UPDATED at 10:55AM PT with more numbers and analysis. Magnolia and Participant’s Sundance documentary RBG opened in 34 locations Friday with momentum behind it and it delivered a solid start.
Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the feature spotlighting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg grossed 560,000, or $16,471 per location, making it one of the top non-fiction releases of the year. The headway was all the more impressive given the long shadow of The Avengers.
Music Box Films opened The Guardians in a single location, grossing $7,199 over the weekend, while French-Dutch crime-drama Racer And the Jailbird bowed in two theaters, taking in $2,222. Bleecker Street’s Disobedience by Sebastián Lelio continued to lure audiences in a second-week expansion, grossing $310,272 from 31 runs, averaging $10K. Sundance Selects’ Let The Sunshine In by Claire Denis also flexed muscle in its second weekend, taking in $66,754 in seven locations.
Sony Classics added runs for The Rider in its fourth frame, grossing nearly $142K Friday to Sunday, while the company’s adventure-comedy The Leisure Seeker with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland topped $3M in its ninth weekend.
RBG went out to nearly three dozen locations in its first weekend. Magnolia and Participant clearly had confidence in the documentary, which they picked up at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The average would have likely been higher had it bowed in fewer locations through the per theater average is still one of the best of the year for a non-fiction film. Kino Lorber opened Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami in three locations in mid-April, grossing $60,442, averaging $20,147. Ahead of its launch Friday, Magnolia and Participant organized pre-release buyouts around the country. Participant worked with 60 organizations around the country to secure more than 70 theater buyouts.
“We have a history of working with Magnolia and have enjoyed working with them,” said Participant Media CEO David Linde this week. “We’re often at festivals looking for opportunities together. RBG leapt off of the screen — they loved it and we loved it. The film is a celebration, not just about an incredible woman but about people who believe in the things she believes in: equal rights and gender equality. That falls right into our bucket list.”Magnolia said in a statement today: “We’ve been lucky to get to share the Justice’s story with audiences… and they sure came out this weekend. The film played to large, enthusiastic crowds in all 10 markets we opened, with women young and old representing the majority of patrons.”
RBG will be in 150 locations next Friday, in time for Mother’s Day. It will go to 300 runs on May 18.
Music Box’s French drama The Guardians, from writer-director Xavier Beauvois bowed exclusively at New York’s Quad Cinema, grossing $7,199. The filmmaker had success on this side of the Atlantic with his 2011 release Of Gods and Men, which cumed $3.95M. The Guardians will open on May 11 at the Laemmle Royal in LA; May 18 at the Vogue in San Francisco; and May 25 at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Other major markets to follow in May and early June.
Disobedience, which stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, continued to show strength in its second frame. The drama-romance by Sebastián Lelio played 26 additional theaters in its second weekend, grossing $310,272 in 31 locations, averaging $10,009. In its debut, Disobedience grossed over $241K in five theaters, averaging $48,255. Its two-week cume is $638,645.
Also strong in its debut and still holding well in its second weekend is Sundance Selects’ French drama-romance Let The Sunshine In, starring Juliette Binoche. The feature played five additional runs Friday to Sunday, grossing $66,754 for a $9,536 PTA. The film’s cume after 10 days is $123,770.
Kino Lorber added 10 runs for Grace Jones, marking the film’s first month in release. In 29 locations, the film grossed $26,432, averaging $911. The title took in just over $41K the weekend prior, averaging $2,161. It has cumed $243,757.
The Rider also played 10 additional theaters vs last weekend, holding strong. The feature directed by Chloé Zhao took in $141,982 in 47 theaters Friday to Sunday, averaging $3,021. Last weekend, it grossed over $188K in 37 locations ($5,090 average). It has now cumed $567,272.
Music Box Films added two runs for Back To Burgundy in its seventh frame, with only a slight drop in PTA compared to its previous weekend. The feature grossed $15,768 in 12 locations averaging $1,314 (-5%). The title played 10 theaters last weekend, grossing $13,760, averaging $1,376. Its has cumed $208,416.
Searchlight’s Isle of Dogs returned to a fairly limited screen count after spending several weeks in wide release. Directed by Wes Anderson, the title took in $790K in the three-day in 702 theaters, averaging $1,125 bringing its theatrical cume to $28.45M.
IFC Films comedy The Death of Stalin took in $181,623 in 200 locations this weekend in its ninth outing, averaging $908. The theater count is 50 more than last weekend’s, when the title grossed over $210K ($1,403 average). Stalin has cumed over $7.49M.
Sony Classics’ The Leisure Seeker topped $3M in its ninth frame. The title, which stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, grossed $50,250 this weekend, averaging $661 in each of its 76 sites.
The Guardians (Music Box Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,199
RBG (Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media) NEW [34 Theaters] Weekend $560,000, Average $16,471
Racer And The Jailbird (Super) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $2,222, Average $1,111
Disobedience (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [31 Theaters] Weekend $310,272, Average $10,009, Cume $638,645
Duck Butter (The Orchard) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $610, Average $305, Cume $6,337
Kings (The Orchard) Week 2 [70 Theaters] Weekend $13,642, Average $195, Cume $257,896
Let The Sunshine In (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [7 Theaters] Weekend $66,754, Average $9,536, Cume $123,770
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
After Auschwitz (Passion River Films) Week 3 [13 Theaters] Weekend $12,079, Average $929, Cume $47,677
The Devil And Father Amorth (The Orchard) Week 3 [2 Theaters] Weekend $650, Average $325, Cume $13,969
Godard Mon Amour (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [20 Theaters] Weekend $11,293, Average $565, Come $51,222
Lou Andreas-Salomé, Audacity To Be Free (Cinema Libre) Week 3 [1 Theater] Weekend $660, Cume $11,898
Beirut (Bleecker Street) Week 4 [140 Theaters] Weekend $104,875, Average $749, Cume $4,748,735
Borg vs. McEnroe (Neon) Week 4 [13 Theaters] Weekend $10,885, Average $837, Cume $218,757
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Kino Lorber) Week 4 [29 Theaters] Weekend $26,432, Average $911, Cume $243,757
The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [47 Theaters] Weekend $141,982, Average $3,021, Cume $567,272
Lean On Pete (A24) Week 5 [187 Theaters] Weekend $121,110, Average $648, Cume $906,050
You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Studios) Week 5 [185 Theaters] Weekend $168,905, Average $913, Cume $2,153,855
Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6) Week 6 [60 Theaters] Weekend $47,400, Average $790, Cume $1,265,747
Back To Burgundy (Music Box Films) Week 7 [12 Theaters] Weekend $15,768, Average $1,314, Cume $208,416
Getting Grace (Hannover House) Week 7 [4 Theaters] Weekend $8,971, Average $2,243, Cume $197,117
Isle Of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [702 Theaters] Weekend $790,000, Average $1,125, Cume $28,453,046
The Death of Stalin (IFC Films) Week 9 [200 Theaters] Weekend $181,623, Average $908, Cume $7,490,528
The Hurricane Heist (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 9 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1,767, Average $589, Cume $6,114,065
Itzhak (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 9 [35 Theaters] Weekend $30,730, Average $878, Cume $433,915
The Leisure Seeker (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [76 Theaters] Weekend $50,250, Average $661, Cume $3,011,947
The Young Karl Marx (The Orchard) Week 11 [1 Theater] Weekend $504, Cume $123,600
1945 (Menemsa Films) Week 27 [18 Theaters] Weekend $21,753, Average $1,208, Cume $640,341