Never mind the blackout, Sundance’s The Farewell glowed with the year’s best opening weekend per- theater average in its debut, despite cancelled shows at AMC Lincoln Square, though most tickets were likely purchased ahead of time. In any event, distributor A24 gets bragging rights to a great opening,
The Farewell director Lulu Wang gave a light-hearted Tweet after the lights went out on Manhattan’s West side that she would host a showing of her movie, though she followed it up that she was actually in Los Angeles.
“To Everyone in NYC that is missing @thefarewell screenings cuz of the power outage, I’m sorry [emoji] Come to my house and I’ll screen it. You bring the food, I’ll bring the movie.”
More on point Sunday morning, A24 noted: “Lulu Wang’s touching, heartfelt and hilarious ode to family sold out shows at all 4 opening theaters this weekend. Even a blackout on the west side of Manhattan that forced the AMC Lincoln Square to close its doors Saturday night couldn’t stop The Farewell from having the highest opening per screen average of the year. A perfect 100% from critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and featuring a fantastic ensemble, led by the incomparable Awkwafina, exit polling shows sensational word-of-mouth and universal appeal from all audiences.”
Before The Farewell, the year’s highest opening PTA was Avengers: Endgame with a $76,601 average in a much wider 4,662 theaters. Amazong’s Sundance debut Late Night opened in four theaters before going wide with a $61,576 PTA in its opening weekend early last month.
A24 also reported a milestone with fellow Sundancer The Last Black Man in San Francisco crossing well over $3M in its sixth weekend. Saturday evening’s blackout on the West side of Manhattan took place just as prime showings were about to start, undoubtedly doing some damage to the box office for titles playing in venues affected by the outage.
IFC Films’ Sword Of Trust had a Q&A showing slated to start at 7pm at The Landmark 57 West. Observationally, I saw the lobby was pretty packed with theater-goers to see the movie just as the lights went out, though most had already purchased tickets online and could not get refunds due to systems being down. The comedy by Lynn Shelton and starring Marc Maron reportedly had sold-out Q&As downtown at IFC Center, where electricity reigned. IFC Films reported that it grossed $22,512, averaging $11,256. Jesse Eisenberg starrer The Art of Self-Defense from Bleecker Street edged a bit higher with its launch in seven theaters, grossing just over $121K for a $17,297 PTA.
Among other openers, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures bowed 2018 Tribeca Film Festival doc Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable with one of the widest opener among the new specialties, grossing $250K in 205 theaters, averaging $1,219. UMC’s I Got The Hook-Up 2 played 37 locations in a day and date start for $143,300 ($3,873 PTA) in theaters. The biggest specialty opener went to Bollywood’s Super 30 from Reliance, playing 317 theaters over the weekend, grossing just under $924K, averaging $2,914.
Roadside Attractions doc Marianne And Leonard: Words Of Love added over two dozen runs for its second weekend outing. Directed by Nick Broomfield, the feature grossed an estimated three-day $110,160 in 30 theaters, averaging $3,672. In its debut, the title grossed just under $45K in four locations, averaging $11,236.
1982 4K restoration re-release The Return Of Martin Guerre with Gérard Depardieu and Nathalie Bale remained stayed with two runs in its second frame. The Cohen Media Group release grossed $3,108, averaging $1,554. The French feature grossed $9K in its launch, averaging over forty-five hundred dollars.
Doc Maiden voyaged to 44 additional theaters in its third weekend sail, bringing its count to 68 theaters. Directed by Alex Holmes, the film grossed an estimated $224,328 in the three-day, averaging $3,299. Maiden had expanded to 24 locations last weekend grossing just under $131K ($5,452 PTA). It has cumed $484K.
Neon music drama Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley jumped its count by 98 theaters in its fourth weekend. In 161 locations, the title grossed $294K, averaging $1,826. In its third frame, Wild Rose grossed over $209K in 63 theaters, averaging $3,324. Its theatrical total is at $755,647.
Focus Features’ Cannes 2019 opener The Dead Don’t Die crossed $6.5M in its fifth weekend. Playing 142 runs, the Jim Jarmusch film grossed $87K, averaging $613.
The Last Black Man In San Francisco took residence in 207 theaters, 19 over last weekend. The Sundance title’s 6th weekend saw a $316,613 estimated three-day, averaging $1,747. In its fifth frame, the feature grossed $431,572 in 188 locations, averaging $2,296.
Ron Howard doc Pavarotti crossed $3.5M in its sixth weekend. The title grossed $255K in the three-day estimate, averaging $1,301. The feature lost 54 runs compared to last weekend. Its average was off just 29% from its previous three-day $1,832 PTA.
A24’s The Souvenir entered seven-figures in its ninth outing. Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir grossed $17,575, averaging $651. Its $1,016,633 cume is likely its last major box office milestone.
On the cusp of a $4M cume is Neon’s The Biggest Little Farm, which landed at over $3.92M over the weekend. In 99 theaters, the Telluride/Toronto debut grossed $76,125, averaging $769.
The Art of Self-Defense (Bleecker Street) NEW [7 Theaters] Weekend $121,080, Average $17,297
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures) NEW [205 Theaters] Weekend $250,000, Average $1,219
The Farewell (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $351,330, Average $87,833
I Got The Hook-Up 2 (Urban Movie Channel/RLJE Films) NEW [37 Theaters] Weekend $143,300, Average $3,873
Sword Of Trust (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $22,512, Average $11,256
Super 30 (Reliance) NEW [317 Theaters] Weekend $923,912, Average $2,914
Marianne And Leonard: Words Of Love (Roadside Attractions) Week 2 [30 Theaters] Weekend $110,160, Average $3,672, Cume $177,397
The Return Of Martin Guerre (1982, 4K restoration) (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $3,108, Average $1,554, Cume $16,506
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [68 Theaters] Weekend $224,328, Average $3,299, Cume $484,214
Wild Rose (Neon) Week 4 [161 Theaters] Weekend $294,000, Average $1,826, Cume $755,647
The Dead Don’t Die (Focus Features) Week 5 [142 Theaters] Weekend $87,000, Average $613, Cume $6,500,000
The Last Black Man In San Francisco (A24) Week 6 [207 Theaters] Weekend $361,613, Average $1,747, Cume $3,336,797
Pavarotti (CBS Films) Week 6 [196 Theaters] Weekend $255,000, Average $1,301, Cume $3,500,564
Echo In The Canyon (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 8 [147 Theaters] Weekend $205,563, Average $1,398, Cume $2,336,573
Halston (1091) Week 8 [3 Theaters] Weekend $2,166, Average $722, Cume $141,882
The Souvenir (A24) Week 9 [27 Theaters] Weekend $17,575, Average $651, Cume $1,016,633
The Biggest Little Farm (Neon) Week 11 [99 Theaters] Weekend $76,125, Average $769, Cume $3,924,346
Meeting Gorbachev (1091) Week 11 [5 Theaters] Weekend $1,549, Average $310, Cume $240,704
Amazing Grace (Neon) Week 16 [14 Theaters] Weekend $4,100, Average $293, Cume $4,444,459