Top Per-Theater Average: “Here” (Strand Releasing)
Braden King’s Sundance 2011 alum “Here” also made a debut on a single New York screen, and managed the best per-theater-average of any film in release: $7,927. While not a spectacular number for a one screen debut, it beat out “Hit So Hard” and “How To Grow a Band,” which also had exclusive beginnings.
Best Debut: “Woman Thou Art Loosed! On The 7th Day” (CodeBlack)
Following the massive success of last year’s stand-up comedy doc “Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain,” CodeBlack Entertainment has another hit on its hands with Neema Barnette’s “Woman Thou Art Loosed!: On the 7th Day.”
Starring Blair Underwood and Sharon Leal as a couple whose six-year-old daughter is kidnapped, the film was released on 102 screens and took in an excellent $641,542 — averaging $6,290. That made for the highest per-theater-average of any playing on more than 1 screen, including studio offerings like “The Hunger Games” and “The Three Stooges.”
Most Impressive Holdover: “Bully” (The Weinstein Company)
With a new “PG-13” rating, Lee Hirsch’s much-discussed doc “Bully” expanded from 6 to 158 screens in a pivotal weekend for its success. The result was very strong, with the film grossing $535,433 for a per-theater-average of $3,389. That brought the film’s total to $859,544, with the $1 million mark a given by next weekend. It’s now the second-highest grossing doc of 2012, behind surprise breakout “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”
Milestone: “The Kid With a Bike” (Sundance Selects)
Another brotherly filmmaking duo, Belgium’s Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, had much better news with their “Kid With a Bike.” Expanding from 54 to 70 screens in its fifth weekend care of Sundance Selects, the film grossed a strong $145,961 — averaging $2,085 (which is impressively only slightly down from last weekend’s $2,217). “Kid” has now grossed $736,035 and should hit the $1 million mark by the end of next weekend. The film has now surpassed the $651,941 that “L’Enfant” grossed back in 2006 to become the highest grossing film ever for the Dardenne brothers.
Check out the full box office chart.