Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Square by Ruben Ostlund from Magnolia Pictures sold out screenings in its initial four theaters over a crowded pack of Specialty newcomers this weekend, becoming one of the strongest foreign-language debuts of the year at $76,000. On the other end of the spectrum, The Weinstein Company’s thriller Amityville: The Awakening scared up a pathetic post-scandal $742 from ten runs. The highest-grossing limited run debut was Atlas Distribution’s faith-based Let There Be Light, which bowed in 373 locations taking in $1.8M, though its per theater average was outpaced by other films with far fewer runs. PBS Distribution opened Bill Nye: Science Guy with an exclusive engagement grossing $9,150, while Orion Pictures/Samuel Goldwyn Films’ festival favorite God’s Own Country nabbed $16,820 in two theaters. Sony Pictures Classics’ Novitiate played three runs for $22,577 Friday to Saturday and FilmBuff’s Mansfield grossed $6,602 from a single location for $6,602.
Among other reporting debuts are Brimstone & Glory with $3K in one theater and The Orchard’s latest, The Work, with two engagements ($3,718). A24’s The Killing Of A Sacred Deer galloped to 33 runs, grossing over $221K. National Geographic Films/Abramorama took documentary Jane to over two dozen locations in its second weekend, holding strong with over $151,376. Also in week 2, Wonderstruck from Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions jumped to 42 locations, taking in $126K. A24’s The Florida Project sailed passed $2M in its fourth weekend, while Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent also crossed the same threshold in its sixth weekend in theaters. And in another box office milestone, Searchlight’s Battle Of the Sexes went over $12M in its sixth frame.
Swedish filmmaker Östlund’s The Square took the Palme d’Or last May in Cannes and the Magnolia Pictures release scored the best per theater average of any debuting film this weekend. The Square grossed $76K in four New York and Los Angeles locations, averaging a solid $19K. The numbers are the best for a Palme d’Or winner stateside since the 2013 release, Blue Is the Warmest Color, which grossed just over $100K in several theaters, averaging just over $25K. It went on to cume over $2.199M. The 2016 winner, I, Daniel Blake had difficulty on this side of the Atlantic, opening to just $18,682 in 12 theaters ($1,557 average) its first weekend this past June. Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan won the prize in 2015, doing a bit better with a $10,125 PTA its opening weekend in two theaters. Amour, which was a big contender at the Oscars, won the Palme d’Or in 2012. It opened in December of that same year, grossing $68,266 in three theaters, averaging $22,755. It went on to cume over $6.73M.
The Square topped Östlund’s previous release, Force Majeure, which opened in late October, 2014 via Magnolia. That title took in over $23K in two theaters its opening weekend, averaging $11,655. The title went on to cume over $1.35M in theaters.
“Ruben Östlund’s new movie delivers on the promise of Force Majeure — incredibly funny, smart, and entertaining throughout,” Magnolia Pictures commented Sunday. “Sellouts and enthusiastic response all weekend speak to the continued veracity of really good foreign language films in a marketplace that’s as tough to pin down as it’s ever been. This is a special film, and we’re excited to bring it to audiences in new cities in the coming weeks.”
Magnolia will take The Square to three more markets on Friday, followed by another fifteen on November 10.
Atlas Distribution bowed Let There Be Light, a faith-drama executive produced by Sean Hannity and directed by Kevin Sorbo, who also co-stars. The title had a solid start in 373 locations taking in $1.8M, averaging $5K. Sorbo said Sunday in a statement that the numbers were a backlash to Hollywood fare that he said pushed violence and sex.
“We are amazed and humbled by the response,” noted Sorbo. “This is about a deep hunger on the part of the forgotten American people. They still crave entertainment that enriches and offers hope, and are tired of Hollywood’s typically negative, violence-glorifying, and sexually graphic fare. The supportive and grateful outpouring of emotion from those on social media is overwhelming. This movie has brought people back to the theater who haven’t been in twenty years, we are told. We can’t wait to see what happens in week two.”
Atlas said theaters are “calling for the film,” and “looks forward to expanding” next week.
PBS Films’ Bill Nye: Science Guy, Orion Pictures/Samuel Goldwyn Films’ God’s Own Country and Sony Classics’ Novitiate can claim higher averages in their debuts though of course they were in much more limited runs. Bill Nye took in $9,150 in its single theater Friday to Sunday, while God’s Own Country grossed $16,820 ($8,410 average) and Novitiate took in $22,577 from three runs ($7,526 average). All will expand going into November.
In its second frame, A24’s The Killing Of A Sacred Deer jumped from four to 33 locations, holding well. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Alicia Silverstone, the title grossed $221,532, averaging a solid $6,713. It bowed with over $114K from its initial several runs last weekend, averaging $28,646. The film has cumed over $392K. A24 said Sunday the feature will “continue to platform into top markets this [coming weekend] and beyond.”
Brett Morgen documentary Jane from National Geographic/Abramorama played 22 additional runs in its second frame. In a total of 25 theaters, the title centering on primatologist Jane Goodall took in $151,376, averaging $6,055. It opened in three theaters the weekend prior grossing $55,712 ($18,571). Jane has cumed $231,404.
Music Box Films added seven runs for Aida’s Secret also in its second weekend, grossing $21,302 in eight locations, averaging $2,663. The title played to $5,068 in its exclusive run last weekend. It has cured $31,494.
The Orchard’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), France’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, played two additional locations in its second weekend out. The title took in $7,470 in four locations, averaging $1,868. BPM took in $8,721 in two theaters in its bow ($4,361 average). It has cured $22,914.
Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck expanded to 42 theaters from its initial four in week 2. Wonderstruck grossed $126K, averaging $3,000. In week one, the film released by Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions grossed $68,762, averaging $17,190. Wonderstruck has cumed $213,221.
In its third frame, Fox Searchlight added 152 runs for Goodbye Christopher Robin, going from 61 locations last weekend to 213 this Friday. The title took in $330K, averaging $1,549. The weekend prior, the title grossed $147K, averaging $2,410. It has cumed just over $633K.
A24’s The Florida Project easily crossed $2M in its fourth weekend. The title by Sean Baker and starring Willem Dafoe along with a host of newcomers, grossed $539,234 over the weekend in 145 theaters, averaging a strong $3,719 bringing its cume to just over $2.14M.
Also crossing $2M this weekend was Good Deed Entertainment’s Loving Vincent, which took in $449,453 in 161 locations, averaging $2,792. Its cume as of Sunday is estimated at $2.108M.
Fox Searchlight’s Battle Of the Sexes starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell toped $12M in its sixth frame. In 291 theaters, the title took in $310K, averaging $1,065.
Also of note this weekend is the return of one of this year’s most successful box office documentaries, Kedi from Oscilloscope. The company said it gave the title a 36 theater run timed to National Cat Day on October 29 (and perhaps this Awards Season). Kedi grossed $31,500, averaging $875. The film has cumed $2.84M since opening earlier this year.
All I See Is You (Open Road) NEW [283 Theaters] Weekend $135,504, Average $479
Amityville: The Awakening (The Weinstein Company) NEW [10 Theaters] Weekend $742, Average $74
Bill Nye: Science Guy (PBS Distribution) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,150
Brimstone & Glory (Oscilloscope) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $3,000
God’s Own Country (Orion Pictures/Samuel Goldwyn Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $16,820, Average $8,410, Cume $22,961 (Wed. Open in 1 Theater)
Let There Be Light (Atlas Distribution) NEW [373 Theaters] Weekend $1,800,000, Average $5,000
Mansfield (FilmBuff) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $6,602
Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $22,577, Average $7,526
The Divine Order (Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $3,700
The Work (The Orchard) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,718, Average $1,859
Aida’s Secret (Music Box Films) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $21,302, Average $2,663, Cume $31,494
BPM (Beats Per Minute) (The Orchard) Week 2 [4 Theaters] Weekend $7,470, Average $1,868, Cume $22,914
Jane (National Geographic Films/Abramorama) Week 2 [25 Theaters] Weekend $151,376, Average $6,055, Cume $231,404
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (A24) Week 2 [33 Theaters] Weekend $221,532, Average $6,713, Cume $392,453
Tragedy Girls (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 2 [18 Theaters] Weekend $12,420, Average $690, Cume $30,242
Wonderstruck (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions) Week 2 [42 Theaters] Weekend $126,007, Average $3,000, Cume $213,221
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Breathe (Bleecker Street/Participant Media) Week 3 [148 Theaters] Weekend $51,623, Average $349, Cume $378,931
Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [213 Theaters] Weekend $330,000, Average $1,549, Cume $633,036
Human Flow (Amazon Studios/Participant) Week 3 [36 Theaters] Weekend $61,000, Average $1,695, Cume $272,064
Chavela (Music Box Films) Week 4 [8 Theaters] Weekend $7,424, Average $928, Cume $119,720
Dina (The Orchard) Week 4 [19 Theater] Weekend $10,628, Average $559, Cume $59,681
Faces Places (Cohen Media Group) Week 4 [42 Theaters] Weekend $72,960, Average $1,737, Come $269,382
The Florida Project (A24) Week 4 [145 Theaters] Weekend $539,234, Average $3,719, Cume $2,149,007
The Stray (Quality Flix) Week 4 [74 Theaters] Weekend $35,000, Average $473, Come $1,499,844
Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [185 Theaters] Weekend $94,816, Average $513, Cume $665,000
Super Dark Times (The Orchard) Week 5 [1 Theater] Weekend $94, Cume $33,109
A Question of Faith (Pure Flux) Week 5 [46 Theaters] Weekend $23,000, Average $500, Cume $2,349,500
Battle Of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [291 Theaters] Weekend $310,000, Average $1,065, Cume $12,009,813
Friend Request (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 6 [32 Theaters] Weekend $5,122, Average $160, Cume $3,754,545
Loving Vincent (Good Deed Entertainment) Week 6 [161 Theaters] Weekend $449,453, Average $2,792, Cume $2,108,000
Stronger (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 6 [43 Theaters] Weekend $14,235, Average $331, Cume $4,151,361
Victoria And Abdul (Focus Features) Week 6 [1,044 Theaters] Weekend $1,612,000, Average $1,544, Cume $17,712,000
Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field) Week 13 [18 Theaters] Weekend $11,490, Average $638, Cume $989,139
Wind River (The Weinstein Company) Week 13 [80 Theaters] Weekend $29,697, Average $371, Cume $33,620,083
Kedi (Oscilloscope) Week 40 [36 Theaters] Weekend $31,500, Average $875, Cume $2,841,735