UPDATED at 11:10AM PT with more numbers and analysis. It’s hard out here for a specialty release in the long shadow of The Avengers, but a few limited openers managed to put up some impressive results this weekend.
Fresh from an Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio scored with English-language drama/romance Disobedience, which had the second-best limited bow of 2018 on a per-theater average basis. The Bleecker Street title starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams grossed $241K in five locations, averaging $48,255. (The only better limited debut this year has been Searchlight’s Isle of Dogs, which averaged $60,011 per theater in its March debut and has cumed $27 million to date.)
French filmmaker Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In, starring Juliette Binoche, breathed life into the foreign-language marketplace with a robust launch in two theaters starting Friday. The Sundance Selects title grossed $40,267 Friday to Sunday. Fathom Events’ latest Met Live offering, Cendrillon (Cinderella) played 900 locations over the weekend, grossing $1.3M.
Other specialty openers were less buoyant, including Tribeca ’18 debut Duck Butter, which took in $3,360 in two theaters. The Orchard opened crime-dram Kings, with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, in 214 sites over the weekend, grossing a bit more than $173K for a meager per-theater average of $809.
Among the holdovers, William Friedkin’s doc The Devil and Father Amorth shed two runs, taking in $2,543 in six locations. Sony Classics expanded The Rider in 28 new theaters in its third frame, taking in $188,338, a per-theater average of $5,090 and a cume to date of $357,672. Amazon Studios continued to add runs for You Were Never Really Here with Joaquin Phoenix, grossing $351,831 in 233 theaters, though its per-theater average dropped by half, to $1,500 from $3,000. Its cume now stands at $1,795,205. IFC comedy The Death of Stalin keeps steaming along, topping $7.2M in its eighth weekend.
Bleecker Street said Sunday that Disobedience saw strong LGBT and art house patronage over the weekend in its New York and LA launch, with a wide age range from 20s to 50-pluses. “Sellouts occurred in all houses throughout the weekend, particularly during prime evening shows,” said Bleecker Street’s Jack Foley told Deadline. “Mid-afternoon matinees were near capacity… We are extremely happy with the weekend’s business. I think if we had more seats, frankly, we would have done more business.”
Foley noted that the female-to-male ratio was 70-30% at the Angelika in downtown Manhattan, while at uptown site Lincoln Square it came in closer to 50-50. Disobedience is also Bleecker Street’s biggest platform release ever, just ahead of Eye In the Sky, which opened in five locations in April 2016, grossing $113,803 ($22,761 PTA).
Bleecker Street will widen Disobedience to Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Portland. New York and L.A. will also add more locations.
Sundance Selects saw potent results from Let the Sunshine In, the latest from French director and co-writer Denis, who has had several films released in the U.S. by IFC. The Cannes Directors Fortnight title grossed $40,267 in two locations, averaging a stellar $20,133 to rank as the No. 1 foreign-language opening per theater average of 2018.
Denis was in New York for audience Q&As this weekend, while Binoche will do the same next weekend. IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco noted during the runup to the release, “The fact they’re both coming and supporting the film is indicative of their backing and belief in the quality of it. Claire Denis is not only one of the best female directors, but one of the best directors in the world right now.”
Fathom Events closed out the current season of its Met Live series with Cendrillon (Cinderella) in 900 locations over the weekend, taking in $1.3M from 60,450 attendees, the company said Sunday. An estimated additional 80,000 people saw it live on 800 screens in 37 countries in Europe, 11 countries in Latin America, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Jamaica, Morocco, Belarus and Ukraine, according to Fathom. The series will return October 6 with Verdi’s Aida, starring Anna Netrebko in the title role. There will also be a ‘Summer Encore’ series featuring select performances from previous releases.
IFC also expanded Ghost Stories to 12 runs for its second weekend, grossing just over $28K (a $2,336 average). The film snagged the best opening PTA of last weekend from an exclusive run, taking in $12,563. Ghost Stories’ two-week cume is $45,128.
Coen Media Group added 13 locations for the second week of Godard Mon Amour, from Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius. The film grossedd $14,747 in 17 theaters ($867 average) after bowing in four locations last weekend to $12,646, an average of $3,161. It has thus far cumed $31,912.
After Auschwitz from Passion River Films improved in its second frame, taking in $14,331 ($1,303) bringing its two week cume to just over $26K. On the other end of the specialty spectrum, Bleecker Street’s Beirut went past $4.5M overall in its third weekend, grossing $257,779 from 237 runs.
Kino Lorber doc Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami added 10 theaters, grossing just over $41K in 19 locations ($2,161 average). It grossed $41,812 in nine theaters last Friday to Sunday, averaging $4,646. Its three-week cume is $182,432.
Roadside Attractions/Stage 6’s Finding Your Feet crossed seven figures over the week. Friday to Sunday, it grossed $123,790 in 102 locations, averaging $1,214. The film’s cume as of Sunday is estimated at over $1.58M.
Disobedience (Bleecker Street) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $241,276, Average $48,255
Duck Butter (The Orchard) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,360, Average $1,680, Cume $3,414
Kings (The Orchard) NEW [214 Theaters] Weekend $173,113, Average $809
Let The Sunshine In (Sundance Selects) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $40,267, Average $20,133
The Met Live: Cendrillon (Fathom Events) NEW [900 Theaters] Weekend $1,300,000, Average $1,444
After Auschwitz (Passion River Films) Week 2 [11 Theaters] Weekend $14,331, Average $1,303, Cume $26,045
The Devil And Father Amorth (The Orchard) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $2,543, Average $424, Cume $13,432
Godard Mon Amour (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [17 Theaters] Weekend $14,747, Average $867, Cume $31,912
Ghost Stories (IFC Midnight) Week 2 [12 Theaters] Weekend $28,032, Average $2,336, Cume $45,128
Lou Andreas-Salomé, Audacity To Be Free (Cinema Libre) Week 2 [2 Theater] Weekend $3,310, Average $1,655, Cume $9,730
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Beirut (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [237 Theaters] Weekend $257,779, Average $1,807, Cume $4,502,155
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Kino Lorber) Week 3 [19 Theaters] Weekend $41,059, Average $2,161, Cume $182,432
The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [37 Theaters] Weekend $188,338, Average $5,090, Cume $357,672
Lean On Pete (A24) Week 4 [167 Theaters] Weekend $240,380, Average $1,439, Cume $665,110
You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Studios) Week 4 [233 Theaters] Weekend $351,831, Average $1,510, Cume $1,795,205
Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6) Week 5 [102 Theaters] Weekend $123,790, Average $1,214, Cume $1,158,116
Outside In (The Orchard) Week 5 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1,463, Average $488, Cume $67,392
Back To Burgundy (Music Box Films) Week 6 [10 Theaters] Weekend $13,760, Average $1,376, Cume $186,116
Final Portrait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [69 Theaters] Weekend $37,620, Average $545, Cume $374,721
Isle Of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [1,001 Theaters] Weekend $1,400,000, Average $1,399, Cume $27,020,723
Flower (The Orchard) Week 7 [1 Theater] Weekend $116, Cume $327,347
The Death of Stalin (IFC Films) Week 8 [150 Theaters] Weekend $210,478, Average $1,403, Cume $7,202,952
The Hurricane Heist (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 8 [5 Theaters] Weekend $645, Average $129, Cume $6,111,642
Itzhak (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 8 [30 Theaters] Weekend $34,620, Average $1,154, Cume $383,105
The Leisure Seeker (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [117 Theaters] Weekend $104,759, Average $895, Cume $2,889,625
1945 (Menemsa Films) Week 26 [15 Theaters] Weekend $32,295, Average $2,159, Cume $604,160