Roadside and Miramax’s fairly wide opener Southside With You had a mostly solid start in the final weekend of August. The Sundance 2016 debut grossed over $3 million in 813 theaters – many more locations than other newcomers – making it by far the biggest grosser among the new Specialty releases Friday to Sunday. Among other titles making their bows, the restored re-release of Howards End managed to score the highest per theater average as of Sunday morning. The Cohen Media Group release averaged $12,411 at two theaters. Sony Classics’ The Hollars followed with an $11,517 PTA in four theaters. Cannes 2015 debut Mia Madre rolled out stateside via Music Box Films in a half dozen locations grossing $35K, while Well Go USA’s Korean thriller Tunnel opened in three dozen theaters taking in north of $180K. Focus World added two dozen runs for Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love and Darkness in its second frame, grossing $121K. And Woody Allen’s Café Society crossed eight figures in its seventh weekend in theaters.
Southside With You by debut feature filmmaker Richard Tanne had one of the highest grossing starts, in terms of absolute numbers, for a Specialty release. Starring Tika Sumpter — also a producer of the film — and Parker Sawyers, who portray the young Obamas on their first date, the title grossed an estimated $3,060,065 through Sunday in 813 theaters, averaging a decent $3,762. The Sundance debut has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“We’re very happy with the opening,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen Sunday morning. “We had sell-outs in many markets and the movie is playing to both an African-American audience and to arthouse audiences. The reviews have been better than anything we saw at Sundance and it will continue to play throughout the fall.” Roadside Attractions, which released the title with Miramax, said Southside With You will “expand slightly” for Labor Day weekend.
Two-and-a-half decades after its original release, Cohen Media Group opened a restored version of the Merchant Ivory classic Howards End in two locations Friday. Its re-entry in theaters actually gave it the weekend’s highest PTA among all movies reporting box office Sunday at $12,411 ($24,822 gross). Sony Pictures Classics originally opened the film, which stars Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Thompson. It debuted in a single location in March 1992 grossing well over $52K. The film went on to cume over $25.9 million.
“Nearly 25 years after Howards End won the hearts of audiences across the country, it returned to New York this weekend and proved classic cinema is alive and well,” said Charles Cohen, chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group. “We are thrilled to have worked with Jim Ivory to bring this gorgeous new 4K restoration back to theaters and are elated to see audiences embrace it once again over the weekend. We will continue to roll out across the country over the next several weeks and the Cohen Film Collection is happy to announce this is the first of many Merchant Ivory titles that will be returning to the big screen over the next several years.”
Sony Classics opened a new film, The Hollars, in several theaters Friday. Directed by John Krasinski, the actor’s second feature directorial grossed $46,068, putting it on the heels of Howards End in terms of PTA at $11,517. SPC picked up the title out of Sundance. “When we first saw The Hollars, it was a similar experience to what we had when we saw Junebug (SPC, $2.67M, 2005),” said SPC co-president Michael Barker earlier this week. “The ensemble cast was spectacular and the direction just seamless. The movie reflects the personality of the director, which is the kind of film we like a lot. It is sincere and humorous in the way John Krasinski is.” The film will continue to add theaters and markets in the coming weeks.
Music Box Films released Italian director Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre in six theaters this weekend. The title had originally been set for an April release by its original U.S. distributor Alchemy, but Music Box picked up the title following Alchemy’s shuttering. Mia Madre grossed $35K, averaging $5,833. Music Box said the feature opened to the number one spot at Lincoln Plaza Cinema on New York’s Upper West Side and number two at the Angelika Film Center in downtown Manhattan. Said the company Sunday: “The film saw a 58% location average increase in Saturday’s gross over opening day. This is one of the best openings for a foreign language film this year, a category that includes Music Box Films’ The Innocents, which is currently approaching a $1 million U.S. gross.” The film will open next week in markets that include San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Miami/Fort Lauderdale.
IFC Films bowed Complete Unknown in a pair of locations, grossing $15,680 for a $7,840 average. The Sundance feature by Joshua Marston and starring Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon and Kathy Bates will open in Los Angeles this coming weekend and will roll out to top markets throughout September.
Among other openers, Well Go USA’s South Korean title Tunnel opened in 36 theaters grossing $180,465, averaging just over $5K. And Kino Lorber bowed Fatima, which won three French Césars, in a single location grossing $6,400. The film will open in L.A. September 16, followed by a national expansion.
In its second weekend, Focus World added twenty-four runs for A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by and starring Natalie Portman. The feature grossed $121K in 26 theaters, averaging $4,654. It debuted in two locations last week grossing $36K for an $18K first-weekend PTA. Focus World said Sunday that beginning September 2, the film will expand to 50-plus theaters in 25 or more North American markets, including small expansions in New York, L.A., San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston, while debuting in Dallas, St. Louis, Portland, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Austin, Raleigh/Durham, Fort Myers and Santa Barbara, among others.
CBS Films/Lionsgate’s Hell Or High Water continues to expand and lure audiences taking away solid numbers in its third weekend. The feature grossed $3,725,000 in 909 theaters ($4,098 PTA), 437 more locations than last weekend. Last weekend it took in $2.65 million, averaging $5,614. Noted CBS Films Sunday, reporting the film’s grosses: “As has been the case all along the film is playing broadly in terms of geography and theater type but a major factor in its strong performance this weekend is the tiny drop (just 14%) in the holdover theaters. In fact 144 (30%) of the holdover theaters saw their grosses go up week over week yesterday.” Hell Or High Water will continue to expand next week.
In its fifth frame, Sony Pictures Classics added 212 runs for Equity starring Anna Gunn and James Purefoy. A debut at Sundance in January, Equity grossed $351,420, averaging $1,378. Last weekend the film grossed nearly $143K in forty-three theaters, averaging $3,322. Its five-week cume is just over $936K.
The Film Arcade added 50 runs for Mike Birbiglia’s summer comedy Don’t Think Twice in its sixth outing. The film grossed $457,450 in 150 theaters, averaging $3,050. It has cumed $2,375,012.
The year’s highest grossing “non-fiction” title Hillary’s America grossed $52K for a slow $650 average in its seventh weekend. The film has cumed $12.47 million, which is a large number, though it is likely at this point to not gross even half of director Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016 Obama’s America. That film cumed nearly $33.5 million back in 2012 in the run-up to the Presidential Election.
In its seventh weekend, Woody Allen’s Café Society crossed $10 million. The Amazon/Lionsgate release grossed $360K in 216 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,667. Allen’s last film to go over eight figures was Sony Classics release, Magic in the Moonlight, which hit the threshold in its ninth weekend.
And Bleecker Street’s Captain Fantastic hit the $5M milestone in week 8. The title grossed $174,265 in 122 theaters this weekend, averaging $1,428.
Complete Unknown (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $15,680, Average $7,840
Fatima (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $6,400
The Hollars (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $46,068, Average $11,517
Howards End (Cohen Media Group) NEW (re-release) [2 Theaters] Weekend $24,822, Average $12,411
Mia Madre (Music Box Films) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend $35K, Average $5,833
Southside With You (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) NEW [813 Theaters] Weekend $3,060,065, Average $3,762
Tunnel (Well Go USA) NEW [36 Theaters] Weekend $180,465, Average $5,013
A Tale of Love and Darkness (Focus World) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $121K, Average $4,654, Cume $172,207
Ixcanul (Kino Lorber) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $19K, Average $3,166, Cume $45,455
The People vs. Fritz Bauer (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $21,940, Average $3,657, Cume $73,145
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Anthropoid (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [124 Theaters] Weekend $144,887, Average $1,168, Cume $2,871,453
Hell Or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate) Week 3 [909 Theaters] Weekend $3,725,000, Average $4,098, Cume $8,564,000
Equity (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [255 Theaters] Weekend $351,420, Average $1,378, Cume $936,020
Gleason (Open Road/Amazon) Week 5 [35 Theaters] Weekend $9,682, Average $277, Cume $575,713
Indignation (Roadside Attractions) Week 5 [172 Theaters] Weekend $253,965, Average $1,476, Cume $2,811,905
Miss Sharon Jones! (Start Media) Week 5 [10 Theaters] Weekend $12,232, Average $1,223, Cume $73,745
Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) Week 6 [150 Theaters] Weekend $457,450, Average $3,050, Cume $2,375,012
Café Society (Amazon/Lionsgate) Week 7 [216 Theaters] Weekend $360K, Average $1,667, Cume $10,012,219
Hillary’s America (Quality Flix/D’Souza Entertainment) Week 7 [80 Theaters] Weekend $52K, Average $650, Cume $12,470,637
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street) Week 8 [122 Theaters] Weekend $174,265, Average $1,428, Cume $5,036,473
Life, Animated (The Orchard) Week 9 [60 Theaters] Weekend $3,781, Average $63, Cume $224,320
Hunt For The Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 10 [100 Theaters] Weekend $117K, Average $1,170, Cume $4,387,303
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) Week 12 [18 Theaters] Weekend $11,248, Average $625, Cume $1,121,202