The summer is known for its studio "event" movies, but sometimes there's a genuine version of that in the indie world, which is absolutely the case with Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." Anticipation has grown significantly since it premiered to remarkable reviews at Sundance earlier this year, and it opens this weekend with the kind of buzz only reserved for one or two indie films each year. Linklater's cinematic experiment -- which, in case you're unaware centers on the life of a boy (Ellar Coltrane) as he ages from 5 to 18, and was shot over the course of 12 years -- has already clearly paid off with critics, but this weekend we'll find out what all this is going to mean at the box office. Predictions in that regard, and for three other openers, below:
Boyhood (IFC Films)
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater
Criticwire Average: 51 critics gave it an A average
Where It's Screening: 3 theaters in NYC (Lincoln Plaza, IFC Center, BAM) and 2 in LA (Arclight and Landmark)
Box Office Expectation: It's been a while since we've had an indie open to a really massive per-theater average. Really only "The Grand Budapest Hotel" has been genuinely impressive in that regard this year. It broke the all-time record for a live action film, but since then no indie has averaged over $35,000 per theater. Expect "Boyhood" to change that. Even with its 164 minute running time, interest in Linklater's film is sky high and there's no reason to think it won't sell out screenings at its five theaters all weekend. A comparable entity is probably the director's last film, "Before Midnight," which arrived with somewhat similar anticipation a year ago and averaged $49,383 per its five theaters. So really, an average of around $50,000 is definitely within reach for "Boyhood." But the sky very well could be the limit.
strong $10,000 gross is within the realm of possibility.
but it could easily average a reasonable $8,000 this weekend.
its exclusive release at NYC's Quad shouldn't result in too much more than $5,000.
Peter Knegt is a contributing editor at Indiewire and our box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.