Joel Edgerton’s drama Boy Erased from Focus Features handily topped the weekend’s slate of specialty releases. The Telluride and Toronto debut starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Edgerton grossed a robust $220K in five New York and Los Angeles locations. It averaged an estimated $44K, the thirteenth-highest opening weekend per-theater average of 2018 as of Sunday morning. Focus reported a strong Friday to Saturday boost.

Aviron Pictures bowed director Matthew Heineman’s drama A Private War in several theaters, grossing $72K Friday to Sunday for an $18K PTA. Sony Classics opened first-time director Tom Volf’s documentary Maria By Callas in four U.S. theaters, grossing $50,891, for a solid $12,723 average. Together with its Canadian runs, the New York Film Festival title grossed $94,280 from 16 locations for a $5,893 PTA.

Neon opened Bodied in 14 locations, grossing $50,528 in 14 locations ($3,609 average). Doc Searching For Ingmar Bergman from Oscilloscope played an exclusive run over the weekend at New York’s Quad Cinema, grossing $6,500. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta, the Cannes title will head to L.A. next weekend.

Amazon Studios expanded Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria to 311 theaters in its second outing, grossing nearly $965K for a $3,102 PTA. The title had the year’s best 2018 PTA launch last weekend at $92K. 

Starring Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, the ‘reimagining’ of Dario Argento’s original (he is also a writer) grossed $964,722, averaging $3,102. Suspiria grabbed bragging rights to the year’s highest opening weekend per theater average, opening with a $184,037 gross in its pair of showings, averaging $92,019. Suspiria has cumed over $1.21M.

Well Go USA’s Burning took $57,550 from six runs ($9,592 average) in its second frame, while Frederick Wiseman doc Monrovia, Indiana moved to 10 theaters following its exclusive New York showing last week, grossing $13,950 ($1,395 PTA) in its second weekend.

Starring Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, the ‘reimagining’ of Dario Argento’s original (he is also a writer) grossed $964,722, averaging $3,102. Suspiria grabbed bragging rights to the year’s highest opening weekend per theater average, opening with a $184,037 gross in its pair of showings, averaging $92,019. Suspiria has cumed over $1.21M.

Searchlight took Can You Ever Forgive Me? to 180 theaters showing zest in its third weekend for $1.08M ($6K average), while Amazon Studios’ Beautiful Boy and IFC Films’ Wildlife expanded to worthy numbers.

Focus Features’ Boy Erased came out in theaters with a jubilant start, grossing $220,000 in five locations, giving the feature starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe as well as director Joel Edgerton, a $44,000 per theater average, by far the best PTA of the weekend. Focus said Sunday its exits point to continued solid results going forward, noting that its grosses had a healthy jump Friday to Saturday.

“Feedback from theaters was strong with audiences responding to the film’s emotional heart leaving many in tears and people applauding,” said Focus Features’ president of distribution, Lisa Bunnell, Sunday. “We had great group sales which were in our Friday gross, but we were up 50% Saturday, so that shows the great word-of-mouth for this film. I think going Ito the election means there’s an urgency for social issues and the fact there are 36 states that allow gay conversion therapy is important…”

Focus Features

Focus reported that 95% of adults checked the top two boxes, and 85% ‘definite recommend,’ adding that a “diverse” audience composed audiences this weekend. 

The company plans an assertive expansion in the coming weeks. “It won’t be as slow as an art house roll out, we’ll go faster than that,” said Bunnell. “We’ll try and get it into as any theaters as we can for Thanksgiving, but it will be steady.”

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s doc Cartel Land received an Oscar nomination in 2015. He followed up with doc City of Ghosts and this week with his first narrative, A Private War starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci. Aviron Pictures opened A Private War in four theaters to a fairly solid $72K, averaging $18K.

Aviron emphasized the timeliness of the story in the lead-up to the bio-drama’s release. 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour hosted tastemaker screenings. “We’re still building toward the crescendo of the release of the movie,” said Forston earlier this week. “I think the marketing department is doing well in timing its outreach.”

A Private War will head to about 45 theaters in mostly top ten market locations November 9, and by November 16, the title is expected to be in approximately 800 theaters.

Sony Classics opened doc Maria By Callas in four U.S. theaters Friday, taking in $50,891 in the three-day estimate, averaging $12,723. The company opened the title by Tom Volf in even more Canadian theaters. As a whole, its North American take was $94,280 from 16 runs, averaging $5,893.

Music video vet Joseph Kahn took battle rap to the big screen with Bodied, which Neon bowed in 14 locations Friday. The title, starring Jackie Long, Calum Worthy, Shoniqua Shandai and Walter Perez, grossed $50,528, averaging $3,609. The film will be available on YouTube Premium on November 28.

Discovery

Scandinavian thriller Border nearly doubled its showings in its second frame stateside. The Neon title grossed $50,528 in 14 locations, averaging $3,609. Directed by Ali Abbasi, the Cannes ’18 title opened in 7 theaters last Friday, taking in $73,700 in the three-day, averaging $10,529. Border has cumed $160,490.

Viper Club had a slow second frame amidst a fairly sizable expansion. Starring Susan Sarandon and Matt Bomer, the Roadside release grossed just $26,270 in 70 theaters. The feature opened in three locations for $14,180 ($4,727 PTA). It has cumed $44,585.

Searchlight added 155 theaters for Can You Ever Forgive Me? in its third outing with solid results. Starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, the title directed by Marielle Heller grossed $1.08M ($6K PTA) bringing its cute to just over $1.8M. The company said the film is showing strength as it heads out across the country to art houses and specialty venues, including St. Louis, San Diego, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta and Boston. 

Searchlight will add between 40 and 45 new markets next weekend en route to a national release. Can You Ever Forgive Me? should be in between 400 – 450 locations November 9.

IFC Films added 37 theaters for Paul Dano’s Wildlife in its third weekend, grossing $128,712 with a total of 55 runs, averaging $2,340. It has cumed $420,391.

Mid90s is still in over a thousand runs in its third weekend, down from over twelve hundred last week. The A24 release took in $1.36M Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,247, bringing its cume to over $5.82M.

Amazon Studios added 351 runs for Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet starrer Beautiful Boy vs last weekend. Marking its first month in theaters, the title held well, grossing over $1.41M in 540 theaters, averaging $2,620, not bad considering the film had a PTA of over thirty-one hundred dollars last weekend from 189 runs. The company noted Sunday that word of mouth has given the title buoyancy as it has headed into regional locations, even has it continues to perform in holdover theaters. Beautiful Boy has cumed over $3.21M.

Comparatively slower in its fourth frame is The Happy Prince, which expanded to 277 theaters from 71 the weekend prior. The SPC release grossed $90,283 for a slow $326 PTA and a cume of $360,777.

National Geographic Documentary Films/Greenwich Entertainment

Doc Free Solo by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi continued to mount solid box office in its sixth weekend, though with a somewhat reduced location count. The National Geographic Documentary Film release took in $1,034,878 in 363 theaters, averaging $2,851, which is on par with its previous weekend PTA of $2,892 in 392 theaters. The title still has over three million to go before joining RBGWon’t You Be My Neighbor? and Three Identical Strangers in the eight-figure doc club. It may just have the adrenaline to top it. 

Also likely to cross into eight figures is Searchlight’s The Old Man & The Gun starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck. The film by David Lowery grossed an estimated $1M in the three-day in 765 theaters, wavering $1,307 bringing its cume to $9.17M.

And in its seventh outing, Annapurna’s The Sisters Brothers edged over $3M, likely its final major box office threshold. Starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal, the Western grossed $67,427 in 146 locations over the weekend.

NEW RELEASES

Bodied (Neon/YouTube Originals) NEW [14 Theaters] Weekend $50,528, Average $3,609

Boy Erased (Focus Features) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $220,000, Average $44,000

Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $50,891, Average $12,723 (U.S. only)

A Private War (Aviron Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $72,000, Average $18,000

Searching For Ingmar Bergman (Oscilloscope Laboratories) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $6,500

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Border (Neon) Week 2 [12 Theaters] Weekend $51,729, Average $4,311, Cume $160,490

Burning (Well Go USA) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $57,550, Average $9,592, Cume $97,299

Monrovia, Indiana (Zipporah Films) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $13,950, Average $1,395, Cume $21,330

Suspiria (Amazon Studios) Week 2 [311 Theaters] Weekend $964,722, Average $3,102, Cume $1,215,578

Viper Club (Roadside Attractions) Week 2 [70 Theaters] Weekend $26,270, Average $375, Cume $44,585

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [180 Theaters] Weekend $1,080,000, Average $6,000, Cume $1,800,140

Mid90s (A24) Week 3 [1,091 Theaters] Weekend $1,360,000, Average $1,247, Cume $5,820,967

What They Had (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [37 Theaters] Weekend $37,520, Average $1,014, Cume $159,178

Wildlife (IFC Films) Week 3 [55 Theaters] Weekend $128,712, Average $2,340, Cume $420,391

Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) Week 4 [540 Theaters] Weekend $1,414,800, Average $2,620, Cume $3,218,040

The Happy Prince (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [277 Theaters] Weekend $90,283, Average $326, Cume $360,777

The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [8 Theaters] Weekend $8,728, Average $1,091, Cume $46,720

Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 6 [363 Theaters] Weekend $1,034,878, Average $2,851, Cume $6,866,591

The Old Man & The Gun (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [765 Theaters] Weekend $1,000,000, Average $1,307, Cume $9,170,687

Colette (Bleecker Street) Week 7 [130 Theaters] Weekend $167,612, Average $1,289, Cume $4,794,208

The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna) Week 7 [146 Theaters] Weekend $67,427, Average $462, Cume $3,006,000

Tea With The Dames (Sundance Selects) Week 7 [56 Theater] Weekend $61,156, Average $1,092, Cume $692,206

Science Fair (National Geographic Documentary Films) Week 8 [8 Theaters] Weekend $7,814, Average $977, Cume $250,306

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [49 Theaters] Weekend $49,304, Average $1,006, Cume $7,700,507