Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
April 26, 2013 4:19 PM
2 Comments
  • |

Indie Box Office Preview: How Much 'Mud' Money Will McConaughey and Company Make?

Jeff Nichols' "Mud"
Matthew McConaughey continues a rather constant presence in movie theaters this past year or so with "Mud" -- one of the best reviewed films of his recent lot (which also includes "Magic Mike," "The Paperboy," "Killer Joe" and "Bernie" -- all in the past 12 months). Almost a year after it debuted in Cannes, Roadside Attractions is releasing the film in US theaters. How it will it fare?

Check out our box office predictions for "Mud" and a few other notable films opening in limited release today, as well as musings on some major expansions. And then check back Sunday for our report on the actual numbers.

Debuts:

"Mud"
Director: Jeff Nichols
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Theater Count: 363
Box Office Prediction: Roadside is taking a wider road than most indies with Jeff Nichols' Matthew McConaughey starrer "Mud." Opening on 363 screens, it's a much bigger risk than typical platform releases starting in a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Will it pay off? The presence of McConaughey (not to mention Reese Witherspoon, though who knows what her appeal is post-arrest) and some very nice reviews should help -- as should a generally weak slate of studio openers. If "Mud" manages an average of $5,000 (amounting to a gross just under $2 million), Roadside should be happy. That would actually give "Mud" a higher gross in its first weekend than the entire run of "Take Shelter."

"At Any Price"
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Theater Count: 4
Box Office Prediction: Matthew McConaughey's "Paperboy" brother Zac Efron will be his biggest indie competition this weekend, though Efron's "At Any Price" -- co-starring Dennis Quaid -- is opening on a much less aggressive four screens via Sony Pictures Classics. Efron's last two forays into limited release indies were no "High School Musical" (the aforementioned "The Paperboy" grossed just $693,000 while 2009's "Me and Orson Welles" managed just over $1 million), but "Price" should at least get off to a decent start in limited release. An average of over $15,000 is probably the bar for success given the screen count.

"Kon-Tiki"
Director:  Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Theater Count: 2
Box Office Prediction: Wait.. An 2012 Oscar nominee is just coming out now? Truly the final of last year's Oscar pool to find theatrical release is Norway's foreign film entry "Kon-Tiki," which lost its prize to "Amour." The Weinstein Company is releasing the film in just two theaters, and the Oscar nom should definitely help it find a strong limited debut. An average around $15,000 sounds about right, though how it performs beyond those two screens will be the bigger question.

Expansions To Watch:

"Filly Brown"
Director: Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos
Distributor: Pantelion/Indomina
Week #: 2
Theater Count: 259
Change From Last Weekend: 71 new theaters
Box Office Prediction: Coming off an impressive debut where it averaged $7,863 from 188 screens, "Filly Brown" will try and hold on to that momentum as it adds another 71 this weekend. Starring Gina Rodriguez and recently deceased Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera (who died in a plane crash this past December), if the film holds on to half of its average -- say, $3,700 -- it will gross around $1 million, which would definitely put it in fine shape to eventually head toward the $5 million mark (it has $1.7 million in the bank already, and reportedly cost just $2 million).

You might also like:

2 Comments

  • JJ | April 27, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    "not to mention Reese Witherspoon, though who knows what her appeal is post-arrest" What does this comment mean? Are you suggesting that her recent arrest could lose her fans who might have otherwise gone to see this movie? Is that even in the realm of possibility for a disorderly conduct? What is your basis for this statement? It seems a little far fetched to me.

  • JJ | April 27, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    "not to mention Reese Witherspoon, though who knows what her appeal is post-arrest" What does this comment mean? Are you suggesting that her recent arrest could lose her fans who might have otherwise gone to see this movie? Is that even in the realm of possibility for a disorderly conduct? What is your basis for this statement? It seems a little far fetched to me.