Bleecker Street’s Denial and A24’s American Honey started October on a solid note in their debuts. Both opened Friday in a crowded market that featured mixed starts. Denial with Rachel Weisz edged over American Honey for the weekend’s top per theater average, while a couple of other openers bowed in more locations. FIP’s Indian cricket title M.S. Dhoni launched in 256 North American theaters grossing $1.2 million placing it 13th among all titles in release as of Sunday morning. China Lion’s I Belong to You had a noticeable launch with 50 runs grossing $325K. Music Box Films opened Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, A Man Called Ove, in 9 theaters, grossing $61K, while FilmRise debuted Harry & Snowman in 18 theaters, taking in $55K. Broad Green expanded The Dressmaker in its second frame grossing almost $358K and Disney’s The Queen of Katwe, which opened in just 52 theaters last week, went wide grossing over $2.6 million. And Woody Allen’s Café Society hit $11M in its third month in theaters. And The Orchard said its popular Hunt for the Wilderpeople grossed over $745K in two weeks on digital platforms, adding to its 15 week cume of over $5M in theaters.
Bleecker Street rolled out bio-drama Denial based on the book Denial: Holocaust on Trial by Deborah Lipstadt on Friday in five theaters. Starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall, the feature grossed $102,101, averaging $20,420, the weekend’s highest PTA among reporting movies as of Sunday morning. Bleecker Street reported Denial was the number one film in four of its five locations this weekend.
“The box office performance for [Friday and Saturday] were very satisfying,” said Jack Foley, Bleecker Street’s president of Distribution on Sunday morning. “Sell-outs occurred in most of the houses in the afternoon through the evening prime time shows…It shows that we have connected with our core 35 and older audience.” Foley noted that the title also lured some younger moviegoers to the Angelika in New York and Landmark in LA. The company will expand Denial, directed by Mick Jackson, to 10 new markets, adding 24 theaters next Friday including Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C., St Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix. Added Foley: “I’m excited about Atlanta because Deborah Lipstadt lives there. We like where we are and are looking forward to its [expansion].”
Cannes Jury-prize winner American Honey by Andrea Arnolds opened in 4 theaters in New York and LA. The A24 release grossed $75,370, averaging $19,843, perhaps even more impressive considering the Toronto ’16 title comes in at 2 hours, 43 minutes. Said A24 Sunday when reporting numbers: “Critics are also calling the sprawling, nearly 3-hour road trip Shia LaBeouf’s best work to date and are stunned by his electric chemistry with incredible newcomer Sasha Lane in a breakout debut.” American Honey will head to additional top markets this coming week ahead of a nationwide expansion October 14.
FIP opened Indian-produced feature M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story about celebrated cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 256 locations Friday in North America. The title grossed $1.2 million, giving it a $4,688 PTA. As is the typical practice, the company released the feature alongside its roll out in India.
“The two most popular forms of entertainment for Indians across the globe are Bollywood movies and cricket,” said Rohit Sharma Head of International Sales & Distribution Sales at Fox Star Studios India PVT Ltd earlier this week. “This film is a combination of both and was a perfect fit for our 2016 lineup.”
Sweden’s entry for foreign-language Oscar consideration, A Man Called Ove, had its American bow in 9 theaters Friday. The title grossed $61K, averaging $6,778. Ahead of its release, Music Box noted the feature had already become one of Sweden’s all-time local hits. “A Man Called Ove has established itself as a solid fall title for fans of the best-selling book and older arthouse audiences generally,” noted Music Box Sunday when reporting numbers. “[Grosses were] up 96% Friday to Saturday suggesting strong word-of-mouth and initial performance in the Midwest and suburban runs indicate board receptivity as Ove expands into more regional and suburban markets across the country.” Music Box will take Ove to about 15 runs Friday including locations in the L.A. suburbs, Connecticut, Philadelphia as well as runs in the Midwest.
China Lion opened Chinese drama I Belonged to You in 50 theaters Friday, a day after bowing in China and Singapore September 29. It grossed $325K on this side of the Pacific, averaging $6,500. “We are overjoyed at our success in releasing this Yang Yang and Deng Chao-starrer — Chao was the lead in Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid — as we ended up going out in the widest theater count ever in our six year company history, 50 screens. Considering the Chinese Golden Week holiday was packed with competition…we’re very, very happy with how we played…We hope Western audiences will take a chance on a film based on a book they may not be familiar with, but has clearly struck a cord with our first-language Chinese speakers.” China Lion will take I Belonged to You to approximately 10 more locations in the U.S. and Canada next week. It will also open the film in the U.K. Friday.
Among other openers, FilmRise debuted bio-doc Harry & Snowman in 18 theaters, grossing $55K ($3,055 average), while Vanish Films opened fellow doc Do Not Resist, focusing on the “militarization of law enforcement,” in an exclusive engagement, taking in $7,150. It will next head to L.A. and Washington, D.C. October 14 before expanding to more cities throughout the month and into November.
Broad Green added 123 locations for The Dressmaker in its second weekend. In a total of 159 theaters, the film grossed $357,705, averaging $2,250. It opened in 36 locations last weekend, grossing $180,522 ($5,014 average). The Dressmaker has cumed over $622K.
The Queen of Katwe by Mira Nair opened in just 52 theaters last week, so the Disney release made an appearance in the Specialty box office. It went mostly full-throttle in its second frame, landing in 1,242 theaters this weekend. The bio-sport-drama starring Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga grossed over $2.6 million, averaging $2,100. Last week it grossed $305K, averaging $5,865. Its two-week cume is just over $3M.
In its second frame, Monument Releasing added several runs for Chronic. In 5 theaters, the feature grossed just $1,800 for a slow $360 PTA ($5,207 cume). Long Shot Factory kept its doc Generation Startup in a single engagement in its second weekend where it grossed just over $3K or about half of its $6,032 debut gross. The title will head to Detroit next Friday where the film was shot and many of its subjects still live. Long Shot said a “nationwide non-theatrical campaign will follow.”
Abramorama added 4 runs for doc The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years among the title’s traditional runs. In 155 theaters, the film grossed just over $336K, averaging $2,220. Beatles also played 24 one-night engagements this weekend, grossing $19,120 ($797 average). Its three-week cume is now $2,088,918.
The American Experience/PBS Films’ Command and Control played five locations in its third frame, grossing $13,725 for a $2,745 average. Last weekend it grossed $10,426 ($3,475 average). The title will open in Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver and San Diego next weekend before heading to San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle and other markets in the immediate weeks to follow.
CBS Films/Lionsgate’s Hell Or High Water pushed well across $25M this past week. Over the weekend, it grossed $525K in 520 theaters ($1,010 average) for a total cume of $25,787,126.
Lionsgate/Pantelion’s No Manches Frida is heading toward $11M. In its fifth weekend, the Spanish-language title grossed $380K, averaging $1,484, giving it a five-week cume of $10,900,772. Amazon/Lionsgate’s Café Society by Woody Allen did cross $11 million since last weekend, marking its 12th week in release.
And The Orchard provided the digital gross for Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which has grossed $745,022 in two weeks. The title by Taika Waititi grossed $46,713 over the weekend in 53 theaters, averaging $881 in its 15th weekend of release. It has cumed $5,086,251.
American Honey (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $75,370, Average $19,843
I Belonged to You (China Lion) NEW [50 Theaters] Weekend $325K, Average $6,500
Denial (Bleecker Street) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $102,101, Average $20,420
Do Not Resist (Vanish Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,150
Harry & Snowman (FilmRise) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $55K, Average $3,055
A Man Called Ove (Music Box Films) NEW [9 Theaters] Weekend $61K, Average $6,778
M.S. Dhoni (FIP) NEW [256 Theaters] Weekend $1.2M, Average $4,688
Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Cinema Libre) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $7,900, Average $1,975, Cume $19,639
Chronic (Monument Releasing) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $1,800, Average $360, Cume $5,207
The Dressmaker (Broad Green Pictures) Week 2 [159 Theaters] Weekend $357,705, Average $2,250, Cume $622,296
Generation Startup (Long Shot Factory) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $3,013, Cume $13,841
Girl Asleep (Oscilloscope) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $4,500, Average $2,250, Cume $8,416
The Queen of Katwe (Disney) Week 2 [1,242 Theaters] Weekend $2,608,000, Average $2,100, Cume $3,011,009
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Abramorama) Week 3 [ One Night Engagements 24; 155 Traditional Engagements] Weekend (One Night): $19,120, Average $797; (Traditional): $336,036, Average $2,220; Cume $2,088,918
Command and Control (The American Experience/PBS Films) Week 3 [5 Theater] Weekend $13,725, Average $2,745, Cume $35,955
Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (Pure Flix) Week 3 [87 Theaters] Weekend $36K, Average $414, Cume $2,301,933
Mr. Church (Freestyle Releasing) Week 3 [49 Theaters] Weekend $8,629, Average $176, Cume $658,947
Demon (The Orchard) Week 4 [24 Theaters] Weekend $15,247, Average $635, Cume $78,819
No Manches Frida (Lionsgate/Pantelion) Week 5 [256 Theaters] Weekend $380K, Average $1,484, Cume $10,900,772
White Girl (FilmRise) Week 5 [5 Theaters] Weekend $13K, Average $2,600, Cume $176,527
The Hollars (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [197 Theaters] Weekend $98,699, Average $501, Cume $910,738
A Tale of Love and Darkness (Focus World) Week 7 [21 Theaters] Weekend $10K, Average $476, Cume $571,069
Hell Or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate) Week 8 [520 Theaters] Weekend $525K, Average $1,010, Cume $25,787,126
Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) Week 12 [74 Theaters] Weekend $99,972, Average $1,351, Cume $4,144,337
Café Society (Amazon/Lionsgate) Week 12 [64 Theaters] Weekend $45K, Average $703, Cume $11,075,385
Hunt For The Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 15 [53 Theaters] Weekend $46,713, Average $881, Cume $5,086,251; Digital $745,022