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Specialty Box Office: ‘Love Is Strange’ Off To Lovely Start For Sony Classics

Specialty Box Office: 'Love Is Strange' Off To Lovely Start For Sony Classics

Theaters were full of “love” this weekend as both “Love Is Strange” and “The One I Love” debuted in limited release to strong numbers (though one “love” more than the other —  though notably “The One I Love” is currently both the #1 romance and #1 sci-fi film on Itunes).  A full report:

The Debuts:

Debut Winner of the Weekend:  “Love Is Strange”

Ira Sachs’ late-in-life gay love story “Love Is Strange” opened to very strong numbers this weekend. Sony Classics picked up
the film at Sundance after it premiered to glowing reviews, and Sachs
and his cast — which includes John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa
Tomei —  aggressively made the media rounds and the result was a $127,000 gross from 5 theaters, averaging $26,400. Controversy surrounding the MPAA’s decision to give the film an “R” rating
(despite no sex or violence in the film) perhaps helped raise awareness as well. Sony Classics will expand the film next weekend, though its well ahead of Sachs’ last film out of the gate — his 2012 film “Keep The Lights On” averaged $11,115 from 5 theaters in its first weekend.

This Weekend’s Debuts: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)

1. Love Is Strange (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $127,000
Theaters: 5
Per-Theater-Average: $25,400
Total Gross: $127,000
Criticwire Average: A-

2. The One I Love (RADiUS-TWC)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $55,100
Theaters: 9
Per-Theater-Average: $6,122
Total Gross: $55,100
Criticwire Average: B+


The Holdovers:

Holdover Winner of the Weekend: The Trip To Italy

Back in 2011, IFC Films found very nice numbers from “The Trip,” a
collaboration of Michael Winterbottom, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. That
film grossed $2 million, making it one of the year’s biggest hits for
the distributor. Three years later, and hot off the major success story
that is “Boyhood” (more on that later), the distributor is keeping the
good news coming with the film’s sequel, “The Trip To Italy.” With
strong reviews and a considerable fanbase for the original, the film
made its way to a $127,000 in its second weekend, averaging $11,400.  That’s double the $5,879  that
“The Trip” averaged in its second weekend.

“The Trip to Italy” will open the top 20 markets on Labor Day Weekend.

Notable Milestones:

  • “Boyhood,” as noted, reached $16 million, with more where that came from.
  • A Most Wanted Man” crossed $14 million after its fifth weekend.
  • Magic in the Moonlight” hit $6 million mark in its fifth weekend. Though relative to Woody Allen’s recent releases, its headed for a somewhat disappointing final tally.
  • “Obvious Child” made its way past the $3 million mark in weekend #1.
  • Calvary” managed to hit the $1 million mark in its fourth weekend.

The Holdover Top 10: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)

1. The Trip To Italy (IFC Films)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $127,000
Theaters: 10 (up from 3)
Per-Theater-Average: $11,400
Total Gross: $221,000
Criticwire Average: B+

2. Boyhood (IFC Films)
Week: 7
Weekend Gross: $1,864,000
Theaters: 734 (down from 771)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,540
Total Gross: $16,526,000
Criticwire Average: A

3. Calvary (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $540,000
Theaters: 240 (up from 131)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,250
Total Gross: $1,628,000
Criticwire Average: B+

4. A Most Wanted Man (Roadside Attractions)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $921,000
Theaters: 433 (down from 644)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,127
Total Gross: $14,111,000
Criticwire Average: B

5. Obvious Child (A24)
Week: 12
Weekend Gross: $25,500
Theaters: 15 (down from 21)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,700
Total Gross: $3,050,000
Criticwire Average: B+

6. Magic In The Moonlight (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 5
Weekend Gross: $1,332,000
Theaters: 787 (down from 964)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,693
Total Gross: $6,821,000
Criticwire Average: B

7. Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 7
Weekend Gross: $85,700
Theaters: 51 (up from 30)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,680
Total Gross: $362,100
Criticwire Average: B

8. Chef (Open Road Films)
Week: 16
Weekend Gross: $152,000
Theaters: 105 (down from 122)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,448
Total Gross: $29,527,000
Criticwire Average: B

9. Alive Inside (Bond/360)
Week: 6
Weekend Gross: $21,700
Theaters: 16 (up from 15)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,356
Total Gross: $150,200
Criticwire Average: B

10. Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC)
Week: 9
Weekend Gross: $27,000
Theaters: 28 (down from 42)
Per-Theater-Average: $964
Total Gross: $4,431,000
Criticwire Average: A-


Peter Knegt is a contributing editor at Indiewire and our box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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