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Specialty Box Office: ”71′ and ‘Maps’ Debut As Oscar Winners Try and Cash In

Specialty Box Office: ''71' and 'Maps' Debut As Oscar Winners Try and Cash In

Yann Demange’s “’71” and David Cronenberg’s “Maps To The Stars” — both fixtures on the festival circuit for some time now (in the case of “’71” it’s been over a year) — were the most high profile debuts in a specialty market still crowded with Oscar-fueled leftovers from 2014.

UK imported war drama “’71” — which stars breakout actor Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”) — debuted in 4 theaters this weekend care of Roadside Attractions and Black Label Media and took in a solid $60,100, averaging $15,025 per theater.

Roadside Attractions and Black Label Media  this weekend opened Yann Demange’s thriller ’71, starring Jack O’Connell,  on four screens in New York and LA and we are estimating a per screen average of $15,013 for the weekend, and an estimated cume of $60,050. The grosses went up an excellent — and coincidental — 71%  from Friday to Saturday, which bodes well for the film as it expands to the top 50 markets over the next few weeks.

Not doing quite so well (though it was released day-and-date on VOD) was “Maps To The Stars,” which Focus Features sent out to 66 theaters after an Oscar qualifying release in late 2014 (which did result in a Golden Globe nomination for Julianne Moore, but not much else). The result was an underwhelming $139,000 for a $2,106 per-theater-average.

Also opening was the latest film from Latino-focused Pantelion, “A La Mala.” The romantic comedy from director Pedro Pablo Ibarra grossed a very respectable $1,440,000 from 384 theaters for a $3,750 per-theater-average.

RADiUS-TWC put Kirby Dick’s doc “The Hunting Ground” in a pair of theaters this weekend and also found promising results. The film took in $26,738 for a potent $13,189 per-heater-average. That’s well ahead of the $4,125 Dick’s previous film “The Invisible War” took in.

As for all the Oscar winners (and losers) hoping for one final breathe of box office from awards season, Julianne Moore had two films that were among the 10 best specialty per-theater-averages thanks to “Still Alice,” the film that as we know just won her an Oscar. “Alice” actually had the highest gross of any Oscar winner this weekend, taking in $2,695,000 from 1,318 theaters for a $2,045 average. The Sony Pictures Classics release has now grossed $11,984,000 and has a decent shot at approaching $20 million when all is said and done.

The biggest winner on Oscar night — “Birdman” — also had a strong weekend, expanding past 1,000 theaters for the first time in its 20 weekends of release. It resulted in a $1,975,000 gross, averaging $1,628 and taking “Birdman” past the $40 million mark: It’s total gross now stands at $40,279,000. That said, it’s still the second lowest grossing Best Picture winner of the past 30 years, as only “The Hurt Locker” has grossed less.

A trio of Oscar nominated foreign language films that didn’t manage to take home a prize all made use of the exposure anyway this weekend.

In its second weekend, “Wild Tales” held on nicely, with Sony Pictures Classics release grossing $109,000 from just 18 theaters, averaging $6,056 (the best average of any non-debut).  The film has now taken in $365,000.

Sony Pictures
Classics also expanded Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan” this weekend — from 43
to 80 theaters. That resulted in a $125,000 gross and a new total of $874,000.

Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” meanwhile, went from 53 down to 51 theaters in
its fifth frame care of Cohen Media Group. The film took in another $93,300 for a strong
$1,829 average.  “Timbuktu” has now grossed $609,400.

Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner” — which was nominated for handful of Oscars
in the artistic and technical categories but didn’t win — went from 120 down to 114 theaters this
weekend and took in a solid $210,000 (up 11% from last weekend despite losing screens). The film — a
biopic of painter J.M.W. Turner, has now grossed $3,334,000 after 11
weekends, passing the $3,205,706 Leigh’s “Another
Year” grossed back in 2010.

The
Weinstein Company’s “The Imitation Game” tried to capitalize on its single Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay.  The Morten Tyldum-directed Alan Turing biopic went from 1,408
theaters down to 1,103 this weekend but dropped only 24%, grossing
$1,927,000.  “Game” has now made an impressive $86,829,000 — the second best for any of the Best Picture nominees.

Focus Features’ release of James Marsh’s Best Actor winner “The Theory of Everything” went from 545 to 611 theaters
this weekend and saw its gross jump 17% weekend-to-weekend.  It took in $649,000, averaging $1,062 per
theater and taking its total to $35,050,000.

Finally, one of the few specialty holdovers titles out there without Oscar tied to it — Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s “What We Do In The Shadows” — had a very nice third weekend. Distributed by Unison Films in association with Paladin, the film went from 16 to 46 theaters in its second weekend and jumped 105%, grossing $263,000 for a $5,717 per-theater-average.  Its total now stands at $537,000 and it looks like it’s becoming one of 2015’s few indie breakouts so far.

Head to the next page for a chart of the weekend’s best per-theater-averages.

The Weekend’s Specialty Top 15 (ranked in order of
per-theater-average, and only including independent films that both submitted
estimates and initially opened in under 500 theaters):

1. ’71 (Roadside Attractions)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $60,100
Theaters: 4
Per-Theater-Average: $15,025
Total Gross: $60,100
Criticwire Average: B+Read more about “’71”

2. The Hunting Ground (RADiUS-TWC)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $26,378
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $13,189
Total Gross: $26,378
Criticwire Average: B+
Read more about “Ground”


3. Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $109,000
Theaters: 18 (up from 4)
Per-Theater-Average: $6,056
Total Gross: $365,000
Criticwire Average: B+
Read more about “Wild Tales”

4. What We Do In The Shadows (Paladin)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $263,000
Theaters: 46 (up from 16)
Per-Theater-Average: $5,717
Total Gross: $537,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Read more about “Shadows”

5. A La Mala (Pantelion/Lionsgate)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $1,440,000
Theaters: 384
Per-Theater-Average: $3,750
Total Gross: $1,440,000
Criticwire Average: N/A
Read more about “Mala”

6. The Salvation (IFC Films)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $5,000
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $2,500
Total Gross: $5,000
Criticwire Average: B
Read more about “The Salvation”


7. Deli Man (Cohen Media Group)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $35,900
Theaters: 15
Per-Theater-Average: $2,393
Total Gross: $35,900
Criticwire Average: N/A
Read more about “Deli Man”


8. Red Army (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 6
Weekend Gross: $45,600
Theaters: 21 (up from 9)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,171
Total Gross: $290,000
Criticwire Average: B+
Read more about “Red Army”


9. Maps To The Stars (Focus)
Week: Debut
Weekend Gross: $139,000
Theaters: 66
Per-Theater-Average: $2,016
Total Gross: $139,000
Criticwire Average: B
Read more about “Maps”


10. Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 6
Weekend Gross: $2,695,000
Theaters: 1,318 (up from 765)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,045
Total Gross: $11,984,000
Criticwire Average: B
Read more about “Alice”

11. Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 11
Weekend Gross: $210,000
Theaters: 114 (down from 120)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,842
Total Gross: $3,007,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Read more about “Mr. Turner”

12. Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group)
Week: 5
Weekend Gross: $93,300
Theaters: 51 (down from 53)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,829
Total Gross: $481,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Read more about “Timbuktu”

13. The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)
Week: 14
Weekend Gross: $1,927,000
Theaters: 1,103 (down from 1,408)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,747
Total Gross: $86,829,000
Criticwire Average: B+
Read more about “Game”

14. Birdman (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 20
Weekend Gross: $1,975,000
Theaters: 1,213 (up from 407)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,628
Total Gross: $40,279,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Read more about “Birdman”


15. Selma (Paramount)
Week: 10
Weekend Gross: $450,000
Theaters: 283 (down from 412)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,590
Total Gross: $50,408,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Read more about “Selma”


Peter Knegt is a contributing editor at Indiewire and our box office columnist.

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