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‘Beatriz at Dinner’ Pulls Specialty Crowds as ‘My Cousin Rachel’ Struggles

Miguel Arteta's dark comedy with Salma Hayek and John Lithgow had the strongest limited opening in recent weeks and one of the best of the year.

Salma Hayek appears in “Beatriz at Dinner” by Miguel Arteta.

Fox Searchlight pushed Rachel Weisz melodrama “My Cousin Rachel” into national release this prime summer weekend, which boasts only one new wide studio opening. But the romantic mystery thriller failed to click with audiences.

On the other hand, Roadside Attractions kept Miguel Arteta’s Sundance hit “Beatriz at Dinner” in limited dates, where the edgy and compelling story of a mismatched dinner at a Southern California estate thrived in its first limited run. With a $30,000+ per theater average and a potential appeal beyond core art house audiences, this Salma Hayek starrer could make a significant impact in upcoming weeks.

Eleanor Coppola’s romance “Paris Can Wait” continues to lead wider releases, at a decent level for its theater break but significantly below such top 2016 crossover performers as “Love and Friendship” and “The Lobster” at this time.

Opening

My Cousin Rachel (Fox Searchlight) – Metacritic: 63

$954,000 in 523 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $1,824

Until recently this sort of specialized drama scored well in a conventional platform release with a calibrated expansion soon after. But Fox Searchlight chose a national multi-hundred initial break for this remake of this Daphne Du Maurier Gothic mystery (which gave Richard Burton his first Oscar nomination). Despite Weisz leading the cast, this did modest business. By comparison, a few weeks ago “Gifted” in about a tenth as many theaters did almost half the business of “My Cousin Rachel.” In a scattered weekend, the movie ranked #11 overall, and showed a normal adult-audience second-day increase of 48 per cent. But it will need a strong hold next weekend if it is to have any chance of sustaining more than a short run.

What comes next: It’s already close to as wide as many similar films unless good word of mouth justifies more an even broader expansion.

Beatriz at Dinner (Roadside Attractions) – Metacritic: 68; Festivals include: Sundance 2017

$150,160 in 5 theaters; PTA: $30,036

Miguel Arteta’s dark comedy pitting Salma Hayek vs. John Lithgow nabbed the strongest limited opening in recent weeks and one of the top of the year, with Los Angeles in particular responding to this story of an awkward encounter of a Mexican emigre and a group of wealthy people with whom she spends a troubled evening. With a compelling vibe similar to “Get Out,” “Beatriz” struck an initial chord. In upcoming weeks, this heady movie could combine arthouse audiences with Latino moviegoers.

What comes next: This expands to 70 theaters this Friday with a wider release right after.

The Hero (The Orchard) – Metacritic: 59; Festivals include: Sundance, Seattle 2017

$48,414 in 4 theaters; PTA: $12,104

Sam Elliott is getting strong reviews for his lead role as an aging Western star confronting multiple significant events in his life in quick succession. Its initial New York/Los Angeles results suggest some interest to give it a chance to find an audience, but it will take continued support and good word of mouth.

What comes next: The expands quickly to 30 theaters this Friday, with a projected 450 by the end of the month.

Night School (Oscilloscope) – Metacritic: 75; Festivals include: Tribeca 2016

$1,600 in theaters; PTA: $1,600

Getting a qualifying initial release in New York, this documentary about a group of older students struggling to achieve their educational goals in Indianapolis did modest business with limited shows at the IFC Center.

What comes next: Further big city openings are planned for this month.

Churchill

“Churchill”

Week Two

Churchill (Cohen)

$200,918  in 187 theaters (-28); PTA: $1,074; Cumulative: $798,083

Brian Cox as the British leader on the cusp of D-Day continues to find very little interest in what looks to be a short run.

3 Idiotas (Lionsgate)

$250,000 in 349 theaters (no change); PTA: $716; Cumulative: $1,061,000

A rare failure from Lionsgate’s Spanish language partner Pantelion. This comedy has much lower than usual numbers among their targeted releases.

Dean (CBS)

$40,000 in 32 theaters (+17); PTA: $1,250; Cumulative: $121,123

Demetri Martin’s comedy (in which he costars with Kevin Kline as they deal with life after the death of their mother and wife respectively) expanded but continued its lukewarm response from its initial week.

“Band Aid”

Band Aid (IFC)  (also available on Video on Demand)

$30,252 in 12 theaters (+9); PTA: $2,571; Cumulative: $70,636

Though it debuted on VOD, this LA couple working out their issues through making music comedy added new theaters with adequate results.

I, Daniel Blake (IFC)

$(est.) 52,000 in 41 theaters (+29); PTA: $(est.) 1,200; Cumulative: $(est.) 130,000

Ken Loach’s 2016 top prize winner at Cannes continues to get little domestic traction despite strong reviews.

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“Paris Can Wait.”

Roger Arpajou

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

Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5

$457,207 in 176 theaters (+25); Cumulative: $2,293,000

Eleanor Coppola’s escapist French road trip continues to stand out among specialized recent releases with a continued decent response as it slowly expands. Expect this to more than double this gross as it goes wider.

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9

$114,161 in 160 theaters (-72); Cumulative: $3,661,000

Richard Gere as a financial in-between ended up with mostly specialized response but a decent number.

The Wedding Plan (Roadside Attractions) Week 5

$106,700 in 105 theaters (-18); Cumulative: $1,181,000

This rare subtitled release for Roadside (from Israel) has become one of the few to pass the $1 million total this year among specialized market releases.

Gifted (Fox Searchlight) Week 10

$100,000 in 162 theaters (-63); Cumulative: $24,272,000

The season’s biggest initially limited release crossed over well and still could hit $25 million.

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Focus) Week 11

$63,745 in 92 theaters (-23); Cumulative: $17,400,000

The longest-running film still getting attention, this has been a significant success for Focus.

The Lovers (A24) Week 6

$(est.) 63,000 in 127 theaters (-221); Cumulative: $(est.) 2,103,000

Debra Winger’s comeback role in a marital comedy/drama is finishing up its modestly successful run.

A Quiet Passion (Music Box) Week 9    98-1680

$ 50 in 65 theaters (-33); Cumulative: $

Late-run returns for Terence Davies’ latest period drama could bring this close to $2 million.

Also noted:

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha) – $43,248 in 14 theaters; Cumulative: $390,905

The Lost City of Z (Bleecker Street) – $27,515 in 50 theaters; Cumulative: $8,424,000

Wakefield (IFC) – $21,300 in 30 theaters; Cumulative: $195,832

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan (Abramorama) – $14,982 in 6 theaters; Cumulative: $83,602

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