Just as Donald Trump’s travel ban raised the question of whether Iranian director Asghar Farhadi could attend next month’s Academy Awards, the director’s Oscar nominated The Salesman grabbed the weekend box office’s best per theater average ($23,690), with a total take of $71,071. The film opened in limited release via Amazon Studios/Cohen Media Group.
Mexico’s Un Padre No Tan Padre from Pantelion/Lionsgate took its bow in 312 locations on Friday, grossing north of $1M. Both China Lion and Well Go USA launched Chinese titles over the weekend: Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga (Well Go USA) grossed $112,300 from just 14 runs, while Buddies In India (China Lion) played 55 locations, taking in $190,000. Sony Classics added theaters for its Oscar nominated animated feature The Red Turtle in its second frame grossing nearly $66K while the distributor added runs for its Best Foreign Language nominee Toni Erdmann. In the wake of this past week’s nominations, La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Jackie and Moonlight also expanded.
If Iran’s The Salesman wins Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars next month, director Farhadi won’t be there to accept (he’s declined due to Donald Trump’s travel ban). The flurry of press about the title in the lead-up to its release may have given it a boost nevertheless. The Salesman opened in three locations Friday from Amazon Studios/Cohen Media Group, grossing $71,071, averaging $23,690, easily the best PTA of the weekend as of Sunday morning.
“We were always of the mind that the film would be able to stand on its own outside of the awards world,” said a Cohen spokesperson earlier this week, “but we worked very hard to get the nomination and time our release in such a way that we would get the full benefit, in terms of building audience awareness and opening up a wider and more robust rollout.” Cohen will expand the film “more aggressively in the weeks ahead.”
Mexico also caught the ire of the new U.S. president this week, but its hit comedy Un Padre No Tan Padre made it up north nevertheless. Released by Pantelion/Lionsgate, the Spanish language title by Raúl Martínez starring Héctor Bonilla grossed $1M in 312 locations Friday to Sunday, averaging $3,285. Pantelion said the title’s theme of generational conflict fit with the company’s strategy to release films that work across age groups. “Something that is important for us is the family element,” Pantelion’s COO Edward Allen said this week. “It’s important for our audiences to be able to see a movie together…”
Well Go USA opened its second Jackie Chan title of the year Friday just in time to welcome the year of the Rooster. Kung Fu Yoga bowed in 14 locations grossing $112,300, for a decent $8,021 PTA. Noted Well Go USA’s Dylan Marchetti when reporting numbers Sunday: “The film played well across the board, from Chinese audiences celebrating the Year of the Rooster to genre and martial arts fans just looking for a good time.” Well Go USA will add additional runs over the next several weeks.
China Lion was also on the New Year bandwagon with Buddies in China, directed by and starring Wang Baoqiang, opening in 55 locations. The title grossed $190,000, averaging $3,454. It is a bit weaker than last year’s Detective Chinatown, which also starred Wang (who didn’t direct) and released by China Lion. It grossed over 280,000 in its opening weekend last January in 33 theaters, averaging $8,493. It went on to cume over $474,000.
Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle received an Oscar nomination for animation as it headed into its second weekend stateside. Released by Sony Pictures Classics, the feature grossed nearly $66,000 in 15 theaters, averaging $4,397. In its debut the film grossed $21,811 in three locations, averaging $7,270. It has cumed $115,278.
Nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Annapurna/A24’s 20th Century Women held at 650 locations in its fifth frame. The title starring Annette Bening grossed $938,340, averaging $1,444, down about one-third from last weekend’s $2,155 PTA. The feature is almost at $4M.
Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street’s Paterson played an additional 13 runs also in its fifth weekend. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, the title grossed $173,438, averaging $3,401, which was actually an uptick from last weekend’s $3,251 PTA in just 38 theaters. It has cumed over $792,000.
SPC added 14 runs for Best Foreign Language nominee Toni Erdmann this weekend. The title grossed an estimated $102,294 in 20 theaters, averaging $5,115, which was also a jump in its average. Last weekend, the film averaged $4,543 from a half-dozen runs. Toni Erdmann has cumed just under $381,000 in five weeks.
Fox Searchlight added 269 runs for Jackie following its trio of Academy Award nominations. In 508 theaters, Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, grossed $665,000, averaging $1,309. Last weekend Jackie grossed $365,000, averaging $1,527. It has now cumed over $12.18M.
TWC’s Lion scored six nominations this past week, though the title remained in 575 theaters in its 10th weekend. The title grossed $2.4M, averaging $4,144, though that’s a sizable jump of about 24% from last weekend’s $3,155 PTA. Lion has cumed over $19.75M.
Oscar nom behemoth La La Land went full-scale wide following its 14 nominations. The Lionsgate release grossed over $12M for the weekend. For more information on that, please check out Deadline’s studio box office report.
Also fairly wide is Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions’ Manchester By the Sea, which more than doubled its runs to 1,104 theaters over last weekend following its six nominations. The title starring Casey Affleck grossed over $2M, averaging $1,752 bringing its cume to over $41.54M.
And A24’s Moonlight boasted 8 nominations and with that a jump of 615 runs vs last weekend. In 1,104 locations, the title directed by Barry Jenkins grossed over $1.5M averaging $1,394. It has cumed over $17.76M.
Buddies In India (China Lion) NEW [55 Theaters] Weekend $190,000, Average $3,454
Kung Fu Yoga (Well Go USA) NEW [14 Theaters] Weekend $112,300, Average $8,021
Un Padre No Tan Padre (Pantelion/Lionsgate) NEW [312 Theaters] Weekend $1,025,000, Average $3,285
Raees (Zee Studios) NEW [265 Theaters] Weekend $1,854,000, Average $6,996
The Salesman (Amazon Studios/Cohen Media Group) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $71,071, Average $23,690
The Red Turtle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [15 Theaters] Weekend $65,955, Average $4,397, Cume $115,278
The Sunshine Makers (FilmRise Releasing) Week 2 [7 Theaters] Weekend $3,200, Average $457, Cume $5,878
Strike A Pose (Bond360) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $9,000, Average $4,500, Cume $23,000
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Worlds Apart (Cinema Libre) Week 3 [1 Theater] Weekend $3,600, Cume $45,993
20th Century Women (Annapurna/A24) Week 5 [650 Theaters] Weekend $938,340, Average $1,444, Cume $3,966,844
Paterson (Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street) Week 5 [51 Theaters] Weekend $173,438, Average $3,401, Cume $792,880
Toni Erdmann (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [20 Theaters] Weekend $102,294, Average $5,115, Cume $380,897
Julieta (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [48 Theaters] Weekend $126,417, Average $2,634, Cume $844,572
Neruda (The Orchard) Week 7 [28 Theaters] Weekend $69,405, Average $2,479, Cume $438,538
La La Land (Lionsgate) Week 8 [3,136 Theaters] Weekend $12,050,000, Average $3,842, Cume $106,509,372
Jackie (Fox Searchlight) Week 9 [508 Theaters] Weekend $665,000, Average $1,309, Cume $12,183,848
Lion (The Weinstein Company) Week 10 [575 Theaters], Weekend $2,383,000, Average $4,144, Cume $19,752,872
Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 11 [1,168 Theaters] Weekend $2,026,740, Average $1,752, Cume $41,540,879
Elle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [128 Theaters] Weekend $128,970, Average $1,008, Cume $1,789,203
The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [91 Theaters] Weekend $72,513, Average $797, Cume $2,854,970
Moonlight (A24) Week 15 [1,104 Theaters] Weekend $1,538,976, Average $1,394, Cume $17,764,355