Bo Burnham’s Sundance debut Eighth Grade opened with the best debut weekend per theater average of the year. Released via A24, the feature grossed over $252K in four locations, giving it a robust $63,071 PTA. The figure tops Searchlight’s Isle Of Dogs, which now holds the second-highest opening weekend average of 2018 at $60,011.
Amazon Studios launched Gus Van Sant’s latest, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, starring Joaquin Phoenix, also in four theaters Friday. Though overshadowed by Eighth Grade, the title nevertheless had a solid start, grossing $83,120 for a $20,780 average. PBS Distribution, meanwhile, opened Kimberly Reed’s documentary Dark Money with an exclusive New York engagement ,grossing $8,100.
Shock And Awe had much more of the former than the latter, with a slow weekend gross of $41K in 100 theaters. Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You jumped to eight hundred-plus theaters in its second frame to strong carry-over. The Annapurna release took in over $4.25M, averaging $5,289. Roadside Attractions/Miramax’s doc Whitney shed runs in its second outing, but still played several hundred theaters, grossing over $535K Friday to Sunday bringing its cume to over $2.35M.
Bleecker Street expanded Leave No Trace to over three hundred theaters in its second weekend, grossing over $1.15M. Neon doc Three Identical Strangers cloned another strong weekend, taking in $1.18M in 167 theaters, while fellow Sundance doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? from Focus Features expanded its lead as the year’s top non-fiction title at the box office, grossing over $1.88M in 868 locations.
Eighth Grade had momentum going into its bow, and the A24 release delivered a spectacular start over the weekend, taking the mantle for best opening weekend per theater average of 2018. Starring Elsie Fisher, Emily Robinson, Josh Hamilton and Jake Ryan, the Bo Burnham-directed comedy grossed $252,284 in four New York and L.A. theaters for a $63,071 average.
A24 said Sunday the feature “sold out shows in both L.A. and New York,” adding: “Audiences responded this weekend with exit polls through the roof showing sensational word-of-mouth for this moving, funny and authentic portrait of a young woman navigating her way through the universally relatable experience of eighth grade. Critics have also been incredibly supportive with rave reviews …particularly for Elsie Fisher’s star-making lead performance and Josh Hamilton’s supportive turn as the befuddled dad trying to help her navigate life in the era of Instagram and Snapchat.”
Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs had reigned as the year’s opening per theater average when it opened in March in 27 theaters, grossing over $1.6M, averaging $60,011, particularly impressive given that it was in over two dozen locations. Avengers: Infinity War follows Isle Of Dogs with a $57,599 opening PTA in April in nearly forty-five hundred theaters.
The next highest-ranking specialty release is IFC Films’ The Death Of Stalin, which took in $184,805 in four theaters in its opening frame, averaging $46,201 in March. Last weekend, Annapurna’s Sorry To Bother You opened in the year’s top tier in terms of per theater average, with a $727,266 start in 16 theaters, averaging $45,454.
Amazon opened Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot in four New York and L.A. theaters Friday with a decently solid start, taking in $83,120 for a $20,780 PTA. The film, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Joaquin Phoenix, fell short of Phoenix’s other 2018 Amazon Studio release, You Were Never Really Here by Lynne Ramsay, which grossed nearly $133K in its opening frame in three theaters, averaging $44,276. That film went on to cume over $2.52M.
Van Sant’s last seven-figure grosser was Promised Land, which Focus released at the end of 2012, eventually taking in nearly $7.6M. Focus opened that film in 25 locations in late December, 2012 taking in nearly $174K in its opening frame, averaging $6,957. He Won’t Get Far On Foot will broaden out to other markets in the coming weeks.
PBS Distribution’s Dark Money played exclusively at IFC Center Friday to Sunday, taking in $8,100. The Sundance premiere was buoyed by audience Q&As over the weekend with filmmaker Kimberly Reed, whose film examines the effect of ‘dark money’ in the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in her home state of Montana. The title will next open exclusive engagements in Washington DC and Philadelphia next week, before opening Los Angeles and San Francisco on 7/27 as it rolls out to cities across the country throughout August and September.
Annapurna played Boots Riley’s genre-bending Sorry To Bother You in 16 theaters in its opening weekend, but moved the title to 805 runs in its second frame. The Sundance title had a robust second frame, grossing $4.258M for a $5,289 per theater average. Sorry To Bother You grossed over $717K last weekend, averaging $44,831. Annapurna said the feature played “especially strong in big cities and on the coasts,” adding: “Boots is a visionary artist and we couldn’t be happier that audiences are loving this outrageous and original film.”
Roadside and Miramax’s Cannes doc Whitney played 44 fewer runs in its second frame. Still, the feature was in 408 theaters, grossing $535,385, averaging $1,115, making it the fourth highest-grossing non-fiction title of 2018 at $2,357,807.
Just above Whitney is Neon/CNN Film’s Three Identical Strangers by Tim Wardle, which grossed over $1.18M in 167 locations in its third weekend outing, for a still robust $7,072 per theater average. Last weekend, Three Identical Strangers broke seven figures from a $717K three-day gross ($14,059 average) in 51 theaters. Three Identical Strangers’ new cume is $2,517,854.
Focus Features’ Fred Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? continues to dazzle audiences, playing 868 locations around the country, though that’s 25 fewer than last week. Still the title is impressively wide for a non-fiction title six weeks into its release. The feature took in over $1.88M Friday to Sunday, averaging $2,174, bringing its cume to $15,823,000, which makes it the 16th highest-grossing documentary ever.
Bleecker Street added 274 theaters for Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace in its third weekend to solid numbers. The feature grossed over $1.15M in 311 locations, averaging $3,726 bringing its cume to $2,121,517. Last weekend, the feature took in over $425K in 37 theaters ($11,500 average).
Bollywood’s Sanju played 223 locations in its third weekend, grossing $500K ($2,242 average). Sanju played 359 theaters in North America the weekend prior to $1.24M ($3,454 average). It has cumed $7,121,205.
And Gunpowder & Sky’s Hearts Beat Loud handily grossed two million in its sixth weekend. The title took in $131K in 131 theaters ($1K average) brining its cume to $2,115,765.
Dark Money (PBS Distribution) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,100
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon Studios) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $83,120, Average $20,780
Eighth Grade (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $252,284, Average $63,071
Milford Graves Full Mantis (Cinema Guild) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,515
Shock And Awe (Vertical Entertainment) NEW [100 Theaters] Weekend $41,000, Average $410
Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) Week 2 [805 Theaters] Weekend $4,258,000, Average $5,289, Cume $5,322,952
Whitney (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 2 [408 Theaters] Weekend $535,385, Average $1,115, Come $2,357,807
Yellow Submarine (Abramorama) Week 2 [79 Theaters] Weekend $84,379, Average $1,068, Cume $460,961
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [311 Theaters] Weekend $1,158,879, Average $3,726, Cume $2,121,517
Sanju (FIP) Week 3 [223 Theaters] Weekend $500,000, Average $2,242, Cume $7,121,205
Three Identical Strangers (NEON/CNN Films) Week 3 [167 Theaters] Weekend $1,181,080, Average $7,072, Cume $2,517,854
Boundaries (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [145 Theaters] Weekend $77,667, Average $536, Cume $557,169
The Catcher Was a Spy (IFC Films) Week 4 [46 Theaters] Weekend $52,178, Average $1,134, Cume $578,104
The King (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [17 Theaters] Weekend $26,250, Average $1,544, Cume $104,985
Hearts Beat Loud (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 6 [131 Theaters] Weekend $131,025, Average $1,000, Cume $2,115,765
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features) Wee 6 [868 Theaters] Weekend $1,885,000, Average $2,174, Cume $15,823,000
American Animals (The Orchard/MoviePass Ventures) Week 7 [78 Theaters] Weekend $78,408, Average $1,005, Cume $2,714,401