Actor Greta Gerwig has added ‘director’ to her resume in a big way. Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, grossed $375,612 in four theaters, giving the A24 release a sizzling $93,903 per theater average, the best of 2017. Lady Bird had plenty of competition from veteran filmmakers with well-known actors in a crowded market of Specialty newcomers. Menemsha Films opened 1945 in two theaters, scoring the second-best PTA of the weekend among the Specialties: The title grossed $23,412. FilmRise opened My Friend Dahmer in four locations, taking in $45K. Amazon Studios and Lionsgate rolled out Richard Linklater’s latest film Last Flag Flying with Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne with so-so results in several theaters, grossing $42K Friday to Sunday. Vitagraph Films opened Jason Wise’s documentary Wait For Your Laugh for $17K from two runs. The weekend’s highest-grossing Specialty title was Electric Entertainment’s LBJ starring Woody Harrelson as Lyndon Baines Johnson, opening in 659 locations, grossing $1.138M.
Submarine Deluxe, meanwhile, opened doc Gilbert on comedian Gilbert Gottfried with a single run at $8,362. Atlas Distribution added runs for Let There Be Light in its second weekend, grossing over $1.63M. Magnolia Pictures expanded Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Square in week 2, holding well at $102K, while SPC moved Novitiate to 16 locations, grossing nearly $55K. Open Road’s All I See Is You shed theaters in its second frame for a quiet $5,491 weekend gross. National Geographic Films/Abramorama’s doc Jane by Brett Morgen won the Critics Choice Documentary Award this weekend and is remaining solid at the box office, taking in over $229K in 55 locations in its third weekend. Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent crossed $3M in its seventh weekend, while self-released Columbus went over $1M. And still reigning as the fall’s highest-grossing Specialty title is Focus Features’ Victoria And Abdul, which is closing in on $20M.
Lady Bird was a sought-after screening at Telluride and Toronto and that festival enthusiasm carried over to New York, Mill Valley, Philadelphia and more. It wasn’t hard to predict that the A24 release by first-time director Greta Gerwig would be a hit at the box office, but it went full-tilt this weekend. Lady Bird has the year’s best opening weekend per theater average at $93,903. The feature grossed $375,612 in its initial four locations.
A24 said Sunday that the title “sold-out shows at all four opening theaters this weekend,” adding: “The surefire awards contender boasts a perfect 100% on RT and features a fantastic ensemble, led by the incomparable Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. “Exit polling shows sensational word-of-mouth and universal appeal from both younger and older audiences across the board.”
Before the release of Lady Bird, Amazon Studios/Lionsgate’s The Big Sick had 2017’s highest opening weekend per theater average at $84,315 when it opened in five theaters in late June grossing $421,577 in its debut. The romantic-comedy by Michael Showalter has cured over $42.87M. Other high PTA beginners this year include CJ Entertainment’s The Battleship Island, which opened in one theater in late July grossing $59,344 as well as Focus Features’ The Beguiled by Sophia Coppola grossing $229,292 in four theaters in its opening frame, averaging $57,323. Lady Bird nevertheless trails last year’s highest-PTA opener, La La Land, which grossed $881,104 in five theaters when it bowed in December, averaging a whopping $176,221. Last year’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight (also an A24 release) from director Barry Jenkins grossed over $402K its opening weekend, averaging $100,519.
A24 will expand Lady Bird into top markets next weekend ahead of a nationwide expansion over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.
Richard Linklater’s latest film, Last Flag Flying from Amazon Studios/Lionsgate opened four New York and Los Angeles locations Friday. The opening film at this year’s New York Film Festival, starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, the title took in $42K, giving it a ho-hum $10,500 Friday to Sunday average. The PTA trails Linklater’s previous film, Everybody Wants Some!! which Paramount released in March, 2016 in 19 theaters, grossing over $312K ($16,440 average). Linklater’s 2014 film, Boyhood, remains his best opening average title. Released by IFC Films in July 2014, Boyhood grossed $387,618 in five locations, averaging $77,524. It went on to come over $25.35M.
Last Flag Flying may pick up momentum as it moves beyond its New York and L.A. runs. Amazon Studios said its test screenings had great response from military families and that it expects its success lies in areas where indie/specialty work gets little play. Said Amazon Studios’ Bob Berney earlier this week: ““I think the film is going to play across the country in places where typical indie films don’t play. We expect it to play in bigger complexes. Our research screenings have been tremendous.”
Last Flag Flying will expand to 25 locations Veterans Day weekend. The feature will then go wide in time for Thanksgiving weekend.
Rob Reiner’s latest film, LBJ about the 36th President of the United States opened in 659 theaters Friday via Electric Entertainment, by far the widest release among the weekend’s specialty titles. LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson, grossed $1.138M, averaging a slowish $1,727. The distributor targeted the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of the U.S. presidential election to open LBJ.
“With HBO’s LBJ series and the new political landscape, we thought it would be right to release this film in the latter part of 2017,” said Electric Entertainment’s Zac Reeder earlier this week. “And with Trump in the White House, it seemed like a good time, [plus] people think of elections in the fall and it could get some awards consideration.”
Menemsha Films had the weekend’s second-best per theater average opener. Its title, 1945, opened in two theaters, grossing $23,412 for an $11,706 per theater average. The bulk of its gross came from New York’s Lincoln Plaza theater at $18,226. 1945 has cumed $29,365 since opening Wednesday.
“The film increased 100% from Friday to Saturday which foretells great word of mouth for the film going forward,” commented Menemsha Films’ Neil Friedman Sunday. “It is one of the rare films that won both the Audience Award and the San Francisco Critics Prize at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the premiere Jewish Film Festival in North America. The film expands to Los Angeles on November 24 and then will roll out to all of the top 30 markets thereafter.”
Among other openers, Vitagraph Films documentary Wait For Your Laugh from Jason Wise grossed $17,600 from two runs, averaging $8,800, while Submarine Deluxe’s doc Gilbert took in $8,362 from its exclusive run. Magnolia Pictures’ Blade Of the Immortal bowed in 30 theaters grossing $42K ($1,400 average), and IFC Films launched Frank Serpico with a single run grossing $2,238.
Atlas Distribution added 269 runs for faith-drama Let There Be Light by Kevin Sorbo in its second weekend. Executive produced by Sean Hannity, the feature grossed $1.63M Friday to Sunday, averaging $2,541, giving it a cume of just over $4M. In its debut, the title took in $1.8M in 373 locations, averaging $5K.
Magnolia Pictures added 15 locations for Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s The Square also in its second frame. The title, which took the Palme d’Or in Cannes in May, held well in weekend number two, grossing $102 in 19 theaters, averaging $5,368. The Square opened in two theaters last weekend, grossing $23K ($11,655 average). It has now cumed $207,456.
Sony Classics took Margaret Betts drama Novitiate to 13 additional locations in its second weekend. The title took in $54,898 in 16 theaters, averaging $3,431. In its debut, Novitiate grossed $22,577 from three runs averaging $7,526. It has cumed $89,493.
All I See Is You lost 230 runs in its second weekend. The Open Road release played 53 locations, grossing $5,491, averaging a slight $104 bringing its cute to $213,851. The title opened to $135,504 in 283 theaters, averaging $479.
National Geographic Films/Abramorama’s doc Jane by Brett Morgen had a good weekend. It won the Critics Choice Documentary Award earlier this week and added 30 runs in its third frame. Jane grossed $229,646, averaging $4,668 taking its cume to $517,658. The distributors noted Saturday numbers doubled Friday in many locations due to families attending showings of the title about famed primatologist Jane Goodall. “Word of mouth is very, very strong for this movie about one of the great female role models in modern history,” the distributors noted Sunday.
The Orchard added a single run for BPM (Beats Per Minute) in its third weekend, grossing $8,248 in five theaters ($1,657 average) bringing its cume to $37,192. Last weekend it took in $7,470 in four locations ($1,868 average).
A24 added 53 locations for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer in its third weekend, bringing its theater count to 86. The title continued to show momentum, grossing $401,426, averaging $4,668. It has cumed $908,351.
Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent crossed $3M over the weekend. The title took in $590,195 in 205 theaters, averaging $2,879 bringing its cume to $3,033,325.
Columbus, the self-released feature which opened 14 weeks ago under the Superlative Films/Depth of Field labels went over $1M. The debut feature from Kogonada starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson grossed $5,950 in ten locations Friday to Sunday, averaging $936 giving it a cume of $1,001,381. The title was released with the support of the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship.
Focus Features’ Victoria And Abdul starring Dame Judi Dench continues to draw crowds in its seventh weekend. The title is closing in on $20M, landing at a $19,864,719 cume as of this weekend. The title grossed $1.21M in 796 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,520.
1945 (Menemsha Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $23,412, Average $11,706, Cume $29,365 (Wed. Open)
Blade Of The Immortal (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [30 Theaters] Weekend $42,000, Average $1,400
Frank Serpico (IFC Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $2,238, Cume $4,860 (Wed. Open)
My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $45,000, Average $11,250
Gilbert (Submarine Deluxe) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,362
Lady Bird (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $375,612, Average $93,903
LBJ (Electric Entertainment) NEW [659 Theaters] Weekend $1,138,000, Average $1,727
Last Flag Flying (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $42,000, Average $10,500
Wait For Your Laugh (Vitagraph Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $17,600, Average $8,800
All I See Is You (Open Road) Week 2 [53 Theaters] Weekend $5,491, Average $104, Cume $213,851
Let There Be Light (Atlas Distribution) Week 2 [642 Theaters] Weekend $1,631,384, Average $2,541, Cume $4,023,740
Mansfield 66/67 (FilmBuff) Week 2 [12 Theater] Weekend $4,001, Average $333, Come $12,427
Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $54,898, Average $3,431, Cume $89,493
The Square (Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [19 Theaters] Weekend $102,000, Average $5,368, Cume $207,456
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Aida’s Secret (Music Box Films) Week 3 [6 Theaters] Weekend $11,339, Average $1,889, Cume $57,550
BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard) Week 3 [5 Theaters] Weekend $8,284, Average $1,657, Cume $37,194
Dealt (Sundance Selects) Week 3 [6 Theater] Weekend $11,741, Average $1,956, Cume $21,233
Jane (National Geographic Films/Abramorama) Week 3 [55 Theaters] Weekend $229,646, Average $4,194, Cume $517,658
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (A24) Week 3 [86 Theaters] Weekend $401,426, Average $4,668, Cume $908,351
Tragedy Girls (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 3 [22 Theaters] Weekend $10,062, Average $457, Cume $46,625
Wonderstruck (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [121 Theaters] Weekend $235,755, Average $1,948, Cume $517,828
Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [262 Theaters] Weekend $353,000, Average $1,347, Cume $1,159,385
Human Flow (Amazon Studios/Participant) Week 4 [33 Theaters] Weekend $34,500, Average $1,045, Cume $346,687
Marshall (Open Road Films) Week 4 [514 Theaters] Weekend $503,730, Average $980, Come $7,824,499
Chavela (Music Box Films) Week 5 [3 Theaters] Weekend $2,919, Average $973, Cume $126,536
Dina (The Orchard) Week 5 [24 Theaters] Weekend $14,765, Average $615, Cume $78,119
Faces Places (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [28 Theaters] Weekend $47,886, Average $1,710, Come $365,796
The Florida Project (A24) Week 5 [189 Theaters] Weekend $663,626, Average $3,511, Cume $3,026,569
The Stray (Quality Flix) Week 5 [23 Theaters] Weekend $14,000, Average $609, Come $1,529,665
Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [44 Theaters] Weekend $28,251, Average $642, Cume $735,569
A Question of Faith (Pure Flux) Week 6 [25 Theaters] Weekend $13,000, Average $520, Cume $2,373,646
Battle Of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [158 Theaters] Weekend $185,000, Average $1,171, Cume $12,317,446
Friend Request (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 7 [4 Theaters] Weekend $500, Average $125, Cume $3,757,662
Loving Vincent (Good Deed Entertainment) Week 7 [205 Theaters] Weekend $590,195, Average $2,879, Cume $3,033,325
Stronger (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 7 [35 Theaters] Weekend $12,705, Average $363, Cume $4,170,448
Victoria And Abdul (Focus Features) Week 7 [796 Theaters] Weekend $1,210,000, Average $1,520, Cume $19,864,719
Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field) Week 14 [10 Theaters] Weekend $5,950, Average $936, Cume $1,001,381
Wind River (The Weinstein Company) Week 14 [105 Theaters] Weekend $51,086, Average $487, Cume $33,694,649