By Indiewire | Indiewire June 22, 2005 at 2:00AM
No June Gloom for IFC Films' "Me and You and Everyone We Know"
by Brian Brooks
IFC Films' "Me and You and Everyone We Know" resoundingly triumphed at the specialty box office over the weekend, scoring the highest per screen average of the week in recent memory at its debut at the new IFC Center in Manhattan. Self-distributed film, "The Talent Given Us" ranked second on the iW BOT, calculated on a per screen average, in limited release, while fellow theatrical newcomers "Heights" from Sony Classics, "The Great Water" from Cinema Guild, and Focus Features' "My Summer of Love" rounded out the chart's top five titles. "Mad Hot Ballroom" maintained its title as the specialty list's top earner, while the overall weekend "indie" grosses declined from the previous week's totals.
Director Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" began its theatrical roll out at the new IFC Center in New York's Greenwich Village over the weekend. The Sundance and Cannes award-winning feature ruled the mid-June chart with a $30,801 gross on one screen. "Saying 'we were thrilled' is an understatement," IFC Entertainment president, Jonathan Sehring told indieWIRE Monday evening at the Los Angeles premiere of the film at LAFF. "We thought the film would do $25,000 per screen, but it was nearly $31,000. Sunday's gross was almost the same as Saturday's." "Me and You"'s screen average was the largest on the iW BOT since "Kung Fu Hustle"'s debut average of $35,373 on seven screens on the weekend ending April 18.
Reflecting the neighborhood, the audience at the IFC Center for "Me and You" was diverse. "It was a real mix, which is the great thing about [Greenwich] Village," said Sehring. IFC Films will open the film at the NuArt in Los Angeles this weekend as well as a location in Chicago, with a further expansion planned for the July 4th weekend. "Me and You and Everyone We Know" is also screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival this week.
Andrew Wagner's self-distributed film, "The Talent Given Us" scored the second highest per screen average over the weekend. The film, which played the Angelika Film Center - also in The Village - took in $12,718 on one screen.
Theatrical debuts rounded out the top five positions on the chart. Sony Classics' "Heights" opened seven screens, grossing $52,885 ($7,555 average), and Cinema Guild's "The Great Water" opened at one site with $6,484. Focus Features' "My Summer of Love," meanwhile, placed fifth with a $90,022 gross from 17 screens ($5,295 average). Also opening last weekend was Shadow Distribution's "Edvard Munch," which played one site, earning $3,961.
Paramount Classics' "Mad Hot Ballroom" continued as the specialty list's top overall breadwinner, taking in $416,004 on 154 screens, and increase of 28. The doc's average dropped about 14% to $2,701, and its six-week cume is now over $2.32 million.
Taking the second largest cut from a smaller iW BOT pie last weekend was Roadside Attractions' "Ladies in Lavender." The feature grossed $251,403 on 96 screens, the same number of venues reported last week, while the per screen declined by 14%. "Ladies"'s two-month cume is just over $2.95 million.
The combined grosses of "Ballroom" and "Ladies" represented just over one-third of the entire weekend iW BOT gross of more than $1.98 million, while four other films, "Parineeta," "Saving Face," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," and "Layer Cake" also had six-figure weekend grosses.
Overall, the iW BOT per screen average calculated to $1,732, a decline of about 5%, while the number of screens with specialty titles dropped by 21, although the number of titles reporting grosses remained unchanged at 74. Minus "Mad Hot Ballroom," and "Ladies in Lavender," the remaining 72 titles took in almost $1.32 million on 897 screens for a $1,471 average. Industry-wide, 124 films grossed a combined $144 million on 35,344 screens, averaging $4,075, or about 57% above the iW BOT average. Last year, the specialty box office's number one film in the same weekend in June was "The Hunting of the President," which averaged $11,649 per screen. That weekend, 65 films took in $3.45 million with a $1,918 average.
Samuel Goldwyn Films' "Lila Says" and Warner Independent Pictures' doc, "March of the Penguins" are among this weekend's openers. Also opening is Lions Gate's "Rize," and Sony Classics' "Yes."