Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Box Office: "Lovely" and "Single" Debut; "Air" Explodes In Expansion

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire December 13, 2009 at 5:57AM

With December winding down, some of the most anticipated limited debuts of the year made their marks this weekend, with Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" and Tom Ford's "A Single Man" each opening on single-digit screen counts.
0

With December winding down, some of the most anticipated limited debuts of the year made their marks this weekend, with Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" and Tom Ford's "A Single Man" each opening on single-digit screen counts.

According to initial estimates provided by Rentrak, Paramount's release of "Bones" - despite significantly underwhelmed critics - found the most impressive numbers of the two. On 3 screens, the adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller grossed $116,000, good enough for a $38,667 per-theater-average. While that places it among the ten best limited debuts of 2009, great expectations are generally placed on big-name December releases. Last December, Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon" averaged $60,236 from 3 screens, going on to gross only $18,622,031, despite Oscar nominations in several major categories. A few weeks later, Sam Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" averaged $63,304 - again from 3 theaters - only to end up with a weak $22,911,480 final gross. Like "Road," "Bones" is unlikely to receive much play from awards season, which does not bode well for future expansion plans. Unlike "Road," however, the film has a $100 million budget to recoup.

With much slighter expectations - and less than a tenth of the production budget - The Weinstein Company's release of Ford's "Man" also debut respectably, grossing $216,328 from 9 screens. Its a reasonable number considering the competition, and resulted in a per-theater-average of $24,036.

Though reducing the film to a comparison of other gay-related films is problematic in a certain sense, in keeping with last week's recap of the decade's highest grossing LGBT films, which used "Man"'s potential as an entry point, here's a few numbers to consider: In 2005, "Capote" averaged $27,071 from 12 theaters in its first weekend; Later that year, "Brokeback Mountain" averaged a whopping $109,485 from 5 theaters; Last year, "Milk" averaged $40,385 from 36 theaters. "Man" did not enter its release with the buzz that any of those films - particularly the latter two - had, but since high-profile films featuring LGBT lead characters are few and far between, it felt reasonable to note the comparison. Both "Man" and "Bones" will have a limited expansion Christmas Day.

The performance of both newcomers was greatly overshadowed by the sophomore frame of Jason Reitman's "Up In The Air." Also released by "Bones" distributor Paramount, the George Clooney-starring Oscar favorite expanded from 11 to 72 screens and grossed a stunning $2,450,000, placing it 11th overall despite playing on only a small fraction of its nearest competitor's screens. It managed to even beat the second weekend of Miramax maybe-swan-song "Everybody's Fine," which grossed $200,000 less on over 20 times the screens.

"Air" averaged $34,028, the year's second-weekend limited average, topping November phenomenon "Precious," which averaged $33,762 from a notably more aggressive (and therefore somewhat incomparable) 174 theaters. With several likely "Air"-beneficial awards announcements happening this week - from the LA critics later today to the Golden Globes on Tuesday - Paramount has perfectly situated the film to financially benefit from Oscar precursors, and likely has a big hit on its hands. The film is tracking very similarly to Reitman's "Juno," which went to 40 screens in its second weekend and averaged $35,686.

While two other limited openers, "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" and "The Vicious Kind," have yet to report numbers, there were some other notable holdovers.

Sony Pictures Classics's release of Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces" continued its impressive limited run. On 6 screens (up from 2 the previous two weekends), the film grossed $115,000. That gave it a fantastic average of $19,167 (also an annual high for a third weekend - again topping "Precious," which found a $17,300 PTA on an even more incomparable over 629 screens), and took its total to $602,000 - a significant total for a third week film that has never gone over 6 venues.

Also in their third weekends were Freestyle Releasing's DIY release of Richard Linklater's "Me and Orson Welles" and The Weinstein Company's rollout of John Hillcoat's "The Road." "Welles" made a big leap in theaters from 5 to 64, and found a fair gross of $176,195. That was enough for a $2,753 average and a $342,867 total. "The Road" - the first in a trio of TWC's late year hopefuls (followed by this weekend's "Man" and next weekend's "Nine"), slightly expanded from 128 to 135 screens, and dropped a reasonable 33%, grossing another $498,000 and taking its total to $4,004,000.

Both films will continue expanding next weekend, where they will face off against aforementioned "Nine," "Crazy Heart," "The Young Victoria," and the ultra-wide release of "Avatar," which is sure to steal filmgoers from all different realms.

indieWIRE:BOT tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the indieWIRE Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at studiogrosses@rentrak.com by the end of the day each Monday..






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More