Each Tuesday, Indiewire publishes a box office chart that sorts the final weekend numbers of all specialty releases by per-theater average. Check out the full chart here, but here’s some highlights:
Top Per-Theater Average and Best Debut: “Damsels in Distress” (Sony Pictures Classics)
The top debut this weekend was Whit Stillman’s first film in almost 15 years, “Damsels in Distress.” On four screens, Sony Pictures Classics saw the film take in $58,589, averaging $14,647 (notably down from the $64,199 Sony Classics estimated Sunday). That made for the eighth best per-theater average so far in 2012, and the highest of any film in release, including wide releases like “The Hunger Games” and “Titanic 3-D.”
Stillman has only directed four films over the course of his 22-year career, the last being 1998’s “The Last Days of Disco.” In May of 1998, that film opened on 22 screens and grossed $277,601, averaging $12,618. It eventually totaled $3 million, a number “Damsels” could manage if it has some strong holding power. But like “Disco,” it’s unlikely to live up to 1994’s “Barcelona,” which averaged $25,705 from four screens in its first weekend, eventually taking in an impressive $7.3 million (more like $13.6 million, if one adjusts for inflation).
Worst Debut: “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” (Wrekin Hill)
Poor Morgan Spurlock. His latest doc effort, “Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” opened on three screens this weekend and managed only $8,203 for a $2,734 average.
The performance continues a downward trend in Spurlock’s post-“Super Size Me” films. In 2008, his “Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden” grossed $148,698 from 102 screens — and ended up with just $384,955 in total. Then last year, “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” averaged $6,572 from 18 screens en route to a $638,476 gross. Neither were looked upon as strong grosses, but both are likely to outperform “Comic-Con” by a large margin.
Least Impressive Holdover: “Intruders” (Millennium Entertainment)
After a disappointing debut last weekend, Clive Owen-starrer “Intruders” has a downright disastrous second frame. Dropping from 33 to 11 screens, the film fell 81% in grosses. It took in just $7,620 for an embarassing $693 per-theater-average. Its total stands at $64,727, with very little more where that came from.
(Not Quite) Milestone: “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (Magnolia)
On Sunday, our box office report called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” 2012’s first $1 million doc. Turned out we were almost right. A look at 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” went from 44 to 70 screens in its fifth weekend and took in a very strong $230,504 – though down from its estimated $240,000. That gave it a total gross of $992,421, just shy of the million dollar mark. Though it’s likely to have passed it last night.
Check out the full box office chart.