Top Per-Theater Average: “The Raid: Redemption” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Finding the best overall per-theater-average of any specialty film (though still second to “The Hunger Games” overall) was Gareth Evans’ much-anticipated Indonesian action flick “The Raid: Redemption.” Released by Sony Pictures Classics after acclaimed festival screenings at Toronto and Sundance, the film took a risky move to open opposite the buzz-vacuum that is “The Hunger Games,” but it seems to have paid off. On 14 screens in the US and Canada (the sole Canadian screen seeing the film released by Alliance, not SPC), the film took in $213,785. That made for a promising average of $15,270.
Best Debut: “October Baby” (Samuel Goldwyn)
Perhaps even more impressive a debut? On 390 screens, Samuel Goldwyn released Andrew and Jon Erwin’s “October Baby” and, despite a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 24%, the film placed in the top 10 alongside studio films playing on five or 10 times the screens. The film — about a college freshman who learns she is the “adopted survivor of an attempted abortion” (so says the film’s official description) — grossed $1,697,130 and averaged $4,352 per screen (which was the third highest in the top 10 after “Games” and “21 Jump Street”). That means it’s already more than made up for its $1 million budget. Check out Indiewire’s list of more faith-based box office hits here.
Least Impressive Holdover: “Undefeated” (The Weinstein Company)
Best documentary feature Oscar winner “Undefeated” is not living up to its title. It went from 21 to 17 screens in its sixth weekend and dropped off a disappointing 48%. Taking in $27,450, the high school football doc is having problems capitalizing on its big win, averaging just $1,615. It shouldn’t be able to muster too much more than its current total gross of $379,010.
Most Impressive Holdovers: “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (Magnolia) and “Salmon Fishing In Yemen” (CBS Films)
Two releases with fish-themed titles did very well in their third weekends.
CBS Films expanded Lasse Hallstrom’s “Salmon Fishing In Yemen” from 62 to 124 screens this weekend and soared 52%. Starring Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, the film grossed $702,602. That gave it a stong $5,666 average and a new total of $1,628,803.
A look at 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, “Sushi” went from six to 27 screens in its third weekend and took in a striong $175,162. That made for a $6,487 average and a potent new total of $381,555. With further expansion, “Jiro” could become 2012’s first $1 million doc.
Check out the full box office chart.