UPDATED with more info: Bleecker Street was looking to capture the nonfiction zeitgeist of this spring and summer’s robust runs of popular documentaries like Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, RBG and Three Identical Strangers, and it appears to have dazzled with its Tribeca premiere McQueen. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, the title about late British fashion sage Alexander McQueen grossed $96,928 in four theaters this weekend in its debut, an average of $24,232 per screen, a number that places it on par with the opening frames of the year’s other successful docs.
Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate also launched Carlos López Estrada’s dramedy Blindspotting with Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal with 14 runs Friday. Over its three days, the Sundance-bowing feature is estimating a $332,500 take for a solid $23,750 per-theater average. Also planting firm roots with an exclusive opening-weekend run was Sundance Selects’ Far From the Tree, grossing $20,034.
Amazon Studios/Magnolia’s Generation Wealth played four theaters in its opening frame, grossing $33,602. Blue Fox Entertainment played three locations for Running For Grace, taking in $27,000, while Janus Films relaunched Wanda in a single location, good for $10,230.
A24 added runs for Eighth Grade in its second outing, taking in a robust $794,370 in 33 theaters for a robust $24,000 average. Amazon Studios expanded its Joaquin Phoenix-starrer Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot also in its second frame for $265,360 in the three-day frame. Annapurna’s Sorry To Bother You, meanwhile, crossed eight figures in its third weekend from a weekend gross of $899,000.
Bleecker Street’s Leave No Trace from Debra Granik played additional locations marking its first month in theaters, with its total now at $3.6 million.
McQueen appears to be another win for non-fiction, at least in its opening frame. The first documentary release for Bleecker Street, it sashayed into four New York and Los Angeles locations over the weekend. Insiders have talked up the success of particular docs released this year. Focus Features’ Mr. Rogers profile Won’t You Be My Neighbor? has totaled $18.4M since opening in early June after the Sundance premiere played 29 theaters, grossing more than $475K for a $16,394 PTA in its first weekend. Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG opened 34 locations in early May, taking in more than $578K ($17,014 average) and has totaled $13.1M to date. Neon/CNN Films bowed its Sundance pic Three Identical Strangers in just five theaters, grossing $171,503 in its opening weekend, averaging the best PTA at $34,301, and scoring an overall cume of $4.6M.
(RBG marked its third month in release Friday and the Magnolia/Participant doc is still going strong, playing 116 theaters and grossing $168,000 for an impressive $2,755 PTA, bringing its cumulative total to $13.11M. That cume puts the title in the top 25 highest-grossing documentaries of all time.)
Bleecker Street distribution president Jack Foley said McQueen will roll out “very slowly,” heading to San Francisco, then Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Dallas, followed by Seattle and Portland. “We’re going to play to the core and hopefully that will validate the film to that group and then it will hopefully go from there to [bring in a broader audience],” Foley said.
Lionsgate said Blindspotting, written by and starring Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, played to an audience that was 53% female and 86% in the 25-plus range. It will open nationwide next week thanks to “the exceptionally strong reviews and equally outstanding exit polls and word of mouth,” the distributor said.
Sundance Selects’ Far From the Tree, from Rachel Dretzin, started its run in New York on Friday. The title is based on the Andrew Solomon’s book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity. IFC Films picked up the title for its Sundance Selects label ahead of its premiere at Doc NYC last fall; the company said it was “the fastest sell-out” in the history of the non-fiction festival. The feature will open in Los Angeles next weekend, followed by other select cities including Boston and Chicago where Solomon will take part in Q&As. The feature will also be available via limited on-demand platforms later in the month.
With a bit slower pay off, Amazon Studios opened Generation Wealth, from The Queen of Versailles filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, grossed $33,602 and averaging $8,401. Magnolia opened her Queen of Versailles in three theaters in 2012, taking in more than $51K in its opening frame, averaging $17,109, and going on to cume $2.4M. Generation Wealth will head to other markets in the coming weeks.
Eighth Grade topped the debuts last weekend, and the A24 release continues to charm in its second outing. A24 said Sunday that the Bo Burnham title performed “very strong across all markets,” including art house and commercial theaters, “generating sold out shows, sensational word of mouth and overwhelmingly strong reviews across the board.” Eighth Grade will expand its theaters next week and go wide August 3.
Amazon Studios’ Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot jumped to 62 theaters in its second frame. Directed by Gus Van Sant, the feature opened in four theaters the previous weekend, taking in $83K for a PTA of nearly $21K. The title has cumed $380,386.
Annapurna’s Sorry To Bother You went wide Friday, playing 1,050 runs. The title appears to have piqued last weekend, grossing more than $4.2M in 805 theaters, averaging $5,289. This weekend’s gross took it over eight figures, bringing its cume to $10.25M.
Roadside Attractions/Miramax’s Whitney Houston doc Whitney played 117 locations Friday to Sunday and is closing in on $3M with a total of almost $2.8M as of today.
Blindspotting (Summit Entertainment/Lionsgagte) NEW [14 Theaters] Weekend $332,500, Average $23,750
Far From The Tree (Sundance Selects) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $20,034
Generation Wealth (Amazon Studios) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $33,602, Average $8,401
McQueen (Bleecker Street) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $96,928, Average $24,232
Running For Grace (Blue Fox Entertainment) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $27,042, Average $9,014
Wanda (Janus Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $10,230
Dark Money (PBS Distribution) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $10,230
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon Studios) Week 2 [62 Theaters] Weekend $265,360, Average $4,280, Cume $380,386
Eighth Grade (A24) Week 2 [33 Theaters] Weekend $794,370, Average $24,072, Cume $1,197,171
Gauguin: Voyage To Tahiti (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $31,626, Average $2,259, Cume $71,691
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (Mubi) Week 3 [2 Theaters] Weekend $6,500, Average $3,250, Cume $52,217
Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) Week 3 [1,050 Theaters] Weekend $899,000, Average $2,689, Cume $10,252,204
Whitney (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 3 [117 Theaters] Weekend $118,470, Average $1,012, Come $2,795,506
Yellow Submarine (Abramorama) Week 3 [71 Theaters] Weekend $60,772, Average $856, Cume $682,075
Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) Week 4 [361 Theaters] Weekend $891,545, Average $2,470, Cume $3,614,395
Sanju (FIP) Week 4 [112 Theaters] Weekend $210,000, Average $112, Cume $7,620,868
Three Identical Strangers (NEON/CNN Films) Week 4 [332 Theaters] Weekend $1,431,800, Average $4,313, Cume $4,600,041
Boundaries (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [51 Theaters] Weekend $31,137, Average $610, Cume $633,888
The King (Oscilloscope) Week 5 [41 Theaters] Weekend $33,250, Average $811, Cume $162,589
Hearts Beat Loud (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 7 [90 Theaters] Weekend $63,867, Average $709, Cume $2,258,406
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features) Wee 7 [730 Theaters] Weekend $1,305,000, Average $1,788, Cume $18,408,000
American Animals (The Orchard/MoviePass Ventures) Week 8 [40 Theaters] Weekend $30,625, Average $766, Cume $2,779,025
RBG (Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media) Week 12 [116 Theaters] Weekend $168,000, Average $2,755, Cume $13,115,887