Clint Eastwood's "Changeling" found huge numbers amidst an impressive crowd of weekend openers, according to initial estimates from Rentrak early this afternoon. The Universal release grossed $501,615 from just 15 screens, averaging $33,441. That's a little less than double what Eastwood's last film, 2006's "Letters From Iwo Jima," averaged in its first weekend. Considerably more surprising, though, was the film that fell just behind "Changeling." "Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom" is the film adaptation of the Logo series, and the first film release through Logo's film distribution unit.
On 5 screens, "Arc" grossed $161,302, averaging an astounding $32,260. The film opened in New York (Chelsea), Los Angeles (Sunset 5), Chicago (Century Centre Cinema), Atlanta (Landmark Midtown), and Washington, DC (E Street Cinema). Not only was its average among the best of 2008 (it's just a few $100 behind "Rachel Getting Married"'s fall season benchmark average earlier this month), it also is already 2008's highest grossing narrative gay film overall (beating Regent Releasing's "Shelter," which grossed $142,666 this Spring).
Also finding a promising opening this weekend, Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York," grossed $172,926 on 9 screens for Sony Pictures Classics, averaging $19,214. Tomas Alfredson's Magnolia Pictures release "Let The Right One In" also debuted well, grossing $48,000 on 4 screens for a $12,000 average, and Philippe Claudel's "I've Loved You So Long" grossed $66,747 on 6 U.S. screens for a very good $11,124 average. Also from Sony Classics, the film had previously opened in Quebec and grossed another $8,446 there this weekend, bringing its overall cume to $316,263 in North America.
Among holdovers, yet another Sony Classics release continues to be the season's notable performer. Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married" expanded from 69 to 112 theaters, maintaining a $8,293 average and grossing $929,000. Its total now stands at $2,838,684.
indieWIRE will publish its weekly box office column on Monday evening and the full iW BOT chart on Tuesday afternoon. Get the latest in the indieWIRE Box Office section.