UPDATED with more numbers and analysis. Specialty newcomers are mostly wilting in the heat this weekend. Meanwhile, though, second-week holdover The Farewell from A24 packed a wallop with an expansion and Bleecker Street’s The Art of Self-Defense jumped to well-over five hundred runs for a seven-figure, three-day gross.
Riding the wave of music-oriented documentaries, Sony Classics opened Sundance 2019 debut David Crosby: Remember My Name in several New York and LA theaters Friday. The title directed by A.J. Eaton and produced by Cameron Crowe grossed $41,050 for a $10,263 per theater average, a slower start than other music-centered docs of late. The title had the highest opening average among reporting specialty debuts as of Sunday morning.
Fellow rock documentary Echo in the Canyon (Greenwich Entertainment) bowed has cumed more than $2.6M since opening in late May. The title had an opening weekend of over $117K in two locations, averaging $58,826. Though a very different genre of music, CBS Films’ Ron Howard-directed doc Pavarotti is on the cusp of a $4M gross since its early June start. Pavarotti had a $7,581 opening PTA, though it played 19 theaters in its starting frame. Still early in its release, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love from Roadside Attractions has cumed more than $369K through its third frame this weekend. The feature opened to just under $45K in four theaters, averaging $11,236.
David Crosby: Remember My Name will head to other major markets including San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. next weekend ahead of a slow roll out throughout August. SPC’s next doc will be in September with another Sundance premiere, Matt Tyrnauer’s Where’s My Roy Cohn?
Kino Lorber Films opened French actor/filmmaker Louis Garrel’s A Faithful Man with an exclusive New York run this weekend for $7,617. The distributor reported that the title was the top-grossing film at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. A Faithful Man will have what the company described as a “tiered national expansion” in select markets in the coming months.
Sundance debut The Farewell by Lulu Wang had the year’s best opening PTA at nearly $89K. In its second outing this weekend, the title had what distributor A24 called “the best regional expansion of the year.” Indeed the feature played to robust second weekend numbers with a $1.17M gross in 35 theaters, giving the title starring Awkwafina a $33,473 PTA. Though just shy of three dozen runs, The Farewell ranked 12th in the overall box office as of Sunday morning just behind Avengers: Endgame in 985 theaters in its 13th weekend of release.
Noted A24 Sunday: “The film continues to win over both audiences and critics with many reported sell-outs across the country. Audiences of all ages continued to show up this weekend and exit polls remained through the roof across the board.”
A24 will expand The Farewell into additional top markets next Friday in the lead-up to a nationwide roll-out on August 2.
Bleecker Street added 543 runs for Jesse Eisenberg starrer The Art of Self-Defense in its second weekend. In 550 theaters, the title grossed $1.05M, averaging $1,919. The company said the film played in the “upper box office ranks” in “core” theaters with sell-outs in Friday and Saturday prime and later showings. “We are extremely satisfied with how the film drew its all-important core audience which has successfully generated sizable grosses in its core theaters,” Bleecker Street’s Jack Foley said.
Bollywood’s Super 30 from Reliance Big Pictures lost 128 runs for the drama’s second frame. Still, the title had 189 runs, grossing $445,674, averaging $2,358. That is down by only 15% from last weekend’s $2,748 opening average. Super 30 has cumed over $1.73M.
Lynn Shelton comedy Sword Of Trust sharpened its runs to a dozen locations in its second weekend. Starring Marc Maron, the IFC Films release grossed $62,714, averaging $5,226. The feature opened with two runs in its debut, grossing $19,332 for a $9,666 PTA. It has cumed $87,457. IFC Films will take Sword of Trust to the top 25 markets next weekend.
Doc Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love played an additional 25 theaters in its third weekend, grossing $122,665 in a total of 55 locations, averaging $2,230, down about 40% from its second weekend $3,698 PTA (30 theaters). Directed by Nick Broomfield, the title has cumed $369,272.
Matson Films’ docudrama Free Trip To Egypt has had a unique release pattern, first playing theaters in L.A. at the end of May, followed by New York in early June. Fathom Events did a 450 screen one-night event on June 12. The company said Sunday it’s restarting traditional theatrical runs now, technically making it the title’s third weekend of theatrical release. At any rate, Free Trip to Egypt grossed $8,140 Friday to Sunday in an exclusive run, bringing its theatrical release cume to $13,336. With its Fathom showings, the feature has cumed $80,342.
Neon’s Biggest Little Farm crossed $4M this weekend, marking its third month of release. Directed by John Chester, the Telluride/Toronto debut grossed $62,750, averaging $909 bringing its cume just over the new threshold at $4,062,520.
Neon has three of the year’s highest-grossing documentary films. The company gave Todd Douglas Miller’s Sundance doc Apollo 11 a theatrical push this weekend, timed to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on Saturday. In 107 theaters, the title grossed $75K ($701 PTA), enough to shoot Apollo 11 over $9M in its theatrical run, even as the film has been showing on CNN.
Together with Amazing Grace (December, 2018 release) which upped its cume to $4.45M, Neon has three of the highest-grossing docs of the year. Also in the mix is Disney’s Penguins at $7.69M.
Not far behind is CBS Films’ Pavarotti which came in just under $4M this weekend. Directed by Ron Howard, the doc grossed $230K in 143 theaters in its seventh outing, averaging $1,608 bringing its cume as of Sunday to $3.95M.
In its ninth weekend, Andrew Slater’s Echo In The Canyon shed 14 runs vs its previous frame, though it managed an uptick in its per theater average. The music doc spotlighting the L.A. rock scene in the ‘60s grossed an estimated $207,459 in 133 theaters, averaging $1,560. Last weekend, the title took in $207K from 147 runs, averaging $1,408. Echo In The Canyon has cumed over $2.68M.
At War (Cinema Libre) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $1,550
David Crosby: Remember My Name (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $41,050, Average $10,263
A Faithful Man (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,617
Rosie (Blue Fox Entertainment) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $2,970, Average $1,489
The Art of Self-Defense (Bleecker Street) Week 2 [550 Theaters] Weekend $1,055,658, Average $1,919, Cume $1,214,946
The Farewell (A24) Week 2 [35 Theaters] Weekend $1,171,570, Average $33,473, Cume $1,674,997
Sword Of Trust (IFC Films) Week 2 [12 Theaters] Weekend $62,714, Average $5,226, Cume $87,457
Super 30 (Reliance) Week 2 [189 Theaters] Weekend $445,674, Average $2,358, Cume $1,735,375
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Free Trip To Egypt (Matson Films) Week 3 (originally opened 5/31) [1 Theater] Weekend $8,140, Cume $13,336
Marianne And Leonard: Words Of Love (Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [55 Theaters] Weekend $122,665, Average $2,230, Cume $369,272
Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [84 Theaters] Weekend $255,715, Average $3,044, Cume $850,195
Wild Rose (Neon) Week 5 [195 Theaters] Weekend $255,000, Average $1,308, Cume $1,169,663
The Last Black Man In San Francisco (A24) Week 7 [149 Theaters] Weekend $249,918, Average $1,677, Cume $3,829,483
Pavarotti (CBS Films) Week 7 [143 Theaters] Weekend $230,000, Average $1,608, Cume $3,956,192
Echo In The Canyon (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 9 [133 Theaters] Weekend $207,459, Average $1,560, Cume $2,684,024
Halston (1091) Week 9 [3 Theaters] Weekend $947, Average $316, Cume $143,690
The Biggest Little Farm (Neon) Week 12 [69 Theaters] Weekend $62,750, Average $909, Cume $4,062,520
Meeting Gorbachev (1091) Week 12 [2 Theaters] Weekend $453, Average $227, Cume $242,600
Amazing Grace (Neon) Week 17 [10 Theaters] Weekend $4,040, Average $404, Cume $4,450,456
Apollo 11 (Neon) Week 21 [107 Theaters] Weekend $75,000, Average $701, Cume $9,033,165