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The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2016 (A Running List)

Refreshed weekly, here's a chart of 2016's twenty highest grossing specialty films (so far).

"Hell or High Water"

“Hell or High Water”

Please note: The below list only includes domestic (U.S. and Canada only, unless otherwise indicated) grosses for specialty films — indie, foreign (including Bollywood films that open in limited release) and/or documentary — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2016 and/or were acquired for 2016 distribution by an independent distributor or a studio (or its speciality division). It also includes films that screened only as an Academy-qualifier in 2015.

Grosses include all reported grosses up to November 29, 2016. This chart is updated every Tuesday afternoon. (Last year’s list can be found here.)

1. “Hell or High Water”
Distributor: CBS Films and Lionsgate
Release Date: August 12th
Opening Theater Count: 32
Opening Average: $19,417
Current Gross: $27,007,844

2. “The Witch”
Distributor: A24 (acquired at Sundance)
Release Date: February 19th
Opening Theater Count: 2,046
Opening Average: $4,301
Current Gross: $25,138,292

3. “Eye in the Sky”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Release Date: March 11th
Opening Theater Count: 5
Opening Average: $22,761
Current Gross: $18,704,595

The Witch Movie

“The Witch”

4. “The Birth of a Nation”
Distributor: Fox Searchlight (acquired at Sundance)
Release Date: October 7th
Opening Theater Count: 2,105
Opening Average: $3,327
Current Gross: $15,849,340

5. “Hello, My Name is Doris”
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Release Date: March 11th
Opening Theater Count: 4
Opening Average: $21,247
Current Gross: $14,444,999

6. “Love & Friendship”
Distributor: Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios
Release Date: May 13th
Opening Theater Count: 4
Opening Average: $33,378
Current Gross: $14,016,568

7. “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”
Distributor: Quality Flix
Release Date: July 15th
Opening Theater Count: 3
Opening Average: $24,938
Current Gross: $13,099,931

8. “No Manches Frida”
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: September 2nd
Opening Theater Count: 362
Opening Average: $10,027
Current Gross: $11,528,613

9. “Cafe Society”
Distributor: Lionsgate and Amazon Studios
Release Date: July 15th
Opening Theater Count: 5
Opening Average: $71,858
Current Gross: $11,103,205

"Love & Friendship"

“Love & Friendship”

10. “The Lady in the Van”
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: December 4th (2015 Academy-qualifying run)
Opening Theater Count:
Opening Average:
Current Gross: $10,021,175

11. “Hardcore Henry”
Distributor: STX (acquired at TIFF)
Release Date: April 8th
Opening Theater Count: 3,015
Opening Average: $1,694
Current Gross: $9,252,038

12. “The Lobster”
Distributor: A24
Release Date: May 13th
Opening Theater Count: 4
Opening Average: $47,563
Current Gross: $8,700,374

13. “Moonlight”
Distributor: A24
Release Date: October 21st
Opening Theater Count: 176
Opening Average: $100,519
Current Gross: $8,544,110

Moonlight

“Moonlight”

A24

14. “A Beautiful Planet”
Distributor: IMAX
Release Date: April 29th
Opening Theater Count: 137
Opening Average: $1,635
Current Gross: $7,437,581

15. “Southside With You”
Distributor: Roadside Attractions (acquired at Sundance)
Release Date: August 26th
Opening Theater Count: 813
Opening Average: $3,528
Current Gross: $6,304,223

16. “Sultan”
Distributor: Yash Raj
Release Date: July 6th
Opening Theater Count: 283
Opening Average: $8,375
Current Gross: $6,200,000

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople”

The Orchard

17. “Captain Fantastic”
Distributor: Bleecker Street (acquired at Sundance)
Release Date: July 8th
Opening Theater Count: 4
Opening Average: $23,456
Current Gross: $5,879,736

18. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”
Distributor: The Orchard (acquired at Sundance)
Release Date: June 24th
Opening Theater Count: 5
Opening Average: $15,688
Current Gross: $5,205,468

19. “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie”
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Release Date: July 22nd
Opening Theater Count: 313
Opening Average: $5,946
Current Gross: $4,761,241

20. “Hands of Stone”
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: August 22nd
Opening Theater Count: 810
Opening Average: $2,162
Current Gross: $4,712,792

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Comments

Rich in Portland

Under 599? Seems like it should be under 600 (599 or fewer)…

    My opinion

    Cafe Society has been more then 600 theaters. You are not giving a accurate account of it.

Actually

The cut off for "limited release" is 599, not 600.

Jamie Marks

Why are Bollywood and Pantelion titles included in this list??

@JAMIEMARKS

Because the list includes indies AND limited releases. It says RIGHT HERE: The below list only includes domestic (U.S. only) grosses for specialty films — indie, foreign and/or documentary — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2016 and/or were acquired for 2016 distribution at a film festival by an independent distributor or a studio (or its speciality division).

Daniel Delago Boise Movies Examiner

‘Jane Got a Gun’ is the worst wide release opening for the Weinstein Company.

Drew

Interesting list, but films like midnight special which cost around thirty million to make isnt really grossing any money

Francisco

Its not apples to apples to compare The Witch, that opened with a theater count of 2,046 to movies that opened in 3 theaters? Or am I missing something?

Anonymous

This list says it only includes films that opened with less than 599 screens, but there are a handful (including The Witch and Hardcore Henry) that opened in the thousands. Are these going to be removed from the list?

    Kate Erbland

    Parameters as noted above: The list includes domestic grosses for specialty films — indie, foreign and/or documentary — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2016 AND/OR were acquired for 2016 distribution at a film festival by an independent distributor or a studio (or its speciality division).

    Kate Erbland

    Both The Witch and Hardcore Henry were made independently and purchased at festivals.

Manojit Debroy

SULTAN is not an indie film, how can you people fabricate such thing

Trongkien

I just think it would be better if the budget for each film is also included

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