Sundance doc Cameraperson lead a fairly crowded group of Specialty newcomers this weekend, opening in a single location in New York. Veteran cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s doc took the best per theater average of the weekend. Most limited release debuts were mixed to tepid this weekend. Focus Features’ Kicks bowed with $32K in three locations, while Sundance Selects’ doc Dancer took in $7K in Los Angeles. Vertical Entertainment opened SNL writer Chris Kelly’s Other People with a dozen runs, grossing $38K. Pantelion/Lionsgate’s second-weekend holdover No Manches Frida held solid in its second-weekend expansion, bringing its cume to over $7.3 million. CBS Films/Lionsgate’s Hell or High Water began its run with limited locations five weeks ago and has now reached the lower end of a wide release. The feature took in another $2.6 million this weekend. Obama date pic Southside with You topped $6M this weekend, while Hillary’s America edged over $13M from a $62K weekend gross.
Kirsten Johnson has won accolades for her work as a documentary cinematographer, including 2015 Oscar-winner Citizenfour. Her experiences behind the camera around the world are compiled in Cameraperson, which had its debut at Sundance in January. The feature, released by Janus Films Friday, grossed $12,897 at IFC Center in New York, giving it the weekend’s highest per theater average, albeit in a single location. Janus touted the title’s 100% on RT as it gets ready for an expansion to Los Angeles next weekend.
“We know from the passionate responses of festival-goers and critics around the world that Cameraperson connects intimately and immediately with audiences, and we’re thrilled to see that strong word of mouth reflected in the opening weekend grosses from the IFC Center,” said Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection and partner in Janus Films Sunday morning. “It’s a film unlike anything else out there, and we hope this strong start and the amazing reviews will cause more exhibitors to take notice and give their audiences a chance to discover the world through Kirsten Johnson’s eyes.”
Following L.A., Janus Films will expand Cameraperson to all major markets this fall.
Focus World bowed Justin Tipping’s feature Kicks in three locations over the weekend. Centering on an Oakland teen who goes on a quest to recover his stolen Air Jordans, Kicks grossed $32K at AMC Empire in New York, Arclight Hollywood and Grand Lakes cinema in Oakland, CA, giving it a $10,667 average, which is actually the second-best in the overall box office this weekend as of Sunday morning. “The film’s unmistakable core audience is young males, but we hope it goes a bit broader because of the important subject matter,” said Focus World SVP Anjay Nagpal about the film earlier this week. “Because we do not have A-list names in the film, we had to be very creative and very grassroots.”
Kicks will expand to 50-plus theaters in 31 North American markets, including small expansions in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, while debuting in several new markets including Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston and Norfolk, among others.
Sundance Selects bowed doc Dancer exclusively at a single location in Los Angeles, grossing $7K ahead of an expansion to New York next week as well as on VOD platforms. The distributor will sashay the feature to the top 15 markets throughout September. Magnolia Pictures, meanwhile, opened Jeff Feuerzeig’s Sundance doc Author: The JT LeRoy Story in five L.A., New York and San Francisco locations, grossing $25K ($5K average). Magnolia will add seven markets and twenty theaters next Friday.
The Orchard bowed late Polish director Marcin Wrona’s absurdist comedy Demon in three theaters, grossing $13,560 ($4,520 average). The distributor called the film a horror/art house crossover ahead of its theatrical run stateside this weekend. “It’s rare for a horror film to be an arthouse film, and it’s rare for an arthouse horror film to so artfully master a wicked sense of humor while still creeping you out,” the Orchard’s Paul Davidson commented this past week. “But that’s exactly what Marcin had done. We felt he had created a challenging film to market but one with such a stunning original vision that it was a challenge we were excited to tackle.” Demon is slated to expand to the top 30 markets in about 50 cities in the coming weeks.
SXSW Audience Award-winner Landfill Harmonic bowed in a single location, grossing $4,200. Reporting numbers Sunday, the company noted that the title has won 40 prizes at over 200 film festivals worldwide. Beyond the awards bragging rights, distributors The Film Collaborative and Emerging Pictures, which are handling theatrical, noted that its festival run has also generated over $80K in fees alone.
“Those $80,000 in fees would be the equivalent of the film grossing $200,000-plus theatrically…It’s important to contextualize that the film was already a sleeper hit before ever opening and has been making money from day one,” noted a rep when reporting numbers Sunday. “Just as with companies reporting TVOD numbers, it is stunning how most distributors neglect the potential of film festival revenue. It’s made more money on the festival circuit than almost every single film that premiered at SXSW or Tribeca last year and without most of the theatrical expenses — VPFs, advertising, calendar fees, etc.”
Saturday Night Live writer Chris Kelly’s feature directorial debut Other People rolled out into a dozen theaters via Vertical Entertainment this weekend. Revolving around a struggling comedy writer who moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother following a break-up with his boyfriend, the title grossed $38K in 12 theaters for a $3,167 PTA in a day and date release. Vertical noted that the feature’s “positive word-of-mouth” over the weekend and “sold-out” shows in New York and Los Angeles are noteworthy.
“The life of this film is more than just the opening weekend as Molly Shannon gives an award-worthy performance amongst a stellar cast, and Chris Kelly has cemented himself as a new voice in filmmaking,” said Vertical head of Theatrical Distribution Michael Pollock. “In NY, the film was the number one grossing new release at the Village East, taking in an estimated $15,000 over the weekend with numerous sold-out shows…” Vertical said Other People grossed $9K at the Sundance Sunset. Both coasts included Q&As with the filmmaker and/or cast. The company also noted it ranked 23rd on attains since debuting there Friday.
By far the weekend’s highest grossing Specialty title was No Manches Frida from Lionsgate/Pantelion, which carried momentum in expansion in its second frame after a robust debut over the Labor Day weekend. The title played an additional 103 locations vs. its launch, grossing $2.15 million in 465 theaters, averaging $4,624. Last weekend’s 4-day holiday gross was $4.65M, averaging $10,083. The title’s two week cume of over $7.36 million means that had it been a full summer release, it would have already ranked sixth among all limited release films in the period May to Labor Day period, behind The Lobster which cumed over $8.6 million. It may well top the summer’s biggest Specialty b.o. getter, Love & Friendship (over $13.9 million).
Also in its second weekend, Paladin added 21 runs for Jerry Lewis starrer Max Rose, grossing $15,440 ($702 average). It debuted in a single location Labor Day weekend taking in $4K. Its two-week cume is now $21,497. And FilmRise added five runs for White Girl, grossing $28,500 ($3,562 average) for a two-week cume of $78,746. It averaged $12K from a three-day gross of $36K last weekend.
Marking its second month in release, The Film Arcade’s comedy Don’t Think Twice played an additional ten runs from the previous weekend, grossing over $319K in 175 theaters ($1,825 average). The Mike Birbiglia-directed feature has cumed over $3.52 million.
Cohen Media Group added an additional three runs for its re-release of the restored Howards End, holding decently. In 9 theaters, the title grossed $21,480, averaging $2,387. It averaged $7,335 in its second weekend from a $44K gross last week. Its three-week cume is now $136,222.
Roadside Attractions/Miramax’s Obama date feature Southside with You grossed $327,850 in 444 theaters over the weekend, averaging $738, bringing its 3-week cume to just over $6 million.
Hillary’s America also crossed a threshold after grossing $62K this weekend in 169 locations ($366 average), giving it a cume of $13M.
Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $5K
Cameraperson (Janus Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $12,897
Come What May (Cohen Media Group) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $10,656, Average $5,328
Dancer (Sundance Selects) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7K
Demon (The Orchard) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $13,560, Average $4,520
Kicks (Focus Features) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $10,667
Landfill Harmonic (The Film Collaborative/Emerging Pictures) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,200
Other People (Vertical Entertainment) NEW [12 Theaters] Weekend $38K, Average $3,167
Max Rose (Paladin) Week 2 [22 Theaters] Weekend $15,440, Average $702, Cume $21,497
Nam Hai Akira (FIP) Week 2 [51 Theaters] Weekend $16,500, Average $324, Cume $212,961
No Manches Frida (Lionsgate/Pantelion) Week 2 [465 Theaters] Weekend $2.15M, Average $4,624, Cume $7,368,782
White Girl (FilmRise) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $28,500, Average $3,562, Cume $78,746
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Complete Unknown (IFC Films) Week 3 [53 Theaters] Weekend $38,160, Average $720, Cume $124,480
The Hollars (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [32 Theaters] Weekend $71,362, Average $2,230, Cume $270,615
Howards End (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 (re-release) [9 Theaters] Weekend $21,480, Average $2,387, Cume $136,222
Southside With You (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 3 [444 Theaters] Weekend $327,850, Average $738, Cume $6,015,124
A Tale of Love and Darkness (Focus World) Week 4 [64 Theaters] Weekend $62K, Average $969, Cume $479,459
The People vs. Fritz Bauer (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [12 Theaters] Weekend $40,239, Average $1,829, Cume $188,780
Hell Or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate) Week 5 [1,445 Theaters] Weekend $2.6M, Average $1,799, Cume $19.824M
Equity (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [194 Theaters] Weekend $90,101, Average $464, Cume $1,465,131
Indignation (Roadside Attractions) Week 7 [64 Theaters] Weekend $61,900, Average $967, Cume $3,218,519
Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) Week 8 [175 Theaters] Weekend $319,310, Average $1,825, Cume $3,524,753
Café Society (Amazon/Lionsgate) Week 9 [142 Theaters] Weekend $151K, Average $1,063, Cume $10,754,671
Hillary’s America (Quality Flix/D’Souza Entertainment) Week 9 [169 Theaters] Weekend $62K, Average $366, Cume $13,020,362
Life, Animated (The Orchard) Week 11 [11 Theaters] Weekend $6,328, Average $575, Cume $234,762
Hunt For The Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 12 [86 Theaters] Weekend $96,825, Average $1,126, Cume $4,773,578
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) Week 14 [10 Theaters] Weekend $3,665, Average $367, Cume $1,148,874
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.