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by Peter Knegt
August 5, 2013 2:29 PM
1 Comment
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Specialty Box Office: A24's 'Now' Pretty Spectacular In First Weekend; Woody's 'Jasmine' Even More So In Second

Newbie distributor A24 added another likely hit to its freshman year, with high school drama "The Spectacular Now" finding near-"Perks of Being a Wallflower" sized numbers in its limited debut weekend.

The film -- which won a special acting prize at Sundance for its young stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley -- opened in 4 theaters in New York and Los Angeles to sellout crowds, taking in $200,181 over three days for a stellar $50,925 per-theater-average.  Last fall, breakout teen indie hit "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" averaged $57,090 from 4 theaters before turning into a $17 million grossing hit.  And while "Now" was slightly below that initial number, it was well ahead the $42,879 A24's last release, "The Bling Ring," averaged in its first weekend out, giving the distributor its best limited debut after "Spring Breakers."

"Most of this weekends audience was under 35 and word of mouth (both online and offline) was terrific," A24 said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to propel that word of mouth as we will look to expand nationwide in August and September."

"Blue Jasmine" Sony Pictures Classics

In its second weekend, Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" nearly topped "Spectacular" on a much wider 50 theater count. A weekend after "Jasmine" averaged over $100,000 per-theater on a handful of screens, it managed to take in $2,022,074 from 50 houses, a truly spectacular number. Averaging $40,411, Sony Pictures Classics-released "Jasmine" continues to track significantly ahead of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," the biggest hit of his career (and also released by SPC). That film averaged $33,268 from 58 screens in its second weekend (which was notably on Memorial Day) before grossing $56,817,045. If "Jasmine" keeps this up, it could be joining "Paris" atop Allen's career best box office performances. For now, it's total stands at $3,008,493.

IFC Films opened Paul Schrader's much-discussed Lindsay Lohan starrer "The Canyons" on a single screen this weekend (New York's IFC Center). The result was a so-so $15,200 haul, though it was also released on multiple digital platforms and VOD, where one suspects it could do much better (though the numbers aren't available yet).

"Paul has made an extraordinary film that he has described as post-theatrical cinema, intended to be discovered by a community of film lovers who live and breathe in the online world. Through our extensive social media outreach including a live Twitter event on opening night with Paul and Bret, marketing efforts which even included Kanye West re-cutting and re-scoring the trailer, and a digital media spend that launched the day the film was available, we believe that the film will do most of its business in the digital realm," IFC President Jonathan Sehring said.

"The Canyons" was notably made for less than $1 million and was largely financed online through Kickstarter.

Meanwhile, both The Weinstein Company's "Fruitvale Station" and Fox Searchlight's "The Way, Way Back" continued to enjoy success in expanded releases, each continuing past the $10 million mark.

The Weinsteins sent "Fruitvale" to 1,086 theaters in this its fourth weekend, up 22 from last weekend's major expansion. The Ryan Coogler-directed Sundance winner grossed $2,700,000 as it averaged $2,486 and found a place in the overall top 12. With a total now standing at $10,951,904, "Fruitvale" should pass $15 million, and is likely to outgross the $12.7 million that last year's Sundance winner, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," grossed during its theatrical run.

In its fifth weekend, "The Way, Way Back," added 115 theaters to bring its total to 1,001. The coming of age comedy -- which Fox Searchlight nabbed for a pricy $10 million -- grossed $2,850,000, averaging a very respectable $2,847. The film's total now stands at $13,672,327, passing its price. It needs to probably approach the $20 million mark for it to be worth its cost to Searchlight, which is definitely not out of the question at this point.

Continue to the next page for a full chart of newbies and holdovers.

1 Comment

  • Jamie | August 4, 2013 1:52 PMReply

    Great to see The Spectacular Now has done well. I look forward to seeing it when it comes out in the UK which hopefully will be sooner rather than later.