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‘Personal Shopper’ Tops New Openers, and ‘A Very Sordid Wedding’ Shines

The specialized box office continues its post-Oscar bounce, but French-language body horror "Raw" makes the biggest impression.

“Personal Shopper”

One year ago, the post-Oscar specialized rebound began with the release of “Eye in the Sky” and “Hello, My Name Is Doris.” Each opened with per-theater averages over $20,000; then, with support from older audiences all across the country, made $19 million and $14 million, respectively.

This year it’s “Personal Shopper,” with the French film starring Kristen Stewart showing unexpected interest. “Raw” (Focus) and “The Sense of an Ending” (Lionsgate) also managed PTAs over $10,000, indicating some chance for future success.

Ahead of any other new release in PTA was a single theater, premiere-event boosted initial date for “A Very Sordid Wedding” in Palm Springs. This week also saw the very limited opening of “Burning Sands,” the second film in the Sundance 2017 U.S. dramatic competition to find its home on Netflix. As usual, no gross for this, which is sort of beside the point.

Opening

Personal Shopper (IFC) – Metacritic: 77; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2016

$92,516 in four theaters; PTA (per theater average): $23,129

French director Olivier Assayas’ second film with Kristen Stewart (“The Clouds of Sils Maria”), this time with her as the lead, opened to among the best results of any new platform release this year. Its initial numbers are better than their last film and around the level of “The Salesman” in January. This mostly English film (which won Assayas the Best Director nod at Cannes last year) benefited from reviews similar to “Sils” and in-person appearances by the director and star in New York and Los Angeles.

What comes next: IFC moves this into the top 15 markets this weekend.

 

Raw (Focus) – Metacritic: 83; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2016, Sundance 2017

$25,230 in two theaters; PTA: $12,615

The French-made horror thriller “Raw” got a boost from critics and its initial New York/Los Angeles numbers suggest it could outgross two other female-directed horror thrillers, “The Babadook” and “A Girl Walks Home at Night.” Also unusual for a horror genre film: It grew Saturday from Friday.

What comes next: This will expand quickly over the next two weeks in top markets. Unlike most Focus’ World releases, this is not day-and-date VOD release.

 

The Sense of an Ending  (CBS) – Metacritic: 58; Festivals include: Palm Springs, Portland 2017

$42,000 in four theaters; PTA: $10,500

Here’s how reviews make the difference. Ritesh Batra made his feature debut in 2013 with Hindi-language “The Lunchbox,” distributed by Sony Pictures Classics over $4 million gross. Its opening weekend in three core theaters had a PTA of almost $15,000.

CBS Films then got involved with his next film, “The Sense of an Ending.” It’s an English-language adaptation of an acclaimed novel, starring Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling. But it’s received only mixed reviews, and opened to less business than his subtitled debut.

The results are a third better than last week’s Shirley Maclaine starrer, “The Last Words,” which received lesser reviews and an initial gross at the same four theaters of $31,630. The best news for “Ending” is Saturday’s gross increased 97 percent (“Words” improved only 27 percent), which indicates initial strong positive reaction and could be a sign of interest ahead.

What comes next: This begins its nationwide expansion this Friday, with a slow rollout initially similar to their “Hell or High Water.”

 

My Scientology Movie (Magnolia) – Metacritic: 61; Festivals include: London 2015, Mill Valley 2016; also available on Video on Demand

$(est.) 11,500 in two theaters; PTA: (est.) $5,750

Two prime New York/Los Angeles theaters played this documentary. As a day-and-date VOD, it did better than average for parallel venues.

What comes next: Its future is at home.

A Very Sordid Wedding (The Film Collective)

$40,000 in 1 theater; PTA: $40,000

They know how to party in Palm Springs. The 2002 cult success “Sordid Lives” found a home among gay audiences who related to the humor surrounding a Southern matriarch’s funeral (and later spawned a brief Logo cable series), and found its greatest success in Palm Springs where it played at one theater for nearly two years. This sequel had its premiere engagement at the same location, and will broaden to other cities. The first “Sordid” grossed a little over $1 million nationally. The film, in advance of its national big-city dates scheduled for June, had premiere-related events all weekend with sell-out performances in a 500-seat theater (at elevated prices).

What comes next: The success here came in part with appearances from director Del Shores and some cast, and they’re expected to be part of the opening with the June expansion.

 

The Ottoman Lieutenant (Paladin) – Metacritic: 26

$173,750 in 215 theaters; PTA: $804

Two weeks after “Bitter Harvest” and its retelling of a little-known piece of 20th-century history in the Ukraine, this similar romantic tale of mismatched lovers in Turkey likewise gained little traction. It is directed by veteran director Joseph Ruben (“The Stepfather,” “Sleeping With the Enemy”), with Turkish backing.

What comes next: A short run.

Also available on Video on Demand:

Brimstone (Monument/Venice, Toronto 16) – $(est.) 2,000 in 10 theaters

The Other Half (Brainstorm/South by Southwest 16) – $(est.) 2,500 in 10 theaters

International releases:

Badrinath Ki Dulhania (20th Century Fox/India) – $850,000 in 152 theaters

Week Two

Table for Two (Fox Searchlight)

$850,000 in 868 theaters (no change); PTA: $979; Cumulative: $2,987,000

Seachlight’s unusually wide release for this wedding comedy dropped nearly half its second weekend with a PTA under $1,000, which means it isn’t likely to continue for long.

The Last Word (Bleecker Street)

$74,683 in 25 theaters (+21); PTA: $2,987; Cumulative: $114,370

Shirley Maclaine micromanaging her obituary in advance opened in additional markets to average results relatively slightly better than its initial New York/Los Angeles results.

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha)

$43,072 in 10 theaters (+8); PTA: $5,384; Cumulative: $66,238

This Israeli drama, a big success at home, added south Florida dates to its two screens in Los Angeles with continued interest and strong Saturday night increases.

Donald Cried (The Orchard)

$4,809 in four theaters (+2); PTA: $1,202; Cumulative: $15,944

This comedy about a Wall Street hotshot’s Rhode Island homecoming doubled its limited theaters, to minor response.

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

Lion (Weinstein) – Week 16

$1,361,000 in 960 (-300) theaters; Cumulative: $48,685,000

Weinstein’s biggest grosser since “The Hateful Eight” continues to thrive now nearing four months into release.

Moonlight (A24) – Week 21; also available on Video on Demand

$1,001,000 in 987 theaters (-577); Cumulative: $26,994,000

The Oscar win bonus continues for A24 with this now their biggest grossing film as well as with their Best Picture win. This is all parallel to its streaming and other home viewing options.

A United Kingdom (Fox Searchlight) – Week 5

$500,000 in 317 theaters (+46); Cumulative: $2,580,000

This African interracial historical romance continues its slow expansion, but at a pace considerably below director Amma Assante’s 2013 “Belle;” it rose to over $6 million by its fifth weekend.

Kedi (Oscilloscope) – Week 5

$322,500 in 114 theaters (+58); Cumulative: $1,009,000

The expansion for this cats-in-Istanbul documentary gets it over $1 million.

I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia) – Week 6

$(est.) 260,000 in 166 theaters; Cumulative: $(est.) 5,940,000

It will be hard to find a more impressive specialized result this year than this documentary on author James Baldwin, which will reach $6 million.

The Salesman (Cohen) – Week 7

$170,202 in 105 theaters (-10); Cumulative: $2,050,000

Amazon and Cohen have set the early-year benchmark for specialized subtitled films, with a gross approaching $3 million likely for this Iranian Oscar winner.

Manchester By the Sea (Roadside Attractions) – Week 17; also available on Video on Demand

$68,450 in 113 theaters (-274); Cumulative: $47,533,000

Now available for home viewing, this Oscar winner took in some last-minute theatrical gross.

Paterson (Bleecker Street) – Week 11

$62,919 in 51 theaters (+7); Cumulative: $1,896,000

The slow, steady results for Jim Jarmusch’s latest continue, now nearly three months after its late 2016 release.

Land of Mine (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 5

$60,973 in 40 theaters (+20); Cumulative: $188,409

Theaters doubled this weekend but grosses are still minor for this Danish war film, which had an Oscar Foreign Language nomination.

My Life As a Zucchini (GKids) – Week 3

$55,606 in 52 theaters (+23); Cumulative: $180,858

This Oscar-nominated Swiss animated film added new cities, to continued modest results.

Also noted:

Toni Erdmann (Sony Pictures Classics) – $41,999 in 25 theaters; Cumulative: $1,357,000

Bitter Harvest (Roadside Attractions) – $41,235 in 32 theaters; Cumulative: $498,922

Neruda (The Orchard) – $32,668 in 25 theaters; Cumulative: $804,813

The Red Turtle (Sony Pictures Classics) – $30,222 in 42 theaters; Cumulative: $754,844

Mr. Gaga (Abramorama) – $10,031 in 8 theaters; Cumulative: $138,612

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