The marketplace can handle multiple robust openings on the specialty side. Bleecker Street’s Sundance debut Colette starring Keira Knightley, Dominic West and Denise Gough is estimated to have topped out the weekend with a $156,788 gross in four locations in New York and L.A. this weekend, averaging $39,197. Annapurna’s The Sisters Brothers with John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal, meanwhile, also pulled in solid numbers, taking in $122K in four theaters, averaging $30,507. Sundance Selects bowed Roger Michell doc Tea With The Dames, featuring several revered British Dames of stage and screen, opening with an exclusive New York engagement for an estimated three-day $15K. And Greenwich Entertainment also opened documentary Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable with an exclusive New York showing, grossing $9,538.
Typically, the specialty box office does not spotlight titles opening in over a thousand locations, but with Michael Moore and a new title from NEON, this weekend will be one of the few exceptions. Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, released by Tom Ortenberg’s startup Briarcliff Entertainment, is the director’s widest opening weekend release at 1,719 theaters. The title took in $3.1M. For comparisons sake, Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 played 868 theaters back in ’04 in its opening frame grossing $23.9M ($27,558 average). It went on to be the highest-grossing non-fiction of all time at over $119M. This year has seen some impressive box office with documentaries, including the big three — Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, RBG and Three Identical Strangers, but any non-fiction making seven figures in its opening weekend would usually be noteworthy, though Moore has set a bar of his own and 11/9 appears to be OK at best.
NEON took Sam Levinson’s crime comedy Assassination Nation to over fourteen hundred theaters in its opening weekend. The feature grossed $1,028,600 for a slow $733 average. NEON was refreshingly upfront about the film’s underperformance in its opening weekend.
“Sam Levinson has created a bold, visionary and ultimately cathartic response to the dumpster fire that is 2018. We’re admittedly disappointed more people didn’t come out this weekend, but those that did were loud and overwhelmingly positive. It’s going to take more time for Assassination Nation to find its audience, but even Heathers wasn’t made in a weekend.”
Back with the focus on limited runs, Bleecker Street’s Colette took the weekend’s best per theater average from its opening frame four runs at $39,197, also the best from the fall releases, albeit this is very early on.
“This opened better than we had hoped and we had high hopes for this film,” said Bleecker Street’s president of Distribution Jack Foley Sunday morning. “This opens the fall season and it’s a contender. This is going to be a competitive fall, but this has momentum.”
Foley said that the strong launch of Colette, as well as The Sisters Brothers, will “stimulate” the broader market, drawing audiences to movies. Bleecker Street’s April opener Disobedience with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams remains its biggest PTA opener of 2018, grossing over $237K in its opening three-day frame in five theaters, averaging $47,479. It went on to cume over $3.4M. Foley said audiences were particularly strong at the Angelika in downtown Manhattan and gave praise to Colette’s star.
“It’s Keira Knightly, how do you not love her in a period piece. Business was extremely strong Saturday and beyond just the prime shows which was a telling thing.”
Colette will head to a dozen markets in about 30 theaters next weekend. Added Foley: “In the third and fourth week, we’ll do more decision making to assess the market.”
The Sisters Brothers by Jacques Audiard, the French filmmaker’s first fully English-language title, had the runner-up highest PTA of the weekend at $30,507 from its opening four theaters. Distributor Annapurna said Sunday the audience breakdown was at 42% 25 – 34 year-olds with particularly large audiences at the Quad in New York.
Noted Annapurna’s president of Distribution, Erik Lomis earlier this week: “We got involved almost immediately after reading the material and were thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with this incredible team. As a company, we have been fans of Jacques and John C. Reilly for quite some time and loved the approach and vision they shared for the Western genre with this specific work in mind.”
Annapurna will take The Sisters Brothers, which debuted at the recent Venice and Toronto film festivals, to the top ten markets in the coming week followed by the top 20 a week later.
Roadside Attractions and Saban Films took Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart starrer Lizzie to 240 runs in its second outing. The title took in $256,510 in 240 theaters, averaging $1,068. The film opened in four theaters last weekend, grossing nearly $50K, averaging over $12K.
In its second frame, The Orchard’s The Dawn Wall played three locations, taking in $14,193 ($4,731 average) bringing its total to $774,179. Last Wednesday, Fathom Events took the title to over 600 theaters for one-night run, which translated to $720,304 with “sell-outs across the country,” according to The Orchard with, “Number one in-complex postings for the night in over half of participating theaters.” There will be an encore Fathom showing of the title on October 8 in about 250 locations.
National Geographic Documentary Film took Science Fair to five runs following its start with an exclusive run last weekend. Science Fair grossed $18,170 Friday to Sunday, averaging $3,643. The title took in over $12K in its three-day opener.
Pantelion/Lionsgate’s Ya Veremos crossed $4M in its fourth frame. The Mexican title took in $136K in 114 theaters over the weekend, averaging $1,193 bringing its cume to $4,025,158.
And Sony Classics’ The Wife fell just shy of $5M this weekend. Starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, the feature grossed $975,788 in 468 locations Friday to Sunday, averaging $2,085. The Wife played 541 theaters the weekend prior, taking in over $1.22M. The Wife has cumed $4.97M as of Sunday morning.
Assassination Nation (NEON) NEW [1,403 Theaters] Weekend $1,028,600, Average $733
Colette (Bleecker Street) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $156,788, Average $39,197
Fahrenheit 11/9 (Briarcliff Entertainment) NEW [1,719 Theaters] Weekend $3,101,000, Average $1,804
Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable (Greenwich Entertainment) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,538, Cume $13,782
The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $122,028, Average $30,507
Tea With The Dames (Sundance Selects) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $15,031
The Dawn Wall (The Orchard) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $14,193, Average $4,731, Cume $774,179
Lizzie (Roadside Attractions/Saban Films) Week 2 [240 Theaters] Weekend $256,510, Average $1,068, Cume $325,239
Science Fair (National Geographic Documentary Film) NEW [5 Theater] Weekend $18,170, Average $3,643, Cume $41,423
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Bisbee ’17 (4th Row Films) Week 3 [9 Theaters] Weekend $12,780, Average $1,420, Cume $60,189
God Bless The Broken Road (Freestyle Releasing) Week 3 [224 Theaters] Weekend $81,000, Average $362, Cume $2,705,824
Pick Of The Litter (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [49 Theaters] Weekend $66,137, Average $1,350, Cume $268,014
Ya Veremos (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 4 [114 Theaters] Weekend $136,000, Average $1,193, Cume $4,025,158
The Bookshop (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 5 [69 Theaters] Weekend $70,449, Average $1,021, Cume $1,345,874
Blaze (Sundance Selects) Week 6 [43 Theaters] Weekend $86,214, Average $2,005, Cume $451,328
Juliet, Naked (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 6 [102 Theaters] Weekend $118,760, Average $1,164, Cume $3,247,047
We The Animals (The Orchard) Week 6 [30 Theaters] Weekend $15,639, Average $521, Cume $370,166
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [468 Theaters] Weekend $975,788, Average $2,085, Cume $4,976,965
Puzzle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [29 Theaters] Weekend $17,240, Average $594, Cume $1,928,066
Three Identical Strangers (NEON/CNN Films) Week 13 [55 Theaters] Weekend $57,783, Average $1,051, Cume $12,193,712