Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
It’s not every weekend that a specialty film can claim a record, but The Master opened with an incredible $145,949 per-theater average, the best limited release ever for a live-action film, topping another record-breaker from earlier this year, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which bowed with with an average of $130,749 at four locations. The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous film, There Will Be Blood averaged $95,370 when it opened back in 2007 in two theaters.
“We’re thrilled with the numbers. It set the screen record and all the credit in the world goes to Paul Thomas Anderson with his guerrilla marketing strategy combined with moving the [release date] to this weekend,” said said TWC Head of Distribution Erik Lomis. “I’m expecting my phone to ring off the hook from exhibitors tomorrow.” The Weinstein Company had initially set an October rollout of The Master which picked up best director and actor awards at the recent Venice Film Festival where it was reportedly also the be jury’s pick for the top prize, the Golden Lion, until fest officials enforced a rule that limits the number of big awards per film. (more…)