Amazon Studios opened Sundance premiere Late Night, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling, in four New York and L.A. locations Friday to a robust start. Directed by Nisha Ganatra from a script by Kaling, Late Night grossed an estimated $249,654 this weekend, for a $62,414 per-theater average.
That is the second-highest debut PTA of the year, following Avengers: Endgame, with a $76,601 average, though that title was in several thousand theaters. Greenwich Entertainment doc Echo In the Canyon had a $58,826 opening three-day PTA last month.
“I am excited because the market has been tough in general,” said Amazon Studios Head of Marketing & Distribution, Bob Berney Sunday morning. “I was at a lot of the screenings [in L.A.] this weekend and the reaction was very good. We moved the wide release back one week to give it an extra week of publicity and word-of-mouth and I think that was a good decision.”
Late Night, which Amazon picked up at Sundance for a record $13M, is only spending one weekend in limited release. The company will take it to 1,800 – 2,000 locations next weekend. “This is great news for something that’s outside of Marvel [and] explosion movies. It’s been difficult with dramas and comedies, but this shows there is an audience,” said Berney. He added that the audience skewed about 65% female and 35-plus. “We noticed a lot of people going together — like four or five women attending together and that’s something we were hoping for.”
Fellow Sundance film, The Last Black Man In San Francisco, also rolled out Friday. A24 bowed the film by writer-director Joe Talbot in seven theaters in New York, L.A. and San Francisco to a vigorous $230,744, averaging $32,963. The numbers are impressive given that it’s a first-time feature filmmaker and without a widely recognized star.
Said A24 Sunday when reporting its numbers: “Joe Talbot’s award winning debut feature continues to win over critics with some of the best reviews of the year so far. Audiences responded this weekend as well with multiple enthusiastic sell outs reported in all San Francisco theaters, and exit polling that points to sensational word of mouth across all markets.” A24 will expand the feature to top markets next weekend.
Documentary This One’s For The Ladies had an exclusive weekend run at the Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem. Released via Neon label Super LTD, the title is a rare NC-17 non-fiction release. The title took in $16K Friday to Sunday. This is the fifth film to be released by Super LTD.
“We were struck by how sex-positive, erotic and joyful it was and you don’t often see black women this age represented on the big screen,” said Super LTD exec Dan Omera prior to the film’s opening last week. “Gene Graham says it’s important to him to show black working class people depicted on screen as they are. It has heart, great characters, and is funny.”
The company wanted to support the director’s cut version of the film with its initial roll out. The director and subjects of the film took part in Q&As and Super LTD hopes ‘eventized’ showings of the film will continue as it heads to other cities. “We don’t know how much [the rating] will limit it, but we’ll follow and support the film as the audience demands,” said fellow Super LTD exec Darcy Heusel. Added Omera: “We’re hoping that dancers and women will spread the word to local circuits and create events of their own.”
Other specialty debuts this weekend include IFC Films’ Framing John DeLorean starring Alec Baldwin, which was in slower gear with a $9,106 three-day gross in its exclusive opening weekend run. CBS Films bowed doc Pavarotti in 19 theaters, taking in $142,500 and a $7,500 PTA. Blue Fox Entertainment played Papi Chulo with Matt Bomer in two locations for $7,729 ($3,864 PTA).
Sony Classics added five runs for The Fall Of The American Empire in its second frame, grossing $14,128 in 14 locations and a $1,009 PTA. The title began its run in the U.S. and English-speaking Canada last weekend to over $13K in nine theaters, averaging $1,483. Its cume, which includes an earlier release in French Canada, is at over $2.75M.
China Lion’s Mayday Life 3D continued its eight runs in its second frame. The music doc covering Taiwanese group Mayday’s Life Tour, took in $11K ($1,375 PTA) bringing its North American cume to $78,720. Free Trip to Egypt from Matson Films, meanwhile, continued in a single locations, for $1,917.
Greenwich Entertainment added 29 runs for Echo In the Canyon over its previous weekend frame. Directed by Andrew Slater, the title crossed the half million mark in its third weekend from a gross of over $205K in 43 theaters and a solid $4,775 per theater average. Its average is down 31% from last weekend’s $6,915 PTA ($96,805 in 14 theaters).
Doc Halston by Frédéric Tcheng played 15 additional runs in its third outing for $19,191 and a $1,010 PTA. In its second frame, the Tribeca documentary, released by 1091, grossed $13,260 in four locations ($3,315 PTA). It has cumed $62,530.
Bleecker Street added 189 theaters for drama-romance The Tomorrow Man by Noble Jones. Starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner, the title took in $144,437 in 211 locations, averaging $685 bringing its cume to over $219K.
The Souvenir by Joanna Hogg jumped its theater count to 145, an increase of 71 runs over last weekend. The title grossed $169,500 for a $1,169 PTA, down about 35% from its $1,803 PTA in its previous frame in 74 theaters. It has cumed $696,190.
Sony Classics added 247 locations for Kenneth Branagh’s All Is True in its fifth weekend. In 328 theaters, the title grossed $237,587 for a slow $724 PTA, bringing its cume to $752,634.
Neon’s Telluride/Toronto doc The Biggest Little Farm is closing in on $2.5M. The documentary by John Chester grossed $347K in 285 theaters, averaging $1,218 in its fifth frame, bringing its cume to over $2.45M.
Framing John DeLorean (IFC Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,106
The Last Black Man In San Francisco (A24) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $230,744, Average $32,963
Late Night (Amazon Studios) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $249,654, Average $62,414
Papi Chulo (Blue Fox Entertainment) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $7,729, Average $3,864
Pavarotti (CBS Films) NEW [19 Theaters] Weekend. $142,500, Average $7,500
This One’s For The Ladies (Super LTD/Neon) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $16,000
The Fall Of The American Empire (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $14,128, Average $1,009, Cume $2,759,066 (total includes French-Canada opening last year)
Free Trip To Egypt (Matson Film) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $1,917, Cume $4,415
Mayday Life 3D (China Lion) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $11,000, Average $1,375, Cume $78,720
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Echo In The Canyon (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 3 [43 Theaters] Weekend $205,337, Average $4,775, Cume $501,081
Halston (1091) Week 3 [19 Theater] Weekend $19,191, Average $1,010, Cume $62,530
The Tomorrow Man (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [211 Theaters] Weekend $144,437, Average $685, Cume $219,327
The Spy Behind Home Plate (The Ciesla Foundation) Week 3 [19 Theaters] Weekend $38,080, Average $2,004, Cume $84,061
Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (PBS Distribution) Week 3 [11 Theaters] Weekend $12,125, Average $1,130, Cume $41,944
The Souvenir (A24) Week 4 [145 Theaters] Weekend $169,500, Average $1,169, Cume $696,190
All Is True (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [328 Theaters] Weekend $237,587, Average $724, Cume $752,634
The Biggest Little Farm (Neon) Week 5 [285 Theaters] Weekend $347,000, Average $1,218, Cume $2,453,428
Meeting Gorbachev (1091) Week 6 [19 Theaters] Weekend $14,653, Average $771, Cume $213,807
Non-Fiction (IFC Films) Week 6 [83 Theaters] Weekend $71,364, Average $860, Cume $565,382
The White Crow (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [69 Theaters] Weekend $52,404, Average $759, Cume $1,657,714
Red Joan (IFC Films) Week 8 [32 Theaters] Weekend $23,621, Average $738, Cume $1,547,848
Amazing Grace (Neon) Week 11 [59 Theaters] Weekend $39,605, Average $671, Cume $4,302,622
Apollo 11 (Neon) Week 15 [10 Theaters] Weekend $11,960, Average $1,196, Cume $8,780,258
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