IFC Films drama Diane starring Mary Kay Place is leading a crowded pack of specialty newcomers this weekend, with no debut limited release title breaking even above a five-figure per theater average as of the initial Sunday morning averages. Diane by writer-director Kent Jones grossed $27,043, averaging $9,014.
PBS Films opened its first narrative feature, The Chaperone, starring Elizabeth McGovern and Haley Lu Richardson in two New York theaters. The title, by upcoming Downton Abbey feature director Michael Engler, grossed $12,150, averaging $6,075 for the weekend’s second best showing among the slow-go specialties.
Magnolia Pictures bowed Sundance ’19 doc The Brink by Alison Klayman in four New York, L.A. and Washington, D.C. theaters for $18,370 for a $4,593 PTA.
Other reporting specialties making their theatrical launches include Comedy Dynamics’ French-language comedy Slut In A Good Way, playing 7 weekend runs for $22K ($3,143 PTA) and Greenwich Entertainment’s baseball doping doc Screwball, taking $12K in 13 locations ($925 PTA).
Bleecker Street expanded Hotel Mumbai fairly wide in its second frame, adding 920 runs. The dramatic thriller starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer grossed over $3.16M in 924 locations, averaging $3,425 bringing its cute to $3.27M. The title by Anthony Maras played four locations in its debut grossing just over $88K for a $22,016 PTA.
SPC added seven runs for László Nemes’ Hungarian period drama Sunset in its second weekend. Starring Susanne Wuest, the title took $14,769 in 10 theaters, averaging $1,477. The title had a slow start with three locations last weekend with a $13,846 gross ($4,615 PTA).
Lionsgate/Pantelion’s Spanish-language comedy No Manches Frida 2 crossed $8M in its third outing, grossing $900K in 423 theaters, averaging $2,128. The title is running a bit behind 2016 release No Manches Frida, which came out of its third weekend with a $9.19M gross.
IFC Films’ Diane with Mary Kay Place opened day and date, though it still managed to lead a crowded pack of specialty debuts with its $9K PTA from a $27K gross in three theaters. Its theatrical showings this weekend were undoubtedly buoyed by Q&As with filmmaker Kent Jones moderated by high-profile guests in New York, including Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach, Michael Moore and Paul Dano.
IFC Films picked up the title shortly after its Tribeca Film Festival premiere last year. “I think that the press reception was helpful for them to come on with the film,” said producer Luca Borghese ahead of Diane’s release earlier this week.
The Chaperone also had Q&As with star and producer Elizabeth McGovern and director Michael Engler at its two New York runs at the Quad and Landmark 57 West at select showings. Though the film did not travel robustly in its debut, McGovern said earlier this week that she believes the title’s long tail release strategy with PBS Distribution showed promise with local PBS affiliates promoting the feature as it slowly rolls into markets around the country. Though set in America in a story that is in no-way blue-blooded, the film does have Downton Abbey chops with an adaptation by Julian Fellowes. Production for The Chaperone took place in New York ahead of The Downton Abbey feature shoot.
“This [film] seems like a great fit for PBS Distribution,” said McGovern. “They [are] reaching out to the Downton Abbey and PBS audience, which will be many of the same people who would be attracted to this film.” She added about the local PBS tie-in strategy as The Chaperone makes its slow roll out around the country: “It seemed like an innovative idea as opposed to other low budget feature films just hoping to get the big audience in the first weekend.”
In its third frame, Fox Searchlight added 135 theaters for The Aftermath, bringing its weekend count to 161. The war drama with Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård is estimated to have grossed $310K Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,925. In its second frame last weekend, it grossed nearly $121K, averaging $4,643.
Searchlight said Sunday that the title is performing best “to a more mature cinephile audience and it is no coincidence that we have been booking the feature in some of the very best art houses in the country.” The Aftermath will head out around the country next weekend bringing its theater count to between 300 – 350.
Also in its third weekend is Focus Features’ The Mustang which is closing in on the seven-figure total. In 181 theaters, the drama starring Matthias Schoenaerts grossed $585K, averaging $3,232 for a $989K cume.
Neon’s Sundance debut Apollo 11 is floating with an estimated sky-high $7.65M cume in its fifth weekend. The doc grossed just under $403K in the three-day, averaging $1,138.
German/French drama Transit from Music Box Films crossed a half million also in its fifth outing. The title by writer-director Christian Petzold took an estimated $71,128 in 62 theaters, averaging $1,147 bringing its cume to just under $509K.
Oscar-winning doc Free Solo is inching toward seven-and-a-half million with 27 weekends under its belt theatrically. The title has also been available digitally for over a month. On the big screen, Free Solo grossed an estimated $19,200 in 30 locations, averaging $640 bringing its cume to over $17.48M.
The Brink (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $18,370, Average $4,593
The Chaperone (PBS Distribution) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $12,150, Average $6,075
Diane (IFC Films) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $27,043, Average $9,014
Screwball (Greenwich Entertainment) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $12,020, Average $925
Slut In A Good Way (Comedy Dynamics) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $22,000, Average $3,143
Hotel Mumbai (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [924 Theaters] Weekend $3,164,450, Average $3,425, Cume $3,279,932
Sunset (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $14,769, Average $1,477, Cume $36,419
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
The Aftermath (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [161 Theaters] Weekend $310,000, Average $1,925, Cume $556,753
Ash Is Purest White (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [47 Theaters] Weekend $56,642, Average $1,205, Cume $221,814
Faith, Hope & Love (ArtAffects) Week 3 [9 Theaters] Weekend $19,181, Average $2,131, Cume $136,817
More Than Blue (China Lion) Week 3 [38 Theaters] Weekend $65,000, Average $1,711, Cume $657,579
The Mustang (Focus Features) Week 3 [181 Theaters] Weekend $585,000, Average $3,232, Cume $989,000
No Manches Frida 2 (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 3 [423 Theaters] Weekend $900,000, Average $2,128, Cume $8,047,427
Badla (Reliance) Week 4 [58 Theaters] Weekend $75,736, Average $1,306, Cume $1,861,000
Gloria Bell (A24) Week 4 [1,127 Theaters] Weekend $1,110,000, Average $985, Cume $4,177,006
The Kid (Lionsgate Premiere) Week 4 [77 Theaters] Weekend $45,000, Average $584, Cume $1,451,715
Apollo 11 (Neon) Week 5 [354 Theaters] Weekend $402,990, Average $1,138, Cume $7,654,287
Climax (A24) Week 5 [21 Theaters] Weekend $14,910, Average $710, Cume $794,861
Giant Little Ones (Vertical Entertainment) Week 5 [11 Theaters] Weekend $14,500, Average $1,318, Cume $159,143
Transit (Music Box Films) Week 5 [62 Theaters] Weekend $71,128, Average $1,147, Cume $508,989
The Wedding Guest (IFC Films) Week 5 [45 Theaters] Weekend $17,571, Average $390, Cume $373,719
Everybody Knows (Focus Features) Week 6 [50 Theaters] Weekend $34,000, Average $680, Cume $2,642,000
Run The Race (Roadside Attractions) Week 6 [136 Theaters] Weekend $57,200, Average $421, Cume $6,347,656
Never Look Away (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [26 Theater] Weekend $33,063, Average $1,272, Cume $1,134,861
Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 27 [30 Theaters] Weekend $19,200, Average $640, Cume $17,485,454