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by Peter Knegt
September 15, 2012 12:34 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'The Master' Is Set To Break All-Time Record For Limited Debut

Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" is looking very good to break the all-time record for a limited debut.

The film -- which stars  Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams -- opened in 5 theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and took in a staggering $242,127 on opening night alone. That gave it a $48,425 daily average and put it on track for a week in the $700,000-$800,000 range, which would give it a record-setting per-theater-average of around $140,000-$160,000.

The current per-theater-average record for a live -action film actually comes from earlier this year when "Moonrise Kingdom" averaged $130,749 from 4 screens, which topped "Dreamgirls," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Precious," the only other live-action films to find averages north of $100,000 (a dozen or so animated Disney films have much higher averages thanks to massive special screenings they'd hold before wide release -- "The Lion King" is still #1 with a whopping $793,377).

READ MORE: Review: ‘The Master’ Proves A Brave, Sensual Yet Detached Triumph For Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson's previous film, "There Will Be Blood," averaged $95,370 from 2 screens in December, 2007, which was at the time the fourth best live-action average, behind "Dreamgirls," "Brokeback" and "Evita."

"The Master" screened at The Landmark and ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, and Lincoln Square 13 IMAX, Angelika Film Center 6 and Village East Cinemas in New York. It expands significantly next Friday,

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3 Comments

  • Brad Lanford | September 15, 2012 9:57 PMReply

    Scam www.http://sundancefilmfestival2013.com/ Regarding the lawsuit against Sundance (2012 Abbinante vs. Sundance H12S00037) The lawsuit alleges that Sundance is committing fraud by not returning submission fees to filmmakers whos films were not screened and evaluated by Sundance. "Because Sundance has prior knowledge of the unmanageable volume of films received (11,700 films for the 2012 festival) and did not return fees to filmmakers whos films were not screened and evaluated, Sundance is guilty of fraud." quoted by Darryl Abbinante and continued to state "It's simply not humanly possible for any committee to screen and evaluate 11,700 films." Sadly, the judge ruled in favor of Sundance stating "Sundance is not legally required to screen and watch every film submission in it's entirety." The judge also stated "if you can not prove Sundance is not watching at least 30 seconds of each and every film submitted, then you can not prove fraud." So the mystery behind Sundance has been discovered. Sundance is not liable to watch every film submission from start to finish and evaluate them. This is information that would've been very useful to the over 11,700 filmmakers prior to them submitting their films and submissions fees to Sundance for the 2012 festival, bringing Sundance an additional income revenue of $500,000 to $625,000 for the 2012 season. Sundance is a well polished money making machine. They have found loop hole in the system and are exploiting filmmakers by the tens of thousands. I was one of them. I feel sorry for next year when (estimated) 13,500 filmmakers will blindly send in their films and submissions fees chasing a dream that no longer exists. Kudos to Sundance and their staff for effectively creating a business that thru the years grows larger every year, despite the recession, by continuing to dangle the carrot of success in front of every filmmaker's face with promises of discovery and a film sale. Pure Genius.

  • Andrew S | September 15, 2012 5:51 PMReply

    I was at the Angelika in NY at the 2pm show and it was only half full. I'd be surprised if it breaks any records.

  • Jonathan B. | September 15, 2012 1:04 PMReply

    How much is it expanding next weekend? Some places have said it's going into wide release (Which would be 600+ theaters), whole Box Office Mojo is just calling it an "Expansion".