Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice bowed in just a single theater, but moviegoers clearly found it, pushing the title to claim the year’s top per theater average at over $90K, beating the benchmark made just last week by Café Society, which played 50 runs in its second frame this sizzling weekend in a robust expansion. Fox Searchlight’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie did decently in its start in 313 theaters, while last week’s doc opener Hillary’s America did solid business on the tail of the Republican National Convention in over twelve hundred theaters. Well Go USA’s Korean thriller Train to Busan had a good launch in over two dozen locations. And Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic crossed seven figures in its third frame.
Released by The Film Arcade, filmmaker/actor Birbiglia’s second feature directorial and SXSW Film Festival debut about an close-knit New York improv troupe, grossed $90,126 at the Sunshine in downtown NYC, making it the year’s best per theater average, outstripping Café Society‘s bow last week of a nearly $72K PTA in five locations.
“We could not be happier with the response of both critics and audiences,” The Film Arcade said Sunday when reporting numbers. “The energy at the Sunshine this weekend was electric and we look forward to bringing that same excitement for Mike’s film to theaters across the country.” Added Birbiglia: “This whole thing is thrilling, and timely, because we actually think of ourselves as the Star Trek of movies about best friends in an improv group.” Don’t Think Twice will expand to Los Angeles and Chicago on July 29 ahead of its planned nationwide roll out in August.
Fox Searchlight’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie had the weekend’s widest Specialty opening with 313 locations playing the big screen version of the popular ‘90s BBC series. Starring Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley and a bevy of mostly British celebs, the comedy grossed $1.88M, averaging just over $6K. Its debut in the U.K., not surprisingly, outpaced the U.S., grossing $5.3M in its opening July 1, according to Searchlight, which also released the title there. As of last weekend, it had cumed almost £13.2M in three weeks.
“We’re very happy. We expected to get the core audience for the film out there and I think we managed to do that and go beyond,” said Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez Sunday morning. “A film like this will have its core audience come out early to see it, but then have its numbers quickly dwindle, but we didn’t see that.” Rodriguez said its Saturday numbers went up by just 5%, but it wasn’t a total flatline. “We felt like we picked the right three hundred-plus theaters,” added Rodriguez. “The multiplexes we had were good — not great — but they still did OK.” The Arclight Hollywood was the title’s top grosser, followed by New York locations Chelsea, Angelika and Lincoln Square as well as the Landmark in West L.A.
Searchlight plans to expand AbFab this week by somewhere between 50 and 100 theaters, with Rodriguez saying the distributor will make a final decision Monday.
Well Go USA bowed Korean thriller Train to Busan in 27 theaters Friday with a solid start. The title directed by Yeon Sang-ho grossed $285,900, averaging $10,589. “It’s a critically acclaimed, fast-paced thrill ride that syncs up perfectly with our talents at marketing Asian genre titles to both the diaspora audience and the arthouse-fan audiences that love these films,” said Dylan Marchetti, Well Go USA SVP, Acquisitions and Theatrical Distribution earlier this week ahead of its launch. “While it takes a steady hand and a steel stomach to release a film with multiple marketing campaigns on the same day as it launches in Asia, it’s worth it for the right film, which this one definitely is.”
In South Korea, Train to Busan opened Wednesday July 20, breaking Captain America: Civil War’s record as the biggest opening day of all time with over 857K admissions. Added Marchetti: “We’ll expand the film throughout the summer on the arthouse circuit, followed by a big push for the digital and home video release at the end of the year.”
Film Movement also opened 2015 Berlinale feature The Seventh Fire in a single location, grossing $8,418.
In its second weekend, Hillary’s America by Dinesh D’Souza landed 10th in the overall box office as of Sunday morning with a $3.7M gross in 1,217 theaters. The feature opened last weekend in just 3 theaters ahead of the Republican National Convention, grossing $77,500, averaging $25,833, the year’s best PTA for a non-fiction title. This weekend’s gross puts it just behind Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next, which cumed over $3.82M in theaters, but Hillary’s America will all but certainly exceed that gross this week. Hillary’s’ two week cume is now $3,791,524.
Woody Allen’s Café Society did well in its second frame. Starring Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, the film grossed $875K in 50 theaters, averaging $17,500, the weekend’s second best PTA ahead of Star Trek which landed at $15,173, albeit in nearly 4K theaters. The PTA well exceeds Allen’s last feature, Irrational Man, which had a $9,116 average in 28 theaters its second weekend. Allen’s 2013 film, Blue Jasmine, however, averaged over $37K in its second frame also in 50 locations. It went on to cume over $33.4 million.
“Café Society expanded into 11 additional markets with great success,” said Bob Berney, Head of Marketing and Distribution for Amazon Studios, which is releasing the title with Lionsgate. “We’re excited that Woody Allen’s first collaboration with acclaimed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro continues to dazzle audiences as we move into our national expansion.”
In its third weekend, Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic easily crossed seven figures. Starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by Matt Ross, the feature grossed nearly $573K in 104 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $5,508 for a cume of $1,108,478.
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ Our Kind of Traitor pushed over $3M in its one month mark, grossing $96,800 in 88 theaters, averaging $1,100, while The Orchard’s Hunt for The Wilderpeople is still showing heft in its fifth frame, grossing $584,823 in 200 locations, averaging $2,924. The weekend’s gross placed it with a cume of over $2.3 million.
And also in its fifth weekend, A24’s Swiss Army Man edged over $4 million. The Sundance Film Festival debut grossed $98,334 in 81 theaters this weekend, averaging $1,214.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Fox Searchlight) NEW [313 Theaters] Weekend $1.88M, Average $6,006
Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $90,126
The Seventh Fire (Film Movement) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,418
Train to Busan (Well Go USA) NEW [27 Theaters] Weekend $285,900, Average $10,589
Café Society (Amazon/Lionsgate) Week 2 [50 Theaters] Weekend $875K, Average $17,500, Cume $1,377,379
Hillary’s America (Quality Flix/D’Souza Entertainment) Week 2 [1,217 Theaters] Weekend $3.7M, Average $3,040, Cume $3,791,524
The Phantom Boy (GKIDS) Week 2 [2 Theater] Weekend $2,727, Average $1,363, Cume $8,496
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [104 Theaters] Weekend $572,782, Average $5,508, Cume $1,108,478
Cold War 2 (Well Go USA) Week 3 [7 Theaters] Weekend $44,200, Average $6,314, Cume $452,982
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Music Box Films) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $7,500, Average $1,875, Cume $47,702
Our Little Sister (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [20 Theaters] Weekend $44,514, Average $2,226, Cume $133,803
The Innocents (Music Box Films) Week 4 [61 Theaters] Weekend $127K, Average $2,081, Cume $614,138
Life, Animated (The Orchard) Week 4 [25 Theaters] Weekend $23,112, Average $924, Cume $129,886
Our Kind Of Traitor (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) Week 4 [88 Theaters] Weekend $96,800, Average $1,100, Cume $3,023,777
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 5 [200 Theaters] Weekend $584,823, Average $2,924, Cume $2,321,934
Swiss Army Man (A24) Week 5 [81 Theaters] Weekend $98,334, Average $1,214, Cume $4,005,154
Genius (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) Week 7 [30 Theaters] Weekend $24,500, Average $816, Cume $1,330,904
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) Week 7 [81 Theaters] Weekend $80,168, Average $990, Cume $908,132
The Witness (FilmRise Releasing) Week 8 [3 Theaters] Weekend $2,500, Average $833, Cume $136,095
Maggie’s Plan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [62 Theaters] Weekend $55,574, Average $896, Cume $3,237,562
The Lobster (A24) Week 11 [67 Theaters] Weekend $103,984, Average $1,552, Cume $8,854,963
Love & Friendship (Roadside Attractions/Amazon) Week 11 [88 Theaters] Weekend $121,875, Average $1,384, Cume $13,690,574
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.