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Helen Mirren Drives ‘Woman in Gold’ to Top 10 Opening, ‘While We’re Young’ Expands Well

Helen Mirren Drives 'Woman in Gold' to Top 10 Opening, 'While We're Young' Expands Well

And the company’s Radius pushed horror breakout “It Follows” to wider success.

The holiday weekend brought little in the way of new opening success as wider release films drew most upscale audiences. Check our upcoming Top Ten Takeaways for more detail. 

Among the newcomers, IFC romance “5 to 7” did display some initial modest interest. Meanwhile, the second weekend of A24’s “While We’re Young” showed continued significant appeal though still limited.

(Our initial grosses are often estimates calculated from sources with knowledge of two-day totals and not reported by distributors.)

Opening

Woman in Gold (Weinstein) – Criticwire: B; Metacritic: 50; Festivals include: Berlin 2015
$2,004,000 in 258 theaters; PSA (per screen average): $7,767; Cumulative: $2,100,000

Helen Mirren shows she has the same ability to overcome less than stellar reviews that Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep have done in recent years in a film that got even less critical response than some of her fellow acclaimed actresses’ vehicles. The gross – nearly certain to come in under TWC’s guess (they predict only a 25 drop per cent today; nearly all films, including the similar audience “Grand Budapest Hotel,” fell over 40 per cent last Easter Sunday) – puts this ahead of the similarly released “My Week With Marilyn” around Thanksgiving 2012 ($1,750,000). That film, helped by holiday playtime and awards attention, got to $14.6 million with wider expansion.

There’s no question that all these grandes dames draw in older specialized audiences, and TWC figured out how to get their attention and, in a weekend with little competition for them, enough of a gross to get to seventh place overall. The verdict ahead now is in the hands of audiences, not critics, just as Weinstein wants.

What comes next: This will expand over the next two weeks, building on the initial response.

“Effie Grey” (Adopt) – Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 54
$(est.) 150,000 in 201 theaters; PSA: $746

This 19th century story loosely based on an art critic and his strange marriage to a young girl (Dakota Fanning) had a troubled production history after Emma Thompson’s script was twice challenged in court by other screenwriters; she won both cases. But the star, who plays a key supporting role in the film, did not participate in publicity and the film never played prime festivals despite its pedigree. Even though it had prime specialized elements, its British release (from Universal) last fall had minor response. Its unusually wide initial domestic break shows a lackluster domestic gross as well.

What comes next: This will struggle to hold most of these dates, let alone expand.

“5 to 7” (IFC) – Criticwire: C+; Metacritic: 52; Festivals include: Tribeca, Hamptons, Carmel 2014, Palm Springs 2015
$19,600 in 2 theaters; PSA: $9,800

A week in advance of its planned Video on Demand launch, IFC opened this May-September relationship story between a younger man and a glamorous French ex-model opened in one prime location each in New York and Los Angeles. The reviews overall weren’t great, but the elevated attention this received should put this ahead of most VOD releases.

What comes next: Apart from VOD, this also will have a theatrical presence in major cities in the weeks ahead. Earlier festival showings yielded a strong positive response from audiences, so this could have some multi-platform life ahead.

“Lambert and Stamp” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Criticwire: B; Metacritic: 77; Festivals include: Sundance 2014
$13,487 in 3 theaters; PSA: $4,496

This documentary surrounding The Who and their scrappy managers, set in the 60s mod world, premiered over a year ago at Sundance. Though critically well-received and set at three major New York/Los Angeles theaters, this found minimal audience interest, which goes against the trend of back story music docs often pulling crowds.  The Who have been seen in several films over the decades, so this ground may have been too familiar.  

What comes next: This is set to get the usual comprehensive high-end SPC release over the next few weeks.

“Ned Rifle” (Possible) – Criticwire: B; Metacritic: 67; Festivals include: Toronto 2014, Berlin, South by Southwet 2015; also available on VImeo
$(est.) 3,000 in 4 theaters; PSA: $(est.) 750

Hal Hartley’s latest effort failed to find much interest in its limited initial openings despite some strong earlier festival presence, the director’s past success and decent reviews.

What comes next: This will struggle to get further theatrical attention.

“Detective Byomkesh Bakshy” (Yash Raj)
$(est.) $320,000 in 84 theaters; PSA: $(est.) 3,800

This intriguing sounding Indian film (a 1940s Calcutta-set detective thriller) in only 84 theaters managed to rank 16th for the weekend, another indication of the niche appeal of Asian film.

What comes next: This looks like it could get a multi-week run.

“Let’s Get Married” (China Lion)
$180,000 in 39 theaters; PSA: $4,615

Based on a popular Chinese TV reality show, this romantic comedy following four couples had the usual decent reaction that most of China Lion’s releases get.

What comes next: Not much room for expansion, but these grosses should give it some room to play where it’s at.

Week 2

“While We’re Young” (A24) 
$492,976 in 34 theaters (+30); PSA: $14,499; Cumulative: $791,450

The second week expansion for Noah Baumbach’s Brooklyn-set comedy exceeds the PSAs of any of his past releases at the same point, extending the initial success it had in four theaters last weekend. They aren’t quite at the level of the top fall awards contenders last year (although they are ahead of how “Whiplash” did in its second weekend in a similar pattern with much more hype), but tower over 2015’s few specialized successes (about a third better than “It Follows” at about the same number of second week theaters). This will get steady expansion and looks to be headed to some crossover success ahead.

“Serena” (Magnolia); also available on Video on Demand   
$(est.) 25,000 in theaters (-34); PSA: $(est.) 735; Cumulative: $(est.) 158,000

This Jennifer Lawrence-Bradley Cooper co-starrer collapsed in its second theatrical weekend from its weak start, with VOD its continued main platform.


“Salt of the Earth” (Sony Pictures Classics)
$65,297 in 18 theaters (+14); PSA: $3,628; Cumulative: $137,496

SPC is giving this their full support in top theaters, but these grosses for Wim Wenders’ co-directed documentary are weak despite consistently strong reviews and the boost of its earlier Oscar nomination.

“White God” (Magnolia)    
$(est.) 38,000 in 12 theaters (+10); PSA: $(est.) 3,167; Cumulative: $(est.) 65,000

This Hungarian canine rebellion drama moved into new cities this week, still getting strong reviews but struggling to break through to specialized viewers.

Expanding/ongoing (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

“Danny Collins” (Bleecker Street) Week 3   
$323,746 in 83 theaters (+65); Cumulative: $323,746

Al Pacino’s rock legend story is getting decent sampling with the reliable older audience as it expands for newcomer Bleecker Street. This looks like it might not have a lot of crossover strength, but looks to be able to sustain more expansion and potential multi-week runs at many theaters, not bad for this first time out.

“Wild Tales” (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7
$224,728 in 122 theaters (+6); Cumulative: $1,935,000

This Argentine multi-episode film continues to accumulate a solid gross as it shows high-end success among recent subtitled films.

“What We Do in the Shadows” (Unison/Paladin) Week 8   
$187,631 in 125 theaters (-19); Cumulative: $2,461,000

Another unexpected success keeps adding to its total as $3 million is within range, far more than expected for this New Zealand inventive vampire story.

“Still Alice” (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12
$173,459 in 235 theaters (-166); Cumulative: $18,228,000

Though it won’t hit $20 million, Julianne Moore’s Oscar win propelled this to a much bigger gross than it would have gotten in a non-awards world.

“The Imitation Game” (Weinstein) Week 19; also available on DVD/Blu-Ray
$133,000 in 202 theaters (-69); Cumulative: $90,784,000

It’s a testimony to the wide appeal of this film that despite is wide home viewing availability this remains a presence in theaters five months after its release.

“Kumiko – The Treasure Hunter” (Amplify) Week 3   
$(est.) 90,000 in 71 theaters (+41); Cumulative: $(est.) 277,000

Quickly expanding, this search for “Fargo” treasure is doing modest but steady business.

“’71” (Roadside Attractions) Week 6
$84,400 in 95 theaters (-26); Cumulative: $1,145,000

Wrapping up its well-supported run, “71” hasn’t been a big success, but has managed to play nationwide and get considerable acclaim for its it-demand British director Yann Demange.

“Seymour: An Introduction” (IFC) Week 3
$73,500 in 49 theaters (+18); Cumulative: $310,340

Though its subject — a veteran New York piano teacher — isn’t immediately a major draw, Ethan Hawke’s documentary is gaining modest and ongoing attention as IFC expands it nationally.

“The Wrecking Crew” (Magnolia) Week 4; also available on Video on Demand   
$(est.) 60,000 in 45 theaters (-9); Cumulative: $(est.) 430,000

Still holding on decently despite its VOD presence, this session musician doc keeps on keepin’ on.

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