Oscar victories typically translate into a box-office windfall for winners, none more so this year than Birdman. After grabbing Best Picture and three other Oscars, Birdman took flight in its 20th weekend in theatrical release with a big expansion. Other winners – including Still Alice, The Theory Of Everything and Whiplash – also added runs and revenue well into their theatrical releases.
And with awards season now blessedly in the past, the weekend also had a number of new specialty releases hitting screens after weeks of would-be contenders dominating attention. Roadside and Black Label Media’s ’71, a tense drama starring Jack O’Connell as a British soldier lost in strife-torn Northern Ireland, debuted in several locations. And fresh from a Sundance premiere, RADiUS college-rape documentary The Hunting Ground opened in two locations.
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) took Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography Oscars, helping make for a festive post-Oscar party at Boa for Fox Searchlight and the film’s principals. After the big win, Searchlight added 806 locations, grossing $1.975M in 1,213 theaters for a $1,628 per theater average. The number lifted Birdman over the $40M cumulative threshold after 20 weeks in release. Searchlight noted ahead of this weekend that Birdman made its on-demand and DVD debut on Feb. 17.
“Even more amazing is that the film has been playing in some theaters for 18 or 19 consecutive weeks,” the company said in a release.
Julianne Moore was the favorite pretty much all awards season to win the Oscar as best actress for Still Alice, and indeed cashed in on Sunday. Still Alice’s distributor Sony Pictures Classics tried to cash in too, adding 553 theaters in the film’s 7th weekend, and the film picked up nearly $2.7M in 1,318 locations, averaging $2,045 and placing the title ninth in overall box office. Last weekend, the film grossed $2.166M in 765 theaters. Its cume is now just under $12M.
Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for The Theory Of Everything, then Focus added 66 runs after nearly four months in theaters. The feature grossed $649K ($1,062 PTA) in 611 theaters in its 17th weekend. The number was decent, pushing the title just over the $35 million threshold.
SPC, meanwhile, added 98 runs to Whiplash after J.K. Simmons‘ Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor as well as wins for Editing and Sound Mixing. The intense music drama grossed 677,249 in 538 theaters, averaging $1,259. Whiplash has now cumed over $12.26M.
Best documentary winner Citizenfour remained in the same number of theaters, grossing $23,869, averaging $796 for a $2.7M-plus cume.
Among newcomers, Focus World opened David Cronenberg‘s latest, Maps To The Stars, starring Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson. The feature was one of Cronenberg’s biggest recent bows in terms of first-weekend theater count, if not in terms of revenue recouped.
It opened in 66 theaters grossing $139K for a tepid $2,106 per-theater average, decidedly lower than Cronenberg’s last film, Cosmopolis. Entertainment One bowed that film, which also featured Pattinson, in three theaters in 2012. It had a decent opening gross of $70,339 and $23,446 PTA before clumping to a $763,556 domestic cume.
Before that, Cronenberg’s films typically had solid debuts and decent to good grosses. Sony Classics opened A Dangerous Method in 2011, grossing nearly $168K ($41,988 average). It went on to cume more than $5.7M. Eastern Promises opened in 2007 to a $547K weekend gross and $36,472 PTA before accumulating $17.26M. The 2005 drama A History Of Violence grossed nearly $516K its opening weekend for a $36,856 PTA and cumed $31.5M.
Roadside Attractions and Black Label Media partnered on the release of ‘71, a feature at both Berlin and Toronto film festivals. Opening in four New York and L.A. theaters, it was the weekend’s best-performing newcomer, based on theater averages. ’71 grossed just over $60K for a $15,013 PTA. Roadside touted the film’s 98% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and 82 score Metacritic when reporting numbers Sunday. The company said the film box office rose 71% from Friday to Saturday, riding positive word-of-mouth.
Pantelion/Lionsgate opened romantic comedy A La Mala in 384 theaters, by far the weekend’s biggest new specialty release. The film grossed $1.4M, for a $3,750 PTA. The feature is targeting Latino-American audiences much as did Pantelion’s 2013 Pulling Strings. That film opened in 387 theaters, grossing $2.46M, averaging $6,375. It went on to cume $5.84M.
In other openers, Cohen Media Group took Deli Man to 15 theaters, grossing $35,868 ($2,391 PTA).
RADiUS took its Sundance ’15 doc The Hunting Ground, from two-time Oscar nominee Kirby Dick, to two theaters this weekend. The distributor’s docs have won the last two Academy Awards and may have another with Dick’s latest, which had a great ride at Sundance. It opened solidly in theaters, with more than $26K for a $13,189 PTA. And IFC Films bowed a day-and-date run for The Salvation. It grossed a slow $4,980 in its two theaters ($2,490 PTA).
In its second weekend, SPC took its Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee Wild Tales into an additional 14 theaters. The Argentine title grossed nearly $110K in 18 theaters, averaging over $6K. Last weekend the film grossed a robust $85K-plus in 4 theaters for a $21,283. Its two-week cume is now $364,459.
’71 (Roadside Attractions/Black Label Media) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $60,050, Average $15,013
A La Mala (Pantelion/Lionsgate) NEW [384 Theaters] Weekend $1.44M, Average $3,750
Deli Man (Cohen Media Group) NEW [15 Theaters] Weekend $35,868, Average $2,391
The Hunting Ground (RADiUS) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $26,378, Average $13,189
Maps To The Stars (Focus World) NEW [66 Theaters] Weekend $139K, Average $2,106
The Salvation (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $4,980, Average $2,490
Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [18 Theaters] Weekend $109,980, Average $6,054, Cume $364,459
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem (Music Box Films) Week 3 [16 Theaters] Weekend $76K, Average $4,750, Cume $156,118
The Last Five Years (RADiUS) Week 3 [25 Theaters] Weekend $18,379, Average $735, Cume $ 145,467; VOD Cume $760,638
What We Do In The Shadows (Unison/Paladin) Week 3 [46 Theaters] Weekend $262,890, Average $5,715, Cume $536,505
Somewhere Only We Know (China Lion) Week 3 [6 Theaters] Weekend $9K, Average $1,500, Cume $477,502
Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group) Week 5 [15 Theaters] Weekend $93,324, Average $1,830, Cume $609,440
Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [21 Theaters] Weekend $45,561, Average $2,170, Cume $290,042
Spare Parts (Lionsgate) Week 7 [63 Theaters] Weekend $43K, Average $683, Cume $3,595,593
Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [1,318 Theaters] Weekend $2,694,757, Average $2,045, Cume $11,983,799
Leviathan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [80 Theaters] Weekend $124,809, Average $1,560, Cume $873,750
Two Days, One Night (IFC Films) Week 10 [55 Theaters] Weekend $46,750, Average $850, Cume $1,333,922
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11 [114 Theaters] Weekend $210,663, Average $1,848, Cume $3,333,886
Wild (Fox Searchlight) Week 13 [119 Theaters] Weekend $119K, Average $1K, Cume $37,458,313
The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) Week 14 [1,103 Theaters] Weekend $1,927,000, Average $1,747, Cume $86,829,345
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16 [54 Theaters] Weekend $33,267, Average $616, Cume $12,059,558
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 17 [611 Theaters] Weekend $649K, Average $1,062, Cume $35,049,528
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 19 [30 Theaters] Weekend $23,869, Average $796, Cume $2,706,026
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 20 [1,213 Theaters] Weekend $1,975,000, Average $1,628, Cume $40,279,164
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 21 [538 Theaters] Weekend $677,249, Average $1,259, Cume $12,264,551
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 34 [30 Theaters] Weekend $21K, Average $700, Cume $25,359,229