Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Quartet crooned atop the specialty newcomers for its opening in two theaters. Tribeca Film’s Struck By Lightning starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer and Phase Four Films’ The Baytown Outlaws with Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria have yet to report their numbers, but if/when they do, they’ll have stiff competition from Quartet which also happens to be Dustin Hoffman’s official feature directing debut. In a pair of runs in NYC and LA, the film averaged a solid $25,017. Zeitgeist had a tougher time with its foreign-language release Let My People Go! The boutique distributor opened the film about a French-born Jewish man who ends up back with his zany family in Paris after a quarrel with his Finnish boyfriend at a single NYC venue that took in an estimated $2,299 for the weekend weekend.
Quartet had a short awards-qualifying run last month, but came into its theatrical own in the second weekend of the New Year at the Paris Theater in New York and the Landmark in Los Angeles. Quartet star Maggie Smith gave a little jab to the film establishment last year in the wake of one of her last big screen success, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, saying Hollywood treats cinema-goers like “5-year-olds.” TWC said its core audience would be “mature” for Quartet and the film had a good rollout. Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess knows best. Quartet‘s next expansion will be to 75 markets and about 350 locations January 25.
Sony Pictures Classics widened its Oscar Best Picture and Best Foreign-Langue Film nominee Amour to 15 theaters after three weeks with hefty runs in only three locations. The film, which was honored last night at the LA Film Crtitics Association event in Century City, held strong with an $18,038 average vs last weekend’s $21,199. Lionsgate moved The Impossible into 236 additional runs in its 4th weekend for a PTA of $3,156 across 808 cinemas. In 572 theaters last weekend the film averaged $4,852.