After three consecutive Oscar-hungry box-office hits in “The Artist,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Iron Lady,” The Weinstein Company’s luck ran out this weekend as Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus” failed to attract a considerable audience. According to estimates provided by Rentrak earlier today, the film — which had an Oscar-qualifying run back in December — grossed only $60,000 from nine screens for a so-so average of $6,667.
Also opening was Frederick Wiseman’s “Crazy Horse,” which Zipporah Films set on one screen at New York’s Film Forum. The film grossed a respectable $10,000, bringing its cume to $14,375 since opening Wednesday. The film opens in Los Angeles February 3 after opening Boston January 27. It is already confirmed for over 25 markets nationwide as it rolls out across the country, with many more to come.
Meanwhile, Tribeca Film opened the Halston documentary “Ultrasuede” at the IFC Center in New York. It grossed an estimated $4,000.
Among holdovers, Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin” expanded from two screens to seven in the second weekend of its official theatrical run. The result was a 82% increase and a $77,000 gross.
That gave the film an $11,000 average. Added to its Oscar-qualifying numbers from December, “Kevin” has now taken in $188,021. Distributor Oscilloscope plans to expand the film in the coming weeks, potentially aided by an Oscar nomination for Tilda Swinton.
Holding on very strongly was “Pina,” which expanded from six to 10 screens. The Wim Wenders-directed 3D documentary that looks at the work of dance artist Pina Bausch grossed $120,000, averaging an excellent $12,000, extraordinary for its fifth weekend. That gave it a total of $765,463 ahead of a further expansion that could easily make “Pina” a huge success story for distributor Sundance Selects.
Also finding strong numbers was Asghar Farhad’s Iranian drama “A Separation,” which Sony Pictures Classics pushed from six screens to 13 in its fourth weekend. The film, which just won a Golden Globe for best foreign-language film, scored a $182,577 gross, averaging $14,044 (an increase from last weekend) and soaring 154% in grosses. Its total now stands at $554,800.
The fourth weekend of Weinstein Company release “The Iron Lady” saw the film expand from 802 to 1,075 screens. The film grossed an impressive $3,707,000, though that was down 32% from last weekend despite the screen increase (and the publicity from Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe win). That gave “Lady,” starring Streep as Margaret Thatcher, an average of $3,445. The film has now totalled $12,608,679 with Streep’s all-but-assured Oscar nomination sure to help make that grow.
Focus Features continued to see very strong numbers from Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” After six very successful weeks of expansion, Focus dropped the film from 886 to 731 screens and saw it gross $1,830,564.
Starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt, the well-reviewed film has not received many notices from awards season, getting shut out of the Golden Globe and SAG nominations. But it doesn’t seem to have hurt the film at all, which has now totals $18,396,161. A final gross above $25 million is possible.
Focus Features’ release of Dee Rees’s “Pariah” also went into its fourth weekend. Going from 24 down to 21 screens, the drama grossed $62,247 — a 39% drop from last weekend. That made for a $2,964 average and a disappointing new total of $494,855.
Also not faring so well was the fifth weekend of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “In The Land of Blood and Honey.” A love story set against the Bosnian war, the Film District release went from 18 to 14 screens. It grossed $24,640 over the weekend, giving it a $1,760 average and a new total of $200,172.
Steve McQueen’s “Shame” expanded from 41 to 95 screens in its eighth weekend for Fox Searchlight. The NC-17 film starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan grossed $240,000, jumping 66% in grosses. That gave “Shame” a $2,526 average and a new total of $2,979,400. It will soon become seventh NC-17 film to gross $3 million.
Fassbender’s other major specialty release, David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” went from 104 to 105 screens. The Sony Pictures Classics film, which stars Fassbender as Jung and Viggo Mortensen as Freud, took in $429,748 over the weekend, dropping a respectable 14% grosses. That made for a $4,093 per-theater-average and a new total of $3,384,709.
Finally, Oscar’s two biggest hopefuls continued to do good business.
Fox Searchlight’s release of Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” crossed the $50 million mark, rising 17% in grosses despite dropping its screen count from 660 to 560. In its 10th weekend of release, it grossed $2,450,000, averaging $4,375. The new total of $51,337,360 should soon surpass “Midnight in Paris” as the highest-grossing indie film to be released in 2011.
Expanding from 216 to 662 screens, Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist” continued to give the Weinstein Company reason to celebrate as it heads into Oscar season as the assumed frontrunner. The film managed a $2,369,000 gross over its ninth weekend, a 99% jump from last weekend. Averaging $3,579, the film’s total has now grown to $12,116,915.
Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.
Indiewire tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the Indiewire Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at email@example.com by the end of the day each Monday.