After a couple of slow weekends, the specialty box office perked up with the release of a couple of anticipated titles, though not all of the luster was concentrated in films with marquis names attached.
Doc An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, which returns former Vice President Al Gore to the big screen over ten years after his Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, had the highest per theater average of any film in release this weekend, grossing $130K in four locations. A24’s Yiddish-language father-son drama Menashe was strong out of the gate, taking in $61,409 from three runs, while Annapurna’s first roll-out, Detroit from Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow bowed at over $365K in 20 theaters. Sony Classics opened Brigsby Bear with Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear and Andy Samberg in three theaters, taking in $45K.
Music Box Films expanded The Midwife in week 2 grossing nearly $79K in over two dozen locations. A24’s A Ghost Story edged close to $1M in its fourth weekend, SPC’s Maudie is close to $2M and Menemsha Films’ The Women’s Balcony topped $1M.
More than a decade after An Inconvenient Truth challenged documentary box office records and took the Oscar for Best Documentary, the man at the center of the film, former Vice President Al Gore once again hit theaters with a follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power via Paramount Pictures in four theaters. Friday to Sunday, the feature grossed an estimated $130K, giving it a $32,500 per theater average, one of the highest for a non-fiction title of the year, but the title-bearer for highest documentary PTA of 2017 is still technically Oscilloscope’s Kedi, which opened in one theater in February, grossing over $40K.
An Inconvenient Truth opened via Paramount Classics in May, 2006 taking in over $281K in its debut weekend in four locations, averaging $70,332, a bit more than double this weekend’s PTA for Truth To Power. An Inconvenient Truth went on to cume over $24.14M in U.S. theaters.
“The landscape has changed in the last 11 years. It wasn’t without its challenges, but we’re really happy with [the opening],” said Paramount’s Megan Colligan Sunday morning. “There is a real appetite for this movie and it perked up as we headed into the weekend.” Colligan touted the feature’s ‘A’ CinemaScore.
Colligan said that the distributor hosted screenings leading up to Friday, while Gore worked “tirelessly” doing rounds of interviews as well as a Facebook Live chat and an appearance on Stephen Colbert. He’s continued today appearing on Sunday morning talk shows. There will be a CNN Town Hall and more with MTV coming up. Paramount also partnered with Snapchat to target younger audiences in the film’s initial roll-out locations in New York and Los Angeles. It will expand its reach as the film expands in the coming weeks. Paramount said that three-quarters of its audience was over 35 this weekend.
“There was a 50% rate of swipe-ups, which is a high percentage,” noted Colligan about ads sent via Snapchat to its users, who were then given a promo code to redeem for a ticket. “There were $15K in ticket sales for [the film’s] four theaters. As we head into the coming weeks, it will become a bigger program.”
Advocacy group Indivisible will also begin promotional activity with grassroots events including town halls that will be centered on local initiatives messaging climate change and An Inconvenient Sequel as the film begins its wide release starting August 7. Next week, the title will be in about 100 locations. Added Colligan: “We’re trying to be smart with its [roll out] since there are a lot of big event movies in the next week, so we want to take care.”
A24 Sundance pick-up Menashe opened nicely in three New York locations. Set in the secretive Hasidic neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, the father-son drama took in $61,409, averaging a solid $20,470. The distributor noted that the feature, directed by Joshua Z Weinstein, had a “100% increase from Friday to Saturday.” The company will expand the film to the top markets over the next several weeks, adding more screens and cities throughout summer.
Annapurna Pictures opened Detroit Friday in 20 theaters. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie and Will Poulter grossed $365,455, giving it an $18,273 PTA. The company said it was “happy with the results” on Sunday and encouraged by its polling as people left showings of the feature.
“The results were pretty solid,” said Annapurna’s Erik Lomis. “It played very well everywhere, but the best market was Detroit, which we expected. We were even more encouraged by the exit polls. The picture played 86% in the top two boxes and had a 71% recommend which is great.”
Lomis said the title skewed older, with 61% over 35, while 56% of the audience was female. It was also diverse with 42% caucasian, 32% African American and 12% Latino seeing the film over the weekend.
“It’s different from anything else in the marketplace and it’s a must-see,” added Lomis. “It’s an opportunity to start the conversation early [showcasing] Kathryn Bigelow’s expert filmmaking. It’s an honor to have this film as our first.” Annapurna will take Detroit wide next week to about 2,800 theaters.
Bigelow’s previous film, Zero Dark Thirty, grossed over $83K in five locations when it opened via Columbia Pictures in December, 2012, averaging $83,430. It cumed $95.7M. Her Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker bowed in four locations in June, 2009 grossing $145,352 ($36,338 average), going on to cume over $17M.
Among other openers, Sony Pictures Classics bowed Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear in three theaters Friday. Starring Mark Hamill and Claire Danes, the Sundance debut grossed just over $45K, giving it a $15,020 per theater average. The title will platform until August 18 when it expands nationwide.
Abramorama opened doc Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk in New York, grossing $6,480. The feature follows Green Day, which formed in 1986 in Berkeley, CA, as it tours the U.S. playing locations in cities where the band has concerts. And FilmRise bowed fantasy-drama I Dream In Another Language with an exclusive run, grossing $1,000.
Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures release Landline played an additional three dozen runs in its second weekend. Directed by Gillian Robespierre and starring Jenny Slate, the film grossed $140K in 38 theaters, averaging $3,684. A cume was not readily available early Sunday. Landline grossed over $52K in its first weekend, averaging $just over $13K.
Music Box Films added 24 locations for French title The Midwife with Catherine Deneuve in its second frame. In 27 theaters, the title took in $78,896 for a $2,992 PTA. In its debut, the feature grossed $20,250, averaging $6,750. It has cumed $112,571.
In its third outing, Roadside Attractions’ Lady Macbeth played 64 more locations over the prior weekend. Lady Macbeth grossed $179,307 in 104 locations averaging $1,724. Last weekend, the feature grossed over $123K from 40 runs, averaging $3,079. It has now cumed over $467K.
A24 added 286 runs for A Ghost Story hitting the one month mark of its release. The title grossed over $382K from 329 locations, averaging $1,161. A Ghost Story grossed $141,438 last weekend, averaging $3,289. The film will cross $1M in the coming days. Its cume as of Sunday is estimated at $941,347.
Sony Classics’ Maudie is closing in on $2M. In its seventh weekend, the feature grossed $348,684 in 228 theaters, averaging $1,557. The film grossed $393,801 in 227 locations last weekend, averaging $1,691. Its cume is estimated at $1,997,261.
And Menemsha Films’ The Women’s Balcony topped $1M this week. The title grossed $31,545 in 19 locations Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,660 giving it a cume of $1,032,493.
Brigsby Bear (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $45,060, Average $15,020
Detroit (Annapurna Pictures) NEW [20 Theaters] Weekend $365,455, Average $18,273
I Dream In Another Language (FilmRise) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $1,000
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (Paramount Pictures/Participant Media) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $130,000, Average $32,500
Menashe (A24) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $61,409, Average $20,470
Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk (Abramorama) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $6,480
Landline (Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [38 Theaters] Weekend $140,000, Average $3,684
The Midwife (Music Box Films) Week 2 [27 Theaters] Weekend $78,896, Average $2,992, Cume $112,571
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World (Kino Lorber) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $10,500, Average $5,250
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Lady Macbeth (Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [104 Theaters] Weekend $179,307, Average $1,724, Cume $467,273
City of Ghosts (Amazon Studios/IFC Films/A&E Indie Films) Week 4 [19 Theaters] Weekend $14,250, Average $750, Cume $104,263
A Ghost Story (A24) Week 4 [329 Theaters] Weekend $382,128, Average $1,161, Cume $941,347
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Photography (Neon) Week 5 [21 Theaters] Weekend $7,270, Average $346, Cume $129,670
The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 5 [96 Theaters] Weekend $125,334, Average $1,320, Cume $1,200,521
The Beguiled (Focus Features) Week 6 [144 Theaters] Weekend $97,210, Average $675, Cume $10,426,059
The Big Sick (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) Week 6 [1,589 Theaters] Weekend $3,375,000, Average $2,124, Cume $30,419,654
My Journey Through French Cinema (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [2 Theaters] Weekend $497, Average $248, Cume $48,275
Lost In Paris (Oscilloscope) Week 7 [41 Theaters] Weekend $57,000, Average $1,390, Cume $329,348
Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [228 Theaters] Weekend $348,684, Average $1,557, Cume $1,997,261
Beatriz At Dinner (Roadside Attractions/FilmNation) Week 8 [68 Theaters] Weekend $59,840, Average $880, Cume $6,832,866
The Hero (The Orchard) Week 8 [102 Theaters] Weekend $68,091, Average $668, Cume $3,855,017
Churchill (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [5 Theaters] Weekend $3,391, Average $678, Cume $1,263,768
Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [ 41Theaters] Weekend $32,613, Average $741, Cume $5,523,723
Manifesto (FilmRise) Week 12 [2 Theaters] Weekend $1,500, Average $750, Cume $157,251
The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha Films) Week 22 (non-consecutive) [19 Theaters] Weekend $31,545, Average $1,660, Cume $1,032,493