UPDATED with more numbers and analysis. It’s a bit of a forgettable weekend on the specialty side of the box office, though not as worrisome as the mainstream retreat from multiplexes on the worst Super Bowl weekend gross in nearly two decades.
Sony Classics’ second-weekend holdover, Never Look Away, took bragging rights for the best per-theater average for the weekend. The Best Foreign Language Oscar nominated feature by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck grossed $19,033 at its exclusive engagement at the Paris Theater in New York, down 26% from last weekend and good for a $58,146 cume.
Bleecker Street’s Arctic bowed in four theaters for $56,463, averaging $14,116. And Bollywood’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga had the widest open by far among the specialties with 193 runs. It grossed $600K for a $3,109 PTA.
One notable feat for the specialty crowd as another Sundance Film Festival passes into memory is the performance of Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Shoplifters. Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s drama spent its 11th outing in North American theaters in an impressive 140 theaters, grossing $148K for a $1,057 PTA. It has now cumed $2.76M. This is Magnolia Pictures second Palme release in a row. Last year, it put out The Square from Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, and the dark satire cumed $1.5M at the domestic box office.
Arctic, a survival drama starring Mads Mikkelsen, had the best average among limited release newcomers, though its competition was mostly holdovers. It took in $56,463 in four locations, averaging a weekend slow best of $14,116.
Mikkelsen stars as a man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash. He must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown in hopes of making it out alive. Specialty survival stories can be lucrative. 127 Hours (2010) with James Franco cumed $18.33M. More recently, Robert Redford’s turn in All Is Lost sailed to $6.26M.
Arctic will head to other cities including Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco while also broadening in NYC and LA.
Fathom Events had its second weekend Met Opera event this weekend, this time bringing a live screening of Carmen in 900 locations. The event brought in $1.9M from its live screenings, averaging $2,111. This event is above its previous live Met Opera event, Adriana Lecouvreur, which took in $1.3M in a similar number of runs ($1,444 average).
Aside from the Met Opera’s event this weekend, FIP’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga by Shelly Chopra Dhar had the weekend’s widest specialty roll out on this continent. Rohit Sharma, Fox Star Studios India’s head of International Sales & Distribution, said this week that the label will have 2019’s “most ambitious line-up of big Bollywood films and the biggest line-up for any Indian film company this year.”
Greenwich Entertainment added ten runs for The Invisibles in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $35,915 in fourteen theaters, averaging $2,565. The title by Claus Räfle grossed $27,164 in its opening frame, averaging $6,791.
Focus and Participant’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg narrative feature, On The Basis of Sex played in 917 theaters in its sixth weekend, grossing just north of $1M and bringing its total to $22.8M.
SPC’s Stan & Ollie added 29 theaters for its sixth outing, grossing over $873K in 754 locations ($1,158 PTA). Last weekend, the bio-drama starring John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan grossed $1.23M, averaging $1,704 in 725 theaters. It has cumed $3.59M.
Arctic (Bleecker Street) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $56,463, Average $14,116
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (FIP) NEW [193 Theaters] Weekend $600,000, Average $3,109
The Met: Bizet’s Carmen (Fathom Events) NEW [900 Theaters] Weekend $1,900,000, Average $2,111
Piercing (Universal Pictures Content Group) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $8,500, Average $472
The Invisibles (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $35,915, Average $2,565, Cume $71,566
Never Look Away (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $19,033, Cume $58,146
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Who Will Write Our History (Abramorama) Week 3 [5 Theaters] Weekend $18,150, Average $3,630, Cume $70,058
Perfectos Desconocido (Lionsgate) Week 4 [37 Theaters] Weekend $27,950, Average $755, Cume $947,506
Replicas (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) Week 4 [51 Theaters] Weekend $20,000, Average $392, Cume $4,024,771
On The Basis Of Sex (Focus Features/Participant) Week 6 [917 Theaters] Weekend $1,020,000, Average $1,113, Cume $22,836,000
Simmba (Reliance Entertainment) Week 6 [13 Theaters] Weekend $13,563, Average $1,043, Cume $5,102,129
Stan & Ollie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [754 Theaters] Weekend $873,186, Average $1,158, Cume $3,591,192
Cold War (Amazon Studios) Week 7 [217 Theaters] Weekend $564,336, Average $2,601, Cume $2,182,280
Capernaum (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [47 Theaters] Weekend $132,371, Average $2,816, Cume $538,475
If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures) Week 9 [454 Theaters] Weekend $462,288, Average $1,018, Cume $13,235,000
Ben Is Back (LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 9 [44 Theaters] Weekend $22,800, Average $518, Cume $3,669,249
The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 11 [1,554 Theaters] Weekend $1,500,000, Average $965, Cume $28,597,605
Shoplifters (Magnolia Pictures) Week 11 [140 Theaters] Weekend $148,000, Average $1,057, Cume $2,767,533
Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 19 [483 Theaters] Weekend $1,387,000, Average $2,872, Cume $14,987,033
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 25 [202 Theaters] Weekend $162,997, Average $807, Cume $8,938,412