"Nobody Knows" Again Meets the Specialty Apex; "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior" Opens on Over 300 Screens
by Brian Brooks
In a rather underwhelming weekend in the specialty box office, IFC Films' "Nobody Knows" once again topped the iW BOT of indie releases measured on a per screen basis, while newcomer "Inside Deep Throat" penetrated the chart in the second position, opening in limited release. Also debuting, "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill" placed third with five engagements, while Oscar-nominee "Born into Brothels" remained steadfast with added screens. New Yorker Films' "My Mother's Smile" debuted in a pair of sites, and Magnolia's "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior" launched on nearly four-hundred screens, making the top ten.
IFC Films' "Nobody Knows" is once again the per screen champion in a week that did not prove spectacular for specialty films. The feature played five screens, taking in $40,447 in its second weekend in theaters for an $8,089 per screen average and a two-week cume of $86,572.
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's Sundance doc "Inside Deep Throat" debuted at a dozen sites, grossing $88,709 calculating to a $7,392 per site tally. The directing duo are currently in Europe where the film premiered at the Berlinale. Also making its theatrical debut was New Yorker Films' "My Mother's Smile," opening two screens $9,167 in revenue ($4,731 per screen average).
Magnolia Pictures opened "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior" on 387 screens, placing seventh on the chart with a $4,302 average on grosses of over $1.66 million.
"I thought it did very respectably," commented Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles to indieWIRE yesterday. "It didn't explode, but it was steady and the exit polls were simply amazing. [The film] should have incredible word of mouth. The other interesting thing is that it seemed to perform at similar levels in the city runs and suburban runs [as well as] between different markets. Usually on a film with this level of runs you have more pronounced highs and lows. This had a more consistent, across the board performance."
Bowles indicated that the film had a "big Internet and underground buzz" and the company worked to capitalize on that sentiment. Magnolia targeted Internet savvy males in the 18-35 range and brought director Prachya Pinkaew and crew twice to the United States to do press and personal appearances. The crew also did five NBA game half-time shows. "Tony Jaa does in-person some of the stunts in the film, which always freaks people out," added Bowles.
Magnolia opened the film in 20 markets, and will maintain those theatrical runs this week, and will add more in two weeks. The company will kick in additional T.V. support this week "to fan the word-of-mouth." Bowles expects the film to have a long life on screens. "We expect ["Ong Bak"] to be playing in theatres far longer than your typical action film," he concluded.
This week's openers include Newmarket's "Downfall (Der Untergang)," "Imaginary Heroes" from Sony Classics, Regent Releasing's "Naked Flame," "Schultze Gets the Blues" from Paramount Classics, and IFC Films' "Turtles Can Fly."