Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The weekend boasted a hefty number of Specialty newcomers though that translated into mostly unimpressive results. Most new titles this weekend will likely have short big screen lives. The Weinstein Company’s Salinger, however, skirted that 3-day trend with a gross of just under $91K and a cool $22,742 average putting it in the top tier of documentary openers this year, though titles such as The Act Of Killing ($27,450) and Stories We Tell ($27,053) still showed more opening muscle.
“There’s a lot of stuff about Salinger people want to hear and it’s a unique film,” said TWC’s Erik Lomis ahead of this weekend’s release. “It will get buzz and it’s worth the watch.” Following this weekend’s limited roll out, Salinger will head to 60 markets in 175 to 200 theaters the following week.
TWC’s French-language comedy Populaire had another new film in theaters, though its numbers were far smaller. Directed by Régis Roinsard, the feature grossed $16,662 for a slow $5,554 average. “It is strictly art house,” said Lomis about the feature. “I think it will appeal to an older audience but it also has a unique style that might play to people over 35.”
Magnolia Pictures also released two titles this weekend, though its theatrical numbers were blasé. Good Ol Freda grossed $8K giving it the weekend’s second best PSA among the newcomers, though that was only in one theater. Its other film, Touchy Feely with Rosemarie DeWitt and Ellen Page, fared worse, only grossing $4K in two theaters. Even director Lynn Shelton’s smaller budget previous film Your Sister’s Sister had an $8,402 opening weekend PSA in 13 theaters when it opened in June, 2012. Both Good Ol Freda and Touchy Feely were available via VOD/day and date. (more…)