It wasn’t a memorable weekend in the Specialty box office, except for the strong performance by the first 3D film of auteur French director Jean-Luc Godard, now 84 and nearly six decades after he shook up world cinema with Breathless, a landmark of the Nouvelle Vague.
In other specialty box-office news, Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, continued to fly high in its third week, but few newcomers showed much gusto out the gate. In the case of Horns, featuring former Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, it may show some legs through on-demand channels, where it already has racked up more than $1 million in revenue in four weeks of release there.
After a rather momentous festival run, Godard’s Goodbye To Language bowed in 2 New York theaters, and took the weekend’s biggest PTA, grossing $27K, averaging $13,500 after a debut last spring at Cannes. The film easily sold out screenings at the New York Film Festival, with crowds left outside just ahead of the theatrical release. Despite all that crowd interest, Goodbye is having a hard time finding exhibitors in markets where the terms ‘art film’ and ‘3D’ don’t often go together.
“Finding ‘3D art screens’ has been a challenge for us in many major US markets,” distributor Kino Lorber said in a release. “We’re ecstatic and hoping that these ‘socko’ numbers will catch the attention of our exhibition partners –particularly at Landmark and Pacific Theaters – and lead to additional 3D playtime in major markets, especially LA, in the coming weeks.”
Despite the exhibitor complications, Goodbye To Language has already surpassed Godard’s most recent previous project, Film Socialisme, which cumed about $33K in the U.S in its 2011 release.
Horns, which is being distributed in theaters and on demand by RADiUS, opened in by far the most theaters among newcomers, though with mixed results. The film grossed $103,357, averaging $1,013 per theater. That is not the end of the story though. RADiUS, alone among distributors in its routine willingness to share VOD numbers, said the title has grossed $1,024,365 since becoming available on demand a month ago.
SXSW and Tribeca documentary winners The Great Invisible and Point And Shoot (respectively) both had limited theatrical opens this week. Marshall Curry’s Point And Shoot opened at a single location, grossing $7,516, while The Great Invisible had a three-location debut, grossing $4,616 ($1,539 average).
Point And Shoot distributor The Orchard said its doc was the “top-grossing film” at the Sunshine theater in Manhattan’s Lower East Side this weekend “by a wide margin.” It will head to the top 50 markets over the next month, including the Nuart in Los Angeles on Nov. 14.
Submarine Deluxe opened Showrunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show at the Arena in Los Angeles, grossing $3,138 following its premiere at — appropriately — the Television Academy last Tuesday. The film features J.J. Abrams will head to New York and other limited locations in the coming weeks. In other openers, Vitagraph opened two titles, including The Hacker Wars, which grossed nearly $3K in a single theater, and Plot For Peace (released with Trinity Films) grossed $3K in two theaters ($1,500 average).
Citizenfour had for all intents and purposes the year’s biggest debut for a non-fiction feature and it is continuing to show thrust, though at perhaps a more sober pace. The RADiUS-distributed feature by director Laura Poitras added 32 runs in week 2 grossing just over $210K for a $5,677 PTA.
It opened last week, grossing over $125K, averaging just over $25K. A controversial documentary about NSA leaker Edward Snowden that was kept under wraps until its festival world premiere last month, the film has continued to generate media attention. One of its subjects, Glenn Greenwald, who first broke the NSA leak story after he and Poitras met Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, appeared on CNN Sunday morning saying there are more disclosures to come, from another source tied to the NSA.
Ocean Avenue’s 23 Blast shed almost 500 runs from after an anemic debut last week. It still screened in 120 theaters in its second weekend, but remained soft, grossing $75,762 and averaging $631. The title opened in 617 theaters last week averaging only $651.
A24 added 11 locations for Laggies‘ second frame. It grossed $65,785 for a $4,112 PTA and a $156,861 cume. Laggies opened in 5 theaters a week ago, grossing $78,470 ($15,694 average). Oscilloscope’s Low Down played two runs in its second week, grossing $10,500 ($5,250 average).
Fox Searchlight’s Birdman flew into an additional 181 theaters, continuing what looks like a stratospheric theatrical run in its third weekend.
The film by Alejandro González Iñárritu grossed $2.51 million, averaging $10,866 (second-highest among reporting specialty titles this week). Searchlight said the feature had a 143 percent jump Saturday night over Friday.
“We are very pleased with this weekend’s outcome as it has shown us that the film has the ability to crossover to commercial audiences,” said Searchlight in a release. “We have always known that the cinephile crowd would come out for the film but we have questioned how easily we would be able to broaden out to a mainstream audience. We have now answered that question and it seems that there is no apparent ceiling as far as our success in upscale multiplexes is concerned.”
The title still has a way to go to join the year’s Top Five specialty grossers, which now include:
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (Searchlight) at over $59 million;
- Chef (Open Road) $31.42M;
- Boyhood (IFC Films) $23.8M;
- A Most Wanted Man (Roadside) $17.22M;
- Begin Again (TWC) $16.2M.
Birdman just passed the $5M cume threshold and will head to 100 markets, adding another 45 cities next week. It will be in 425 to 450 theaters by Nov. 7.
Roadside added 7 runs for Dear White People in its third weekend, grossing nearly $756K, averaging $1,830 in 393 theaters. The 2014 Sundance selection will easily pass the $3 million mark this coming week. The Skeleton Twins, also a Roadside title and starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, hit $5M this weekend. It grossed nearly $104K in 94 theaters in its 8th week, averaging $1,103.
Goodbye To Language 3D (Kino Lorber) Week 3 [2 Theaters] Weekend $27K, Average $13,500, Cume $38,448 (Wed. opening)
The Great Invisible (RADiUS) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $4,616, Average $1,539
The Hacker Wars (Vitagraph Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $2,958
Horns (RADiUS) NEW [103 Theaters] Weekend $104,357, Average $1,013; VOD 4 Week Cume: 1,024,365
Plot For Peace (Trinity Films/Vitagraph) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3K, Average $1,500
Point And Shoot (The Orchard) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,516
Showrunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show (Submarine Deluxe) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $3,138
23 Blast (Ocean Avenue Ent.) Week 2 [120 Theaters] Weekend $75,762, Average $631, Cume $481,578
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 2 [37 Theaters] Weekend $210,049, Average $5,677, Cume $391,177
Laggies (A24) Week 2 [16 Theaters] Weekend $65,785, Average $4,112, Cume $156,861
Low Down (Oscilloscope) Week 2 [2 Theater] Weekend $10,500, Average $5,250, Cume $17,066
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [231 Theaters] Weekend $2,510,000, Average $10,866, Cume $5,004,258
Dear White People (Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [393 Theaters] Weekend $755,830, Average $1,830, Cume $2,854,379
God The Father (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 3 [15 Theaters] Weekend $50,608, Average $3,374, Cume $65,835
Listen Up Philip (Tribeca Film) Week 3 [30 Theaters] Weekend $30,466, Average $1,016, Cume $137,566
The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya (GKIDS) Week 3 [27 Theaters] Weekend $68,746, Average $2,546, Cume $241,456
Awake: The Life Of Yogananda (Counterpoint) Week 4 [14 Theaters] Weekend $51,556, Average $3,683, Cume $317,647
Kill The Messenger (Focus Features) Week 4 [75 Theaters] Weekend $60K, Average $800, Cume $2,354,904
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [61 Theaters] Weekend $275,346, Average $4,514, Cume $1,111,112
The Blue Room (Sundance Selects) Week 5 [38 Theaters] Weekend $26,600, Average $700, Cume $210,600
Pride (CBS Films) Week 6 [93 Theaters] Weekend $100,600, Average $1,082, Cume $1,272,763
Art And Craft (Oscilloscope) Week 7 [11 Theaters] Weekend $13K, Average $1,182, Cume $184,551
Keep On Keepin’ On (RADiUS) Week 7 [8 Theaters] Weekend $6,632, Average $829, Cume $120,408
My Old Lady (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [84 Theaters] Weekend $104,137, Average $1,255, Cume $3,602,515
The Skeleton Twins (Roadside Attractions) Week 8 [94 Theaters] Weekend $103,700, Average $1,103, Cume $5,078,077
Last Days In Vietnam (American Experience/PBS Films) Week 9 [15 Theaters] Weekend $7,570, Average $505, Cume $408,651
The Trip To Italy (IFC Films) Week 12 [11 Theaters] Weekend $8,635, Average $785, Cume $2,863,135
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 17 [29 Theaters] Weekend $26,390, Average $910, Cume $23,834,519