The King’s Speech, which stands as the Oscar frontrunner so far, had an amazing opening weekend at the box office. Its second weekend, though, was in some ways more impressive. On only six screens, the film’s per-theater average was an impressive $54,000. That would be an amazing average for an opening weekend on half as many screens. This put the stammering-monarch period piece at over $800,000 total in domestic gross, and it will be well over $1 million at the box office by this weekend. The jury is still out on how high this crowd-pleaser can go, but this is the beginning of a very busy season for The Weinstein Company. With all the action going around for their 2010 slate, it’s hard not to feel like this has been a good month for a distributor that needed a boost. It’s not all fiction films, either, as last week saw Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary The Tillman Story nominated for the Producers Guild of America prize. The riveting documentary is also shortlisted for the Oscar, those final nominees won’t be announced until late January, but you can expect to see it on end-of-the-year lists.
Pumped by the success of The King’s Speech, the company held the New York premiere (hosted by Quintessentially) for its next release, Blue Valentine, in Manhattan on Tuesday. A tremendous American indie that they found at Sundance 2010, Valentine opens theatrically on December 29, and rolls out through early 2011. Wednesday was arguably the biggest day of this week for The Weinstein Company: it was the day that Harvey Weinstein himself appealed the MPAA over the “NC-17” rating bestowed upon Blue Valentine, and won. A huge victory for a small film that would have been ignored, without its new “R” rating. Coincidentally, the company hosted a celebration on Wednesday night, but for Blue Valentine.
Wednesday night was when The Weinstein Company hosted the New York premiere (sponsored by Dobel Tequila) for The Company Men (another Sundance acquisition) starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, and Kevin Costner. The film screened at the Paris Theater, followed with a party at bar/restuarant Asellina, in the Gansevoort Park Avenue. While director John Wells held court, and a crop of guests turned the middle of the venue into a dance floor, Harvey was absent due to his L.A. meeting with the MPAA. However, the good vibes seemed to warm the soiree, as Blue Valentine star Michelle Williams appeared on The Daily Show at precisely the same moment. Likely due to this hectic schedule, The Weinstein Company has moved the release of The Company Men back from December 10, to January 21 (it will still qualify for awards).