Outside of the "Twilight" films, Robert Pattinson has been getting some consistent and impressive work from independent filmmakers, from David Cronenberg to Werner Herzog. Yet he's so far been unable to be a box office draw in that context, with his last two indies -- "Cosmopolis" and "Bel Ami" -- failing to even gross $1 million. Will David Michod's well-reviewed "The Rover" change that this weekend? Here's our prediction for that and four other openers:
- A Coffee In Berlin (Music Box Films)
Director: Jan Ole Gerster
Cast: Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Justus von Dohnányi, Andreas Schröders
Criticwire Average: 7 critics gave it a B average
Where It's Screening: At the Sunshine in New York. It opens in Philadelphia, Chicago and the Bay Area next weekend.
Box Office Expectation: This German import about a young man who drops out of university and ends up wandering the streets of Berlin comes to America via Music Box Films, a company that has been having a lot of success with foreign films lately (see "Ida"). Its single screen debut should help it have a reasonable debut -- perhaps around $8,000 -- though it's what happens in the following weekends that's really going to matter.
- Hellion (Sundance Selects)
Director: Kat Candler
Cast: Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Augustine Frizzell, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars
Criticwire Average: 11 critics gave it a B+ average
Where It's Screening: At the IFC Center in New York, day and date with VOD.
Box Office Expectation: Coming out of Sundance, Kat Candler's "Hellion" follows a 13-year-old placed under the care of his aunt. Good reviews and the name recognition of Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis should help it, though likely more on VOD (where its opening day and date) than theatrically, where "Hellion" should expect to gross around $7,000 from its sole theater.
- Ivory Tower (Samuel Goldwyn & Participant)
Director: Andrew Rossi
Criticwire Average: 4 critics gave it a B+ average
Where It's Screening: Two theaters in New York and Los Angeles (the Angelika and the Landmark) before further expansion in the next few weekends.
Box Office Expectation: Another Sundance alum, Andrew Rossi's doc "Ivory Tower" takes on student debt and the fact that the cost of college has risen 1,120% since 1978. Rossi's last doc -- "Page One: Inside The New York Times" -- managed a strong $1 million gross, and "Ivory" clearly has its sights on the same. A social action campaign associated with the film will be a plus and the film will be in good shape if it finds an average north of $10,000 this weekend.
- The Rover (A24)
Director: David Michod
Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, David Field
Criticwire Average: 8 critics gave it a B average
Where It's Screening: New York and LA in five theaters total before going nationwide next weekend.
Box Office Expectation: A24 is on a roll with last weekend's strong debut of "Obvious Child" (we'll be keeping an eye on that film's second weekend numbers as well) and hopes to keep it coming with what is arguably the most anticipated specialty release of the weekend, David Michod's follow-up to "Animal Kingdom," "The Rover." Coming off a Cannes debut last month, the film stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson and takes place in a lawless Australian outback 10 years after a global economic collapse. It's not the easiest sell, but reviews, Michod's following from "Kingdom," and of course, Robert Pattinson, should bring "The Rover" to an average north of $17,000.
- Violette (Adopt Films)
Director: Martin Provost
Cast:: Emmanuelle Devos, Sandrine Kiberlain, Olivier Gourmet
Criticwire Average: 1 critics gave it a B+
Where It's Screening: An exclusive engagement at New York's Lincoln Plaza, with more New York area locations next weekend.
Box Office Expectation: Adopt Films bought French drama "Violette" out of Toronto last year, and hopes New York's Upper West Side will come out this weekend to watch it. Set in early 1900s France, the film follows the true story of Violette Leduc and her relationship with feminist writer Simone de Beavoir. It definitely offers a high-brow appeal to a certain audience, one that could definitely be found near the Lincoln Plaza, so "Violette" should expect a gross over $8,000 for weekend one. After that, it will get a lot more difficult.