‘Synonyms’ And Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ Have Solid Premieres, ‘Frankie’ Debuts Soft – Specialty Box Office

UPDATED with gross adjustments and finals. Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms found the right words this weekend to have a solid opening in two locations, bringing in $17,891. The acclaimed French-Israeli film about cultural identity played to sold-out screenings in New York, setting itself up for a nationwide expansion to Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, with more expected in the coming weeks.

Kanye West in ‘Jesus Is King Imax

Kanye West wanted to bring his “Sunday Service” brand to the masses, and as expected, he went big to match his personality. His 35-minute documentary short Jesus Is King premiered this weekend in IMAX with 372 runs in 134 markets, landing in the top 10 on Friday in limited runs. The companion piece to his Christian-themed album of the same name is said to be an immersive experience and “an expression of the gospel.” It gives people a chance to see Sunday Service and take a look at James Turrell’s art exhibit, which is not open to the public. The docu-short produced by IMAX took in an estimated $862,000, with sold-out shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Dallas, as well as global cities including London, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Helsinki, Guadalajara, Melbourne, and Auckland. It will expand to 78 new markets on November 8. That said, it looks like the people came out to worship Pastor Yeezy. He very well may be on to something when it comes to theatrically eventized short-form musical films.

Marisa Tomei and Isabelle Huppert in ‘Frankie Sony Pictures Classics

Ira Sachs’ family drama Frankie starring Isabelle Huppert took in $19,435 with its four exclusive runs in New York and Los Angeles. This is considerably low compared to Love is Strange, Sachs’ last title with Sony Pictures Classics, which opened in 2014 with $117,276. The film is set to expand to San Francisco, Chicago and D.C. on November 1.

Other openings this weekend included the Bollywood comedy Housefull 4, which debuted in 325 theaters. The popular franchise took in decent numbers in cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, earning an estimated $958,000.

The re-release of the 2000 Jean-Michel Basquiat film Downtown 81 opened on one screen in New York to a healthy $25,000 before its expansion, while Midge Costin’s documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound premiered on three screens, earning $12,348. The free speech docu-drama No Safe Spaces, which sheds light on cancel culture and features Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager, opened confidently on one screen, taking in $45,548, becoming the second-largest opening weekend at the box office on a single screen for a documentary, behind Michael Moore’s Sicko.

Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis in ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Fox Searchlight

In its second week, The Lighthouse jumped to 586 screens and earned an impressive $3,029,959 for the weekend, bringing its cume to $3,663,209. A24’s arthouse thriller starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson from director Robert Eggers certainly shined, as it came in at number eight in the top 10 grossing movies for the weekend.

Taika Waititi’s celebrated World War II satire Jojo Rabbit hopped from five screens to 55 screens in 10 markets for its second weekend out. The critically acclaimed and much-talked-about film starring Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, and the young and talented Roman Griffin Davis as the titular character netted an impressive $1,044,070, bringing its cume to $1,500,000. The film was ranked number one in various complexes across North America, including the Landmark in West L.A., the Arclight Hollywood, the AMC Burbank, Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco, as well as Varsity in Toronto.

The film sits joyfully with an “A” Cinemascore, and Fox Searchlight says that polling of the film continues to be above expectations: 75% excellent, 96% total positive, and 87% definite recommend. We are told that the film is doing well at arthouse cinemas and it will continue to expand to approximately 50 new markets across North America, bringing it to approximately 300-350 runs.

The best-reviewed film of the year, Parasite continues to do well in its third week. Bong Joon Ho’s dark comedic thriller earned $1,818,931 to bring its cume to a staggering $4,107,295. The film maintains its impressive runs in New York and Los Angeles, as well as Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Philadpelphia and Atlanta.

It also should be noted that Kevin Smith’s Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is performing fairly well, earning $217,162 with its roadshow screenings in Riverside, Iowa on Friday and St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday, and with limited theater openings in New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. This brings the cume to $1,570,700 — an impressive number, considering the pic is from the popular franchise isn’t doing a traditional marketing run. The pic from Saban Films is set to make a stop in St. Louis on Sunday, and then expands to  Columbus, Houston, San Antonio, Des Moines, and Minneapolis in the upcoming week.

Renee Zellweger in ‘Judy’ Roadside Attractions

Roadside Attractions woke up to delightful news Sunday morning, as two of their titles have crossed the $20 million mark. The musical biopic Judy, which was distributed by Roadside and LD Entertainment, had a three-day estimated gross of $1,181,830, which brought its cume to a bankable $21,515,206. The Huck Finn-esque adventure The Peanut Butter Falcon, which was released in partnership with Armory Films, earned $115,420, bringing its cume to an impressive $20,078,951. This is a milestone for a US independent theatrical distributor, and it will serve as a foundation for both films as they kick off their Oscar campaigns at Sunday night’s Governors Awards, where Judy star Renee Zellweger and The Peanut Butter Falcon‘s Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zach Gottsagen will be in attendance.

NEW RELEASES

Bigil (Screen Scene Media Entertainment) – Week 1 [158 Theaters] Weekend $993,000, Average $6,285

Downtown 81  (Metrograph Pictures) – Week 1 [1 Theater] Weekend $25,000, Average $25,000

Frankie (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 1 [4 Screens] Weekend $19,435, Average $4,859

Housefull 4 (Fox Star Studios) – Week 1 [325 Theaters] Weekend $958,000, Average $3,041

Jesus Is King
(IMAX) – Week 1 [372 Theaters] Weekend $838,000, Average $2,252

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (Matson Films) – Week 1 [3 Screens] Weekend $12,348, Average $4,116

No Safe Spaces (Atlas) – Week 1 [1 Screen] Weekend $45,548, Average $45,548

Synonyms (Kino Lorber) – Week 1 [2 Theaters] Weekend $17,891, Average $8,946, Cume $39,177

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

The Captain (Well Go USA) – Week 2 [35 Theaters] Weekend $126,912, Average $3,626, Cume $587,000

Cyrano, My Love (Edmond) (Roadside Attractions) – Week 2 [18 Screens] Weekend $11,200, Average $622, Cume $321,686

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot (Saban Films) – Week 2 [17 Screen] Weekend $217,162, Average $12,774, Cume $1,568,465

Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – Week 2 [55 Theaters] Weekend $1,044,070, Average $18,983, Cume $1,503,494

The Lighthouse (A24) – Week 2 [586 Screens] Weekend $3,029,959, Average $5,171, Cume $3,610,446

HOLDOVERS/THIRD+ WEEKEND

Frantastic Fungi (Area23a) – Week 6 [14 Theaters] Weekend $61,852, Average $4,148, Cume $285,574

Gift (Matson Films) – Week 3 [5 Screens] Weekend $3,597, Average $719, Cume $12,550

Honeyland (Neon) – Week 14 [18 Screens] Weekend $5,292, Average $294, Cume $700,241

Judy (Roadside Attractions) – Week 5 [1,121 Screens] Weekend $1,181,830, Average $1,054, Cume $21,515,206

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich Enterainment/1091) – Week 8 [134 Theaters], Weekend $146,741, Average $1,095, Cume $3,777,573

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Abramorama) – Week 10 [11 Screens] Weekend $11,4086, Average $1,008, Cume $594,292

Monos (Neon/Participant Media) –  Week 7 [20 Screens], Weekend $8,300, Average $415, Cume $392,630

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (Abramorama) – Week 7 [2 Screens] Weekend $1,361, Average $681, Cume $33,244

Official Secrets (IFC Films) – Week 10 [45 Theaters] Weekend $25,427, Average $565, Cume $1,956,708

Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 4 [117 Screens] Weekend $398,417, Average $3,405, Cume $1,653,720

Parasite (Neon) – Week 3 [129 Screens] Weekend $1,818,931, Average $14,100, Cume $4,082,736

The Peanut Butter Falcon (Roadside Attractions/Armory Films) – Week 11 [166 Theaters] Weekend $115,420, Average $695, Cume $20,078,951

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (Magnolia Pictures) – Week 9 [29 Screens] Weekend $16,934, Average $584, Cume $633,449

Where’s My Roy Cohn? (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 6 [51 Screens] Weekend $51,725, Average $1,014, Cume $582,369

Wrinkles the Clown (Magnolia Pictures) – Week 4 [2 Screens] Weekend $62, Average $31, Cume $13,853