Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain kept its spot in the North American top ten for week two in 954 theaters – up by 27 — with an $830,000 estimated gross for the three days, leading the specialty box office.
As per Focus Features, that was a total cume of over $3.7 million for the Morgan Neville documentary about the charismatic but troubled former chef turned world-traveler television host who tragically took his own life in 2018. The $870 location average for this, echoed by others in the space, is solid for specialty fare so far this year with the sector challenged by a slow reopening and limited product.
Roadrunner had a 58% drop week-on-week. “We have seen in the pandemic that second weekends take a steeper drop than what we would normally experience,” said Brad Thompson of Focus. (Some wide openers like Space Jam: A New Legacy dropped more — about 69%, but that was also on HBO Max.)
Roadrunner played multiplexes but its best grosses continued to be in art and specialty houses led by LA, with the most theaters, followed by New York and San Francisco. The Angelika in NYC maintained the top spot. Three locations in Brooklyn – the Alamo and the two Nighthawk’s in Williamsburg and Prospect Park — were also top ten locations. Grosses: Friday – $250k; Saturday – $320k; and Sunday – $260k.
Bourdain, who shot to stardom with his dishy bestseller Kitchen Confidential, is widely known and loved by viewers who followed him for years on Travel Channel and later on Parts Unknown on CNN. The film was marketed heavily (including on CNN, a producer) and in theaters, which gave ticket buyers recipe cards of his favorite dishes. It helped boost a market that’s been struggling to recover but has had some notable entrants lately.
Neon’s Pig with an excellent Nicolas Cage as a reclusive truffle hunter searching for his stolen pig continued strong in its second weekend, earning $565k in 588 locations for a per theater average of $961 and a cume through Sunday of over $2 million. That’s Friday – $162,000; Saturday – $230,000; and Sunday – $173,000.
(Neon also opened Ailey in two locations to $16,014 (for an impressive per theater average of $8,007.) The documentary by Jamily Wignot about Alvin Ailey the trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance is told through Ailey’s own words with archival footage and interviews.)
The widest specialty debut was Roadside Attractions Joe Bell that opened to an estimated $707,185 on 1,094 screens for a per theater average of $646. The film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and based on a true story, stars Mark Wahlberg as an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying.
Roadside’s Howard Cohen noted that the firm increased in gross from Friday to Saturday “indicating positive word of mouth for future play in theatres.” Friday – $245,640; Saturday – $279,725; and Sunday – $181,820.
Other notable debuts: Oscilloscope Labs’ CatVideoFest 2021 (yes, it’s back) opened in 35 locations for a weekend gross of $35,500 and a per theater average of $1,014.
Integrity Releasing’s Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat played on 30 runs earning $2,500 for a cume to date of $6,500
All the Streets Are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboarding (1987-1997) from Greenwich Entertainment played on 1 screen with a three-day projected gross of $9,500. Jeremy Elkin’s doc opened at the Village East (in NYC’s East Village) and expands to select locations nationwide in the next several weeks. It explores the scene that inspired the 1995 film Kids and launched the NYC skateboarding and lifestyle brand Supreme.