A big contingent of new Specialty titles crowded into theaters over the weekend, dividing up a finite pie. Topping the reporting openers is Newcity’s Signature Move with $18,214 as of early Sunday from a single location. IFC Films new documentary Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton came in second in the per theater average race, grossing $13,819 also from an exclusive run. FIP’s Judwaa 2 had the highest absolute gross among the reporting first-week launches as of Sunday morning. Directed by Bollywood vet David Dhawan, the title grossed $605K in 192 theaters. Abramorama bowed doc Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two in five locations taking in over $55K, while Magnolia opened Lucky starring the late Harry Dean Stanton and David Lynch with $46K from five runs. Coming in comparatively slower was Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House from Sony Pictures Classics. Starring Liam Neeson and Diane Lane, the Deep Throat drama took in $35,138 in five locations. In its second weekend, Focus Features’ Victoria and Abdul with Dame Judi Dench held solidly in an expansion, grossing just over $1M. Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate’s Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal took in over $986K also with added locations in week 2, while Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent had solid sales in four theaters, grossing $52,886. And in its eighth frame, Neon’s Ingrid Goes West crossed $3M.
By early afternoon ET, Newcity reported numbers for Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move, saying the title had grossed $18,214 in a single theater (though that hasn’t been corroborated by comScore). If the number holds up, it will top this weekend’s Specialty box office per theater average.
“We sold out opening night film Friday in the biggest single movie theater in Chicago, the Music Box, and were greeted with a standing ovation when the film ended. What we believed would be true – that this romantic comedy about a Pakistani-American Muslim woman falling in love with a Mexican-American woman would have a universal appeal that transcends its core demographics – is proving to be the case,” said Newcity’s Brian Hieggelke Sunday afternoon. “We are very pleased with the strong critical response and overjoyed with the overwhelming audience response.”
Going forward, Hieggelke said the company will handle “expansion slowly and methodically, and continuing on the festival circuit simultaneously, with the intention to ensure that the film builds its audience through strong word-of-mouth as well as continuing press coverage that recognizes the timeliness of this little independent film.”
Surfing star Laird Hamilton is the focus of Rory Kennedy’s latest documentary, which IFC Films opened with an exclusive run as well as on-demand this weekend. Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton grossed $13,819 at the NuArt in West L.A., technically grabbing the second-highest per theater average among the specialties this weekend.
The Sundance debut has played a healthy run of festivals leading up to the weekend’s bow, including beachside screenings in Newport, R.I. and Maui before packed crowds. Though the film is on-demand, Kennedy said the film is best seen in theaters. “We made it for the big screen,” said Kennedy. “Others [distributors] weren’t offering that. We hope people will see the big waves on the big screen, surrounded by the sounds of the ocean.”
Artisan released 2003 documentary Step Into Liquid, which also featured Laird Hamilton along with other pro-surfers. That film grossed nearly $136K its opening weekend in five theaters ($27,197 average), going on to cume over $3.68M at the box office.
Added IFC Films Sunday: “[The film] played to enthusiastic audiences and sold out shows all weekend. We’re very pleased with the initial results, as TEW will be in the Nuart’s top 3 highest openings of the year. We’ll open New York City this coming Friday, with the IFC Center and Landmark’s brand new 57 West theatre coming in, as well as expanding into Los Angeles and some top surf markets.”
FIP opened Judwaa 2 by David Dhawan in 192 locations, the widest Specialty release among the titles reporting numbers this weekend. Starring Varun Dhawan, the comedy not surprisingly also had the highest gross among the debuting limited releases, taking in $606K for a $3,151 PTA.
“The film is a reboot of the 1997 blockbuster Judwaa which featured Salman Khan and was directed by David Dhawan and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala,” said FIP exec Rohit Sharma earlier this week. “This time around, there’s the same producer and director with his son Varun Dhawan — playing a double role. Varun is one of the leading younger stars [in India] and he appeals to audiences across all age groups… The original has great recall value and the director and producer felt that time was right to target the younger audience with this film.”
Abramorama opened Danny Clinch-directed doc Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two in five theaters ahead of a 200-theater one night event on October 3. In its initial weekend run, the title grossed $55,274, averaging $11,055.
“Once again Pearl Jam has delivered to its fans and his time we can add Cub fans – and all baseball fans – to the list of satisfied customers,” said Abramorama chief Richard Abramowitz. “We expect sold-out crowds for this week’s events. This is our third project with the band and we couldn’t be more grateful for their confidence.”
Veteran character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut Lucky, starring the late Harry Dean Stanton along with David Lynch, Ron Livington and Ed Begley, Jr. opened five runs via Magnolia in New York and Los Angeles. The feature grossed $46K, averaging $9,200. Lucky will head to 17 additional cities the following week, before going wider around the country throughout October and into November.
SPC’s Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House had a slower start in five theaters. Starring Liam Neeson as “Deep Throat,” the Watergate-era secret informant who helped bring down the presidency of Richard Nixon, grossed $35,138 in five theaters, averaging $7,028. Mark Felt will next bow in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago before heading to about a dozen cities with further expansions planned throughout October and into November.
Among other Specialty launches, The Film Arcade’s Pathological Optimist about controversial Vaxxed filmmaker Andrew Wakefield grossed $6,400 from a single run. Paladin opened Te Ata in 14 Oklahoma locations, taking in $28,640 ($2,046 average) and The Orchard’s Super Dark Times played 22 locations, grossing $22,651 ($1,030 average).
Focus Features’ continues to reign strong at the box office following its robust debut last weekend. Starring Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, the film grossed $1,031M in 77 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging a solid $13,393. The title had the best PTA start the weekend prior, taking in $152K in four locations, averaging $37,933. Victoria and Abdul has cumed $1,252,000.
Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate added 71 theaters for David Gordon Green’s Stronger in its second frame. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman in the true story of a man who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, the feature grossed $986,560 in 645 locations, averaging $1,530. The feature had a theatrical debut in 574 theaters last weekend, averaging $3,045. It has now cumed over $3.22M.
Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent held well in its second weekend, grossing $52,886 in four theaters ($13,222 average). It took in $24,304 from a single run its debut. Loving Vincent has cumed $89,692.
Searchlight expanded Battle Of the Sexes to over twelve hundred theaters in its second weekend, grossing $3.4M. For more information on that, head to Deadline’s studio box office report.
Amazon Studios/Annapurna Pictures kept Brad’s Status in 453 locations in its third weekend. The title grossed $404K, averaging $892 (-59%). Brad’s Status grossed just over $1M last weekend, averaging $2,210. It has cumed over $1.76M.
IFC Films’ Viceroy’s House is closing in on a million dollars. In its fifth weekend, the historical drama took in over $108K in 108 theaters, averaging $1,002 for a cume of $910,739.
And Neon’s Ingrid Goes West topped $3M in its 8th weekend in theaters. That will likely be its benchmark. In 48 locations, it grossed $13,950 Friday to Sunday, averaging $291.
Judwaa 2 (FIP) NEW [192 Theaters] Weekend $605,000, Average $3,151
Lucky (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $46,000, Average $9,200
Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $35,138, Average $7,028
Pathological Optimist (The Film Arcade) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $6,400
Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two (Abramorama) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $55,274, Average $11,055
Signature Move (Newcity) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $18,214 (not confirmed by comScore as of early afternoon Sunday)
Super Dark Times (The Orchard) NEW [22 Theaters] Weekend $22,651, Average $1,030
Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton (IFC Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $13,819
Te Ata (Paladin) NEW [14 Theaters] Weekend $28,640, Average $2,046
Battle Of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [1,213 Theaters] Weekend $3,400,000, Average $2,803, Cume $4,073,158
Bobbi Jene (Oscilloscope) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $2,200, Cume $13,279
Loving Vincent (Good Deed Entertainment) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $52,886, Average $13,222, Cume $89,692
Unrest (Shella Films) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $12,096, Average $2,016
Stronger (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 2 [645 Theaters] Weekend $986,560, Average $1,530, Cume $3,228,637
Victoria And Abdul (Focus Features) Week 2 [77 Theaters] Weekend $1,031,000, Average $13,393, Cume $1,252,000
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Brad’s Status (Amazon Studios/Annapurna Pictures) Week 3 [453 Theaters] Weekend $404,000, Average $892, Cume $1,769,544
May It Last: A Portrait Of the Avett Brothers Oscilloscope [4 Theaters] Weekend $2,500, Average $625, Cume $703,086
Rebel In the Rye (IFC Films) Week 4 [73 Theaters ] Weekend $36,548, Average $501, Cume $327,765
Trophy (The Orchard) Week 4 [21 Theaters] Weekend $2,168, Average $103, Cume $16,540
The Unknown Girl (IFC Films) Week 4 [29 Theaters] Weekend $20,412, Average $704, Cume $123,017
Do It Like An Hombre (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 5 [68 Theaters] Weekend $35,000, Average $515, Cume $2,520,525
Dolores (PBS Distribution) Week 5 [27 Theaters] Weekend $46,695, Average $1,729, Cume $345,685
Viceroy’s House (IFC Films) Week 5 [108 Theaters] Weekend $108,264, Average $1,002, Cume $910,739
Beach Rats (Neon) Week 6 [20 Theaters] Weekend $17,495, Average $875, Cume $437,354
Polina (Oscilloscope) Week 6 [9 Theaters] Weekend $3,000, Average $333, Cume $157,567
California Typewriter (Gravitas Ventures) Week 7 [20 Theaters] Weekend $18,075, Average $953, Cume $185,516
Marjorie Prime (FilmRise) Week 7 [5 Theaters] Weekend $4,000, Average $800, Cume $167,735
Ingrid Goes West (Neon) Week 8 [48 Theaters] Weekend $13,950, Average $291, Cume $3,002,880
The Trip To Spain (IFC Films) Week 8 [30 Theaters] Weekend $11,637, Average $388, Cume $1,078,822
Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field) Week 9 [49 Theaters] Weekend $53,630, Average $1,095, Cume $836,491
Wind River (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [892 Theaters] Weekend $600,159, Average $673, Cume $32,789,518
The Big Sick (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) Week 15 [81 Theaters] Weekend $45,000, Average $556, Cume $42,788,469
Lost In Paris (Oscilloscope) Week 16 [12 Theaters] Weekend $8,000, Average $667, Cume $667,629
The Hero (The Orchard) Week 17 [1 Theaters] Weekend $111, Cume $4,076,366