Two specialty releases played to good opening numbers in exclusive showings over the weekend. Sundance ’18 debut Madeline’s Madeline by Josephine Decker grossed $20,225 in the three-day from its playdate at the Quad Cinemas in New York via Oscilloscope, while fellow Sundancer Skate Kitchen by Crystal Moselle opened at IFC Center via Magnolia Pictures for a $17K in the three-day estimate.

Well Go USA launched Chinese dramedy The Island by Huang Bo in 40 locations Friday, the widest of the weekend’s new specialty releases. The Island grossed $282,500, also the highest absolute gross among the newcomers. Well Go USA also opened Erik Matti’s action-thriller, BayBust in 25 theaters, grossing $75K ($3K average).

FilmRise; A24

Last weekend’s number one debut, The Miseducation of Cameron Post from FilmRise expanded to 25 runs in its second frame, grossing $108K ($4,320 average). Along With The Gods: The Last 49 Days from Well Go USA went down to 36 theaters from its launch in 48. In its second outing, the title grossed $181,500 ($5,042 average).

A24 added 9 runs for Never Goin’ Back for week 2, taking in $16,718 ($1,520 average). Sony Classics jumped Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle to 44 theaters in its third weekend, grossing nearly $165K ($3,747 average). A24’s Eighth Grade crossed the eight-figure threshold in over a thousand runs in the wake of playing free one evening in order to skirt the R-rating restriction so that actual eighth graders could see the film.

On the doc side, Neon’s Three Identical Strangers took in over $700K, placing it within reach of $10M which it will likely cross this coming week. And Focus Features’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor? grossed $495K over the weekend, bringing its cume to $21.69M, just ahead of 2002 release, Bowling For Columbine.

Playing exclusively at the Quad in downtown Manhattan, Oscilloscope’s Sundance pick up Madeline’s Madeline technically scored the weekend’s highest per theater average at $20,225. Certainly not bad for the film starring newcomer Helena Howard along with Miranda July and Molly Parker, given that Oscilloscope noted earlier in the week dealt with some pushback from certain theaters in playing the title. 

“While some exhibitors, who will remain nameless, looked at it somewhat skeptically, we could point at the reviews and say, ‘These guys get it…’ Ultimately, critics are going to drive people to see Madeline’s Madeline,” noted Oscilloscope’s Andrew Carlin this week. The company said Sunday that the feature played to “capacity at numerous sell out showings” over the weekend, adding: “We think this is proof positive that there’s still a theatrical audience for a bold, visionary work of independent cinema. We’re excited to continue sharing it with filmgoers all across the country.”  

The numbers are also pretty impressive given that the Quad has 100 seat theaters, which P.R. company Brigade touted Sunday. The company has had a nice mid-summer run, incidentally, representing the last three weekend specialty toppers, Scotty And the Secret History of HollywoodThe Miseducation Of Cameron Post and this weekend’s Madeline’s Madeline. Directed by Josephine Decker, Madeline’s Madeline will head to the NuArt in L.A. next weekend.

Magnolia Pictures opened fellow Sundance debut Skate Kitchen at IFC Center Friday with an exclusive run. The feature by The Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle grossed $17K at the Greenwich Village location Friday to SundaySkate Kitchen is Moselle’s first narrative feature, following The Wolfpack, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released The Wolfpack, opening the title later that year, eventually grossing $1.3M.

Noted Skate Kitchen producer Lizzie Nastro earlier this week: “People were excited to see what she was doing next because of [the success] of The Wolfpack. 

Moselle met the actors in Skate Kitchen in a similar way in which she met the subjects of The Wolfpack. “She met them on the [New York] subway,” said producer Izabella Tzenkova who also served as a producer on The Wolfpack. “She knew she wanted to do something with them, and then the opportunity came to [feature them] in a short film. It became a proof of concept.” 

Skate Kitchen will expand to Los Angeles and other select markets on August 17 with additional cities set for August 24.

A24’s Prayer Before Dawn had a comparatively weaker start, grossing $14,453 in 13 locations for a $1,112 PTA. The crime-bio is based on a memoir by Billy Moore, who has a young English boxer was incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most notorious prisons and was thrown into a terrifying world of drugs and gang violence.

Chloë Grace Moretz starrer The Miseducation Of Cameron Post by Desiree Akahavan expanded to 25 runs from its two Manhattan showings in its launch last weekend. The winner of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival dramatic jury prize, the FilmRise release grossed $108K in the three-day, averaging $4,320 brining its cume to $182,398. The feature topped last weekend’s slate of specialties by PTA, grossing $53K, averaging $26,500.

A24’s Never Goin’ Back played nine additional locations in its second frame, grossing $16,718 in 11 theaters in the three-day ($1,520 average). The title opened in two theaters the weekend prior, grossing just over $10K ($5,022 average).

Sony Classics added 28 theaters vs. the previous weekend for Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle starring Kelly Macdonald in the title’s third weekend outing. In 44 locations, the feature grossed $164,871, averaging $3,747. The feature took in over $128K in 16 theaters last weekend, averaging just over $8K. It has cumed $447K.

Greenwich Entertainment added 13 locations for doc Scotty And The Secret History of Hollywood in its third frame, taking in $53,857 from its 18 playdates, averaging $2,992. Scotty grossed over $43K in its second frame in five locations, averaging $8,652. The doc has cumed $176,236.

Bleecker Street

Bleecker Street added runs for fellow doc McQueen, playing 53 theaters Friday to Sunday, grossing $154,690 for a $2,919 PTA, bringing its cume to $750,723. Bleecker Street’s Leave No Trace by Debra Granik, meanwhile went over $5.5M over the weekend, grossing $141,551 ($1,151 average) in week 7. The company gets bragging rights to having two films currently in release with a 100% among critics on RT.

A24 received ample press for Eighth Grade this week for sidestepping the feature’s R-rating Wednesday, making the title free for audiences at select locations around the country, thereby allowing middle school students (and their friends) to view the title. Karma came through apparently, giving the feature $1.625M gross in 1,084 locations Friday to Sunday ($1,499 average), bringing its cume to over $10M from its five week run.

Annapurna’s Sorry To Bother You is ending close to $16M. The title grossed $425K in the three-day, averaging $2,083 in 204 theaters, bringing its cume to just over $15.8M.

Roadside Attractions/Miramax doc Whitney is just short of $3M. In its sixth weekend of release, the film about late singing superstar Whitney Houston grossed $10,470 in 25 theaters ($419 average) brining its cume to $2,981,122.

Neon’s Sundance doc Three Identical Strangers will likely hit $10M this week, becoming the third non-fiction title to cross eight figures. This weekend, the feature grossed $700,600 in 326 theaters, averaging $2,149 brining its total to over $9.68M.

The year’s highest-grossing documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Morgan Neville is now in the top dozen highest-grossing non-fiction titles of all time at $21.69M, jumping just ahead of Oscar-winner Bowling For Columbine at $21.57M. The Focus Feature release took in $495K in the three-day, averaging $1,566 in 229 theaters in its 10th frame.

NEW RELEASES

BayBust (Well Go USA) NEW [25 Theaters] Weekend $75,000, Average $3,000

The Island (Well Go USA) NEW [40 Theaters] Weekend $282,500, Average $7,063

Madeline’s Madeline (Oscilloscope) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $20,225

Prayer Before Dawn (A24) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $14,453, Average $1,112

Skate Kitchen (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $17,000

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Along With The Gods: The Last 49 Days (Well Go USA) Week 2 [36 Theaters] Weekend $181,500, Average $5,042, Cume $821,056

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise) Week 2 [25 Theaters] Weekend $108,000, Average $4,320, Cume $182,398

Never Goin’ Back (A24) Week 2 [11 Theaters] Weekend $16,718, Average $1,520, Cume $34,589

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

The Captain (Music Box Films) Week 3 [6 Theater] Weekend $13,446, Average $2,241, Cume $37,171

Puzzle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [44 Theaters] Weekend $164,871, Average $3,747, Cume $447,034

Scotty And The Secret History Of Hollywood (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 3 [18 Theaters] Weekend $53,857, Average $2,992, Cume $176,236

Blindspotting (Summit Entertainment/Lionsgagte) Week 4 [138 Theaters] Weekend $220,000, Average $1,594, Cume $3,778,033

Far From The Tree (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [12 Theaters] Weekend $10,378, Average $865, Cume $100,104

McQueen (Bleecker Street) Week 4 [53 Theaters] Weekend $154,690, Average $2,919, Cume $750,723

Dark Money (PBS Distribution) Week 5 [16 Theater] Weekend $19,205, Average $1,200, Cume $135,391

Eighth Grade (A24) Week 5 [1,084 Theaters] Weekend $1,625,000, Average $1,499, Cume $10,092,043

Gauguin: Voyage To Tahiti (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [6 Theaters] Weekend $10,197, Average $1,699, Cume $181,978

Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) Week 6 [204 Theaters] Weekend $425,000, Average $2,083, Cume $15,805,404

Whitney (Roadside Attractions/Miramax) Week 6 [25 Theaters] Weekend $10,470, Average $419, Cume $2,981,122

Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) Week 7 [123 Theaters] Weekend $141,551, Average $1,151, Cume $5,527,383

Three Identical Strangers (NEON/CNN Films) Week 7 [326 Theaters] Weekend $700,600, Average $2,149, Cume $9,686,193

The Catcher Was a Spy (IFC Films) Week 8 [9 Theaters] Weekend $4,590, Average $510, Cume $697,918

Hearts Beat Loud (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 10 [14 Theaters] Weekend $3,026, Average $216, Cume $2,366,370

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features) Wee 10 [229 Theaters] Weekend $495,000, Average $1,566, Cume $21,690,000

American Animals (The Orchard/MoviePass Ventures) Week 11 [9 Theaters] Weekend $10,941, Average $1,216, Cume $2,834,323