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Box Office: How Did 'Fruitvale Station''s Opening Hold Up Against Past Sundance Jury Prize Winners?

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 15, 2013 at 11:08AM

Ryan Coogler's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner "Fruitvale Station" had a very strong first weekend of theatrical release, taking in $377,285 from just 7 theaters for a $53,898 per-theater-average. How does that compare to other recent winners of Sundance's top prize? Quite impressively, if you look at the per-theater-averages of the past 10 winners listed below. Only 2009's "Precious" had a better number with the staggering $104,025 it averaged from 18 theaters.
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Fruitvale Station

Ryan Coogler's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner "Fruitvale Station" had a very strong first weekend of theatrical release, taking in $377,285 from just 7 theaters for a $53,898 per-theater-average. How does that compare to other recent winners of Sundance's top prize? Quite impressively, if you look at the per-theater-averages of the past 10 winners listed below.  Only 2009's "Precious" had a better number with the staggering $104,025 it averaged from 18 theaters.

This certainly bodes well for the film as it expands in the coming weeks. "Fruitvale" topped last year's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" by over $10,000 per theater, and that film went on to make nearly $13 million. It also went on to -- like "Precious" and 2010 winner "Winter's Bone" -- get a best picture Oscar nomination. Though box office isn't everything in that regard, it certainly will help the Oscar chances of "Fruitvale" if it ends up with a gross in the $10 million+ range.

Notably the list also shows the major good luck charm Sundance's top prize has been in the last half decade, and how much that changed from the years prior. From 2004-2007, only one U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize grossed over $1 million ("Quinceañera") and two ("Sangre de Mi Sangre" and "Forty Shades of Blue") didn't even manage $100,000. But ever since "Frozen River" in 2008, the prize has increasingly become a strong suggestion of strong box office and awards contention (with the exception of "Like Crazy," which had a great opening but didn't hold up too well and was the only winner of the past half decade not to get a major Oscar nomination).

The past 10 winners of the Sundance Film Festival's U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, in order of their opening per-theater-average.

cinemadaily | "Precious" Polarizes
"Precious"

1. "Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire" (2009, Lionsgate)
Opening Weekend: $1,872,458
Screen Count: 18
Average: $104,025
Final Gross: $47,566,524

2. "Fruitvale Station" (2013, The Weinstein Company)
Opening Weekend: $377,285
Screen Count: 7
Average: $53,898
Final Gross: ???

3. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (2012, Fox Searchlight)
Opening Weekend: $169,702
Screen Count: 4
Average: $42,236
Final Gross: $12,795,746    

4. "Like Crazy" (2011, Paramount Vantage)
Opening Weekend: $123,140
Screen Count: 4
Average: $30,785
Final Gross: $3,395,391

Winter's Bone
"Winter's Bone"

5. "Winter's Bone" (2010, Roadside Attractions)
Opening Weekend: $84,797
Screen Count: 4
Average: $21,199
Final Gross:  $6,531,503   

6. "Quinceañera" (2006, Sony Pictures Classics)
Opening Weekend: $95,400
Screen Count: 8
Average: $11,925
Final Gross: $1,692,693

7. "Frozen River" (2008, Sony Pictures Classics)
Opening Weekend: $70,234
Screen Count: 7
Average: $10,033
Final Gross:  $2,511,476 

8. "Sangre de Mi Sangre" (2007, IFC Films)
Opening Weekend: $8,385
Screen Count: 1
Average: $8,385
Final Gross:  $55,730

"Primer"
"Primer"

9. "Primer" (2004, ThinkFilm)
Opening Weekend: $28,162
Screen Count: 4
Average: $7,040
Final Gross:  $424,760

10. "Forty Shades of Blue" (2005, Vitagraph)
Opening Weekend: $11,940
Screen Count: 3
Average: $3,980
Final Gross:  $75,828


This article is related to: Box Office, Fruitvale Station, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" By Sapphire, Winter's Bone, Like Crazy, Sundance Film Festival







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