Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
This weekend’s specialty newcomers performed blasé at best and that’s despite the debut of a new film by a director who is all but a patron saint to the cineaste crowd. Topping the report Sunday morning is LD Entertainment’s Disconnect. Starring Jason Bateman and Hope Davis, the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival opener averaged $8,240 from 15 runs, pulling ahead of Terrence Malick and Ben Affleck’s debut, To The Wonder, which averaged $7,647 in 17 theaters. Sundance Selects opened Ken Loach’s Cannes 2012 title The Angels’ Share in 3 theaters, averaging $7K, while Oscilloscope’s It’s A Disaster also opened in a trio of locations, averaging $5,667. But the real good news came from Focus Features’ The Place Beyond The Pines. The Derek Cianfrance-directed feature showed off its box office prowess, averaging a solid $8K in over 500 theaters.
Word on the street was that To The Wonder was Malick’s “most accessible” film, but the film failed to measure up to his comparatively less user friendly previous film Tree Of Life. That film, which opened in 2011 in 4 theaters, averaged a cool $93,230 though it went on to cume $13.3 million. Hopefully the film will show some legs going forward. “I think it’s better outside a festival context and works better on its own,” said Magnolia’s Matt Cowal. “It’s sparking an incredible dialog. You can’t expect it to be liked by everyone. Some hate it, some adore it. And that’s expected in a work of art – it’s fascinating.” iTunes had some good news for To The Wonder this weekend. It topped its Independent charts all weekend. Magnolia will open the film in nearly every major market over the next two weeks.