World) NEW [41 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $610
TE3N (Reliance) NEW [104 Theaters] Weekend $284,040, Average $2,731
Tikkun (Kino Lorber) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,730, Average $1,865
The Fits (Oscilloscope) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $16,500, Average $4,125, Cume $32,349
Time To Choose (Abramorama) Week 2 [9 Theaters] Weekend $12,066, Average $1,341, Cume $29,435
The Wailing (Well Go USA) Week 2 [35 Theaters] Weekend $133,941, Average $3,827, Cume $551,858
The Witness (FilmRise) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $15K, Average $7,500, Cume $35,094
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Maggie’s Plan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [311 Theaters] Weekend $690,592, Average $2,221, Cume $1,138,363
Weiner (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [71 Theaters] Weekend $166,992, Average $2,352, Cume $760,040
The Lobster (A24) Week 5 [560 Theaters] Weekend $991,984, Average $1,771, Cume $5,557,045
Love & Friendship (Amazon/Roadside Attractions) Week 5 [826 Theaters] Weekend $1,520,600, Average $1,841, Cume $9,537,475
A Bigger Splash (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [57 Theaters] Weekend $60K, Average $1,053, Cume $1,870,744
Dough (Menemsha Films) Week 7 [15 Theaters] Weekend $14,388, Average $959, Cume $997,822
The Man Who Knew Infinity (IFC Films) Week 7 [124 Theaters] Weekend $161,200, Average $1,300, Cume $3,183,041
The Meddler (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [136 Theaters] Weekend $135,057, Average $933, Cume $3,906,210
Sing Street (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [111 Theaters] Weekend $69K, Average $622, Cume $2,987,919
Hello, My Name Is Doris (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6 Films) Week 14 [49 Theaters] Weekend $30,277, Average $618, Cume $14,331,966