Beasts Of The Southern Wild

A mighty summer trio of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "To Rome With Love" continued to boost the summer indie box office, each finding very strong numbers in expansion. That overshadowed a generally uneventful batch of openers, which included "China Heavyweight," "The Do-Deca-Penathlon" and "The Magic of Belle Isle."

A few days after we published an annual mid-year box office report that suggested things were coming along quite nicely so far this year, it seems the second half of 2012 is continuing that trend.

Check out the full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"China Heavyweight" (Zeitgeist)
Director Yung Chang ("Up The Yangtze") saw his latest film "China Heavyweight" open on a single screen care of Zeitgeist Films (which also released "Yangtze"). The film -- which looks at boxing in China -- took in $4,004 from its exclusive engagement.

"The Magic of Belle Isle" (Magnolia)
Rob Reiner (yes, that Rob Reiner) had his "The Magic of Belle Isle" -- starring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen -- hit 4 screens thanks to Magnolia Pictures.  The result was far from even "Bucket List" numbers as the film grossed only $11,000, averaging $2,750.

"The Do-Deca-Penathlon" (Red Flag)
Jay and Mark Duplass's long-delayed "The Do-Deca-Penathlon" opened with a thud this weekend via Red Flag Releasing. The film - being released on VOD via Fox Searchlight -- took in only $10,000 from 8 screens for a $1,250 per-theater-average.

The Holdovers:

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight)
After a hugely successful opening last weekend (it managed the third best limited debut of the year), Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" expanded from 4 to 19 theaters in its second frame. That included screens in New Orleans, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, and Dallas, as well as New York and LA, where it opened last weekend.

The result? A fantastic 121% surge in grosses. "Beasts" took in a $375,587 gross and a $19,768 average, the best average of any film in release, including "The Amazing Spiderman." Added to some very strong mid-week grosses thanks to the holiday, the film has now totalled $745,376 heading into further expansion next weekend (it hits 12 new markets). For a largely experimental film with no name actors whatsoever, this could turn into a very special box office hit for Fox Searchlight.

"To Rome With Love" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony Classics went for it this weekend with Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love." In its third frame, they expanded from 29 screens to a whopping 806, clearly sensing a need to cash in on momentum. The plan worked out well, with the film soaring 409% in grosses to take in $3,502,143 and find a place in the overall top 10. The film's total now stands at $5,261,353. 

The film is now tracking behind last year's megahit "Midnight in Paris," but that's quite reasonable considering it found much less glowing reviews. Sony Classics should still be more than happy with these numbers, and has already seen "Rome" outgross their 2010 collaboration with Woody, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" (which took in $3.3 million). It should outgross 2009's "Whatever Works" in the next day or so (that film managed $5.3 million).

That's only slightly behind the second weekend of last year's "Midnight in Paris," which averaged $33,268 from 58 screens.

For a report on more holdovers, including "Moonrise Kingdom," "Take This Waltz," "Your Sister's Sister" and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," continue to the next page.