Star-driven specialties mostly took a pause this weekend, though the big ticket awards-release Friday, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from Netflix, had a courtesy theatrical release in a few Landmark theater locations, giving the Coen brothers release the watermarks of an awards release.

The focus is still on its core streaming service, so box office numbers are not released by Netflix. But a quick check at the theater website shows the musical-Western, starring Liam Neeson, James Franco, and Zoe Kazan, played in smaller houses. So the theatrical experience for this title will be for a very select NY and L.A. coastal crowd, and likely not a big box office number. But that’s how it was designed. Some of the other big fall releases will follow suit, with symbolic theatricals via Netflix, including Alfonso Cuarón’s amazing Roma and Susanne Bier’s anticipated Bird Box.

On the actual specialty theatrical release side this weekend, The Orchard released Argentina’s foreign-language Oscar submission, El Angel, produced by the Almodóvars, in two theaters, grossing $25,472 for a solid $12,736.

Kino Lorber Films

Kino Lorber bowed Cameron Yates’ Sundance doc Chef Flynn exclusively at Film Forum in New York for $8,100, while The Film Arcade did theatrical for Hannah Fidell’s and Sundance’s The Long Dumb Road, taking in $5K with an exclusive weekend run.

China Lion gave a North American bow for Chinese drama-romance Last Letter in 18 theaters, grossing $70K ($3,889 average) and the Met Opera had event screenings of Lan Fanciulla Del West in 900 locations, grossing $903K.

Kudos to The Orchard’s El Angel by Luis Ortega opening with one of the year’s best PTAs for a foreign-language title at $12,736. The film, based on the true story of a thief/serial killer who transfixed Argentina in the ‘70s, opened at the Angelika in New York and the Nuart in L.A. El Angel has had a successful run at home in the South American country ahead of its international releases. 

El Angel was the most successful local title of the year with 1.3 million submissions,” said producer Matías Mosteirín ahead of the film’s stateside release this past week. “Along with the U.S., it’s opening in Spain soon and in France in January.”

“We are excited with the interest in El Angel,” said The Orchard’s Paul Davidson Sunday.  “It’s a stylish and entertaining film backed by the street cred of the Almovodars and the exciting voice of Luis Ortega.  As some have expressed previously, it could be considered an interesting dark horse candidate for the foreign film short list.  Either way, we love the film and are excited to bring it to audiences next week across the U.S.”

Focus Features expanded Boy Erased, last weekend’s highest per theater average title, to 77 theaters. Starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe as well as Joel Edgerton, the feature’s director, came in with a $725K three-day estimate, averaging $9,408. Boy Erased opened in five locations last Friday, grossing $207K with a $41,411 per theater average. It ended with just under seven figures in the cume at $998K.

Focus said word-of-mouth delivered, giving the title a 52% jump Friday to Sunday. Exits gave the feature 91% in the top two boxes with 80% giving a “definite recommend.” Boy Erased will be in about 400 theaters next weekend, with around 500 expected for Thanksgiving weekend. 

Aviron Pictures

Matthew Heineman’s drama A Private War with Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan played an additional 34 theaters in its second outing, grossing $201,400 in 38 locations, averaging a solid $5,300. The Aviron release opened with four runs, taking in over $60K in its three-day debut, averaging $15,123. It has cumed just under $289K.

Sony Classics added 22 runs for doc Maria By Callas in its second frame, grossing $97,350 in a total of 26 theaters, grossing $97,350 ($3,744 PTA). The film by Tom Volf is showing some voice since opening in 16 theaters in its opening three day, grossing just under $92K with a $5,745 average.

Well Go USA jumped Burning to 27 theaters, grossing $79,644 ($2,950 average). The Korean mystery-drama played a half dozen runs, grossing nearly $58K in its opening three-day. Burning has cumed $198,796.

Suspiria shed 50 runs vs. the weekend prior. In 261 theaters, the Amazon Studios title grossed $326,250, averaging $1,250. The title came close to seven figures, averaging thirty-one hundred in 311 theaters last weekend. It has cumed $1.9M.

Searchlight added 211 locations for Can You Ever Forgive Me? in its fourth weekend, grossing over $1.47M in 391 theaters Friday to Sunday. The Telluride/Toronto bio-drama averaged $3,772. The title grossed just over $1M last weekend, averaging $5,735. It has cumed $3.6M.

IFC Films gave Paul Dano’s Wildlife a sizable 51 theater jump over the weekend prior. In 106 theaters, the feature starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan took in $142,638 in the three-day estimate, averaging $1,346.

And Amazon Studios added over two hundred runs for Beautiful Boy starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet in its fifth frame. Beautiful Boy grossed $1.4M in 776 theaters, averaging $1,810 bringing its cume to $5.18M. Last weekend, it took in over $1.34M from 540 runs ($2,492 average). The Toronto ’18 title has cumed $5.18M.

NEW RELEASES

Chef Flynn (Kino Lorber Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,100

El Angel (The Orchard) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $25,473, Average $12,736

The Long Dumb Road (Universal Home Entertainment/The Film Arcade) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $5,000

Last Letter (China Lion) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $70,000, Average $3,889

MET Opera: La Fanciulla Del West (2018) (Fathom Events) NEW [900 Theaters] Weekend $903,000, Average $1,003, Cume $1,903,000

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Bodied (Neon) Week 2 [17 Theaters] Weekend $28,448, Average $1,673, Cume $100,100

Boy Erased (Focus Features) Week 2 [77 Theaters] Weekend $725,000, Average $9,408, Cume $998,000

Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $97,350, Average $3,744, Cume $308,732

A Private War (Aviron Pictures) Week 2 [38 Theaters] Weekend $201,400, Average $5,300, Cume $283,843

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Border (Neon) Week 3 [15 Theaters] Weekend $45,077, Average $3,005, Cume $241,683

Burning (Well Go USA) Week 3 [27 Theaters] Weekend $79,644, Average $2,950, Cume $198,796

Monrovia, Indiana (Zipporah Films) Week 3 [10 Theaters] Weekend $8,804, Average $880, Cume $36,334

Suspiria (Amazon Studios) Week 3 [261 Theaters] Weekend $326,250, Average $1,250, Cume $1,904,805

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [391 Theaters] Weekend $1,475,000, Average $3,772, Cume $3,609,977

Mid90s (A24) Week 4 [340 Theaters] Weekend $400,000, Average $1,176, Cume $6,817,490

What They Had (Bleecker Street) Week 4 [53 Theaters] Weekend $35,391, Average $668, Cume $222,133

Wildlife (IFC Films) Week 4 [106 Theaters] Weekend $142,638, Average $1,346, Cume $611,104

Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) Week 5 [776 Theaters] Weekend $1,404,560, Average $1,810, Cume $5,181,511

The Happy Prince (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [73 Theaters] Weekend $16,301, Average $223, Cume $428,600

The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [14 Theaters] Weekend $16,569, Average $1,183, Cume $67,386

Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 7 [266 Theaters] Weekend $774,915, Average $2,913, Cume $8,121,786

The Old Man & The Gun (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [395 Theaters] Weekend $470,000, Average $1,190, Cume $10,230,835

Colette (Bleecker Street) Week 8 [81 Theaters] Weekend $83,631, Average $1,032, Cume $4,976,625

Tea With The Dames (Sundance Selects) Week 8 [43 Theater] Weekend $38,172, Average $888, Cume $763,353

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 13 [35 Theaters] Weekend $26,774, Average $765, Cume $7,738,682