Major specialty distributors and boutique labels launched a number of new titles in theaters and beyond this weekend in the most crowded weekend of the year. Audiences, though, were finite. In the end, a drama by a first-time feature director, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, is estimated to have the weekend’s highest per-theater average. Clermont-Tonnerre’s Sundance 2019 film, The Mustang is estimated to have grossed $76K in four New York and L.A. theaters, averaging $18,950.

Fox Searchlight’s The Aftermath, starring Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgård, bowed slower with five runs. The post-WWII drama set in Germany is coming in at $57,500 in the three-day, averaging $11,500.

Skarsgård did double time this weekend. The Swedish-born actor also starred in The Orchard’s The Hummingbird Project, also featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Salma Hayek. In four locations, the title by writer-director Kim Nguyen took in $36,027, for a $9K PTA.

Pantelion

No Manches Frida 2 from Pantelion/Lionsgate had the widest specialty bow Friday. In 472 theaters, the Spanish-language comedy grossed over $3.89M, averaging $8,250. That is roughly on par with No Manches Frida, which Pantelion released in September, 2016 in 362 theaters. The title took in over $3.67M in 362 theaters its first weekend, averaging $10,155. It went on to cume $11.52M.

Other limited release openers included Cohen Media Group’s Ash Is Purest White by Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke, which grossed $45,150 in seven theaters, averaging $6,450. 

And Taiwanese romance More Than Blue bowed in 26 locations via China Lion for $150K, averaging $5,769.

Last weekend’s PTA topper, Gloria Bell from A24 expanded to 39 theaters in its second frame. Starring Julianne Moore, the Sebastián Lelio-directed film grossed nearly $395K, averaging $10,124, placing it in the top 20. It has cumed over $584K. A24 said the feature will expand nationwide March 22.

Winding down its theatrical release, ShortsTV/Magnolia Pictures’ 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts stands at over $3.52M, the highest-ever gross for the annual release of Academy Awards-nominated short forms. In the three-day, the grouping grossed $14,500 in ten locations, averaging $1,450.

And Neon’s Apollo 11 topped $5.54M in its third weekend. In 588 theaters, the Sundance doc grossed over $1.22M, averaging $2,085, landing the title in the top 12 as of Sunday morning.

[UPDATED]:

Focus Features said word of mouth proved strong for The Mustang in its debut weekend, giving it its $18,950 PTA. The company said the title, starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruce Dern and Connie Britton, was number one at both The Landmark in L.A. and Landmark 57 West in New York. Focus said that audiences were 66% female and 96% over 35. 

Noted Focus Features’ president of Distribution Lisa Bunnell Sunday when reporting numbers: ““With over 90% in the top two boxes, audiences and critics alike are discovering the beauty Laure captured on screen and the powerful performances from the Matthias and the entire cast. The Mustang can’t be boxed in — part drama, part Western, part self-discovery and redemption, and the bond between human and animal.” 

The Aftermath played best at Lincoln Square and Cinema 1, 2 & 3 in Manhattan as well as The

Fox Searchlight

Landmark in L.A. according to Fox Searchlight, with a “more mature and cinephile group” making up the title’s core, according to the company, adding: “We are hoping that with good word of mouth over the next few weeks, that we will find our audience for this film.” Next weekend, the title will head to six new markets including Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. while also expanding  a bit in New York and Los Angeles.

The 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts edged over last year’s group by $16,572 when factoring in this weekend’s estimate. This year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts have played six weekends, bringing its cume to over $3.52M. Last year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts grossed $3.5M, while the 2017 shorts totaled $2.83M.

Noted Magnolia Sunday: “This is our highest gross ever, just beating last year’s total with one less week between opening and the Oscars, which makes this result all the more impressive.”

Roadside Attractions’ Run The Race is closing in on six million dollars at the box office. In its fourth frame, the title grossed $304,540, averaging $682 bringing its cume to $5.88M.

Sony Classics’ Never Look Away will cross seven figures this week. Friday to Sunday, the title by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck grossed $78,543 in 59 locations, averaging $1,331 for a cume of $993,242.

Searchlight’s The Favourite starring Best Actress winner Olivia Colman went over $34M this weekend. In its 17th outing, the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed feature took in $115K, averaging $804.

And still climbing in the box office is Best Documentary winner Free Solo, which now stands at $17.35M in its 25th weekend, the title grossed $75K in 72 theaters, averaging $1,042.

NEW RELEASES

The Aftermath (Fox Searchlight) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $57,500, Average $11,500

Ash Is Purest White (Cohen Media Group) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $45,150, Average $6,450

Combat Obscura (Oscilloscope) NEW [10 Theaters] Weekend $15,500, Average $1,550

The Hummingbird Project (The Orchard) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $36,027, Average $9,007

More Than Blue (China Lion) NEW [26 Theaters] Weekend $150,000, Average $5,769

The Mustang (Focus Features) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $76,000, Average $18,950

No Manches Frida 2 (Pantelion/Lionsgate) NEW [472 Theaters] Weekend $3,894,000, Average $8,250

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Badla (Reliance) Week 2 [115 Theaters] Weekend $452,225, Average $3,932, Cume $1,300,623

Gloria Bell (A24) Week 2 [39 Theaters] Weekend $394,835, Average $10,124, Cume $584,390

The Kid (Lionsgate Premiere) Week 2 [268 Theaters] Weekend $270,000, Average $268, Cume $1,053,426

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Apollo 11 (Neon) Week 3 [588 Theaters] Weekend $1,226,000, Average $2,085, Cume $5,540,882

Climax (A24) Week 3 [217 Theaters] Weekend $197,419, Average $910, Cume $566,183

Transit (Music Box Films) Week 3 [42 Theaters] Weekend $114,576, Average $2,728, Cume $225,192

The Wedding Guest (IFC Films) Week 3 [94 Theaters] Weekend $116,178, Average $1,236, Cume $230,006

The Iron Orchard (Santa Rita Film Co.) Week 4 [11 Theaters] Weekend $11,183, Average $1,017, Cume $184,565

Run The Race (Roadside Attractions) Week 4 [446 Theaters] Weekend $304,540, Average $682, Cume $5,885,903

Wrestle (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [4 Theaters] Weekend $1,200, Average $300, Cume $20,637

Birds Of Passage (The Orchard) Week 5 [97 Theaters] Weekend $80,247, Average $827, Cume $355,142

Catvideofest 2019 (Oscilloscope) Week 5 [11 Theaters] Weekend $21,500, Average $1,954, Cume $328,207

Ruben Brandt, Collector (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [36 Theaters] Weekend $19,233, Average $534, Cume $75,722

2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts (ShortsTV/Magnolia Pictures) Week 6 [10 Theaters] Weekend $14,500, Average $1,450, Cume $3,525,349

Lords Of Chaos (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 6 [12 Theaters] Weekend $4,368, Average $363, Cume $250,573

To Dust (Good Deed Entertainment) Week 6 [21 Theaters] Weekend $22,196, Average $1,057, Cume $153,064

Arctic (Bleecker Street) Week 7 [97 Theaters] Weekend $82,630, Average $852, Cume $2,163,049

Never Look Away (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [59 Theater] Weekend $78,543, Average $1,331, Cume $993,242

Stan & Ollie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [230 Theaters] Weekend $114,665, Average $498, Cume $5,288,642

Capernaum (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 14 [32 Theaters] Weekend $37,417, Average $1,169, Cume $1,524,002

The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 17 [143 Theaters] Weekend $115,000, Average $804, Cume $34,047,547

Faith, Hope & Love (ArtAffects) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $60,855, Average $3,381

Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 25 [72 Theaters] Weekend $75,050, Average $1,042, Cume $17,357,954