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Specialty Box Office: 'Boyhood' Blasts Off To Summer's Best Limited Debut (UPDATED)

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 13, 2014 at 10:28AM

Audiences flocked to Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" this weekend, giving the specialty market a much needed shot in the arm.
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Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke in "Boyhood."

Audiences flocked to Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" this weekend, giving the specialty market a much needed shot in the arm. With astounding reviews and months of anticipation following festival screenings at Sundance, Berlin and SXSW, the 12 years in the making film did not disappoint. Full report below:

The Debuts:

Debut Winner of the Weekend:  "Boyhood," obviously. Grossing a stellar $359,000 from just 5 theaters (and with a 164 minute running time, no less), "Boyhood" found a per-theater-average of $71,800, the highest of the summer and the second highest of 2014, after "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (which holds the all-time record for a live action film).  It was also a record for Linklater, topping last summer's "Before Midnight," which averaged $49,383 per its 5 theaters.

"We are thrilled with the opening numbers for 'Boyhood' this weekend," said IFC Films'   SVP Sales and Distribution Mark Boxer. "The opening numbers have surpassed our highest expectations  for the weekend, as audiences flocked to theatres for the critically acclaimed film."

Boxer said the film had multiple sell outs from all theatres in New York and Los Angeles.  It also played equally to an older and younger demographic.
 
"Boyhood" was a shot over 12 years, following the evolution of a family (played by Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Lorelei Linklater) over that period.  It represents an investment from IFC Films, a division of AMC Networks, over that same period.  The company had recently financed Linklater’s "Waking Life" and "Tape" when Linklater and producer John Sloss approached IFC Films head Jonathan Sehring about financing the "12 year project."   He in turn went to his boss, Josh Sapan, head of AMC Networks,  who he had worked for almost 30 years, who also was into the idea.
 
“Back in 2002, we thought Rick’s idea was an extraordinary notion and we believed him to be a great filmmaker," said Sehring and Sapan.  "Putting our creative and commercial fates in the hands of people who are brilliant has proven to be a terrific strategy for the company and we couldn’t’ be happier to have supported Rick’s creative vision.  The result is a film for the ages and we can’t wait to bring 'Boyhood' to the rest of the country in the weeks to come."

The film will expand to 10 markets next weekend.

This Weekend's Debuts: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)

1. Boyhood (IFC Films)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $359,000
Theaters: 5
Per-Theater-Average: $71,800
Total Gross: $359,000
Criticwire Average: A

2. Land Ho (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $37,811
Theaters: 4
Per-Theater-Average: $9,453
Total Gross: $37,811
Criticwire Average: B

3. Closed Curtain (Variance)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $8,500
Theaters: 1
Per-Theater-Average: $8,500
Total Gross: $8,500
Criticwire Average: A-

Head on over to the next page for holdover grosses, including "America," "Begin Again" and "Snowpiercer"...


The Holdovers:

Holdover Winners of the Weekend (tie):

"America" Though our friends over at The Playlist questioned whether it was worst political documentary of all time, Lionsgate found many Americans flocking to Dinesh D'Souza's "America" in its third weekend. Placing 12th on the overall box office chart, the right wing doc -- a follow-up of sorts to D'Souza and John Sullivan's hit conservative documentary "2016: Obama's America" -- grossed $2,450,000 over the weekend, down just 11% from last weekend despite not adding any screens.  Though not numbers that put it on the same track as "2016" (it went on to gross a pretty stunning $33.5 million), they did take it to $8,268,000 so far, suggesting the $15 million mark is a definite possibility.

“America loves America and I couldn’t be more proud or happy about it,” said producer Gerald Molen. “We look forward to another great week at the box office as Americans continue to discover this beautiful film."

"Begin Again." The Weinstein Company continued to find great numbers from John Carney's "Begin Again," which they have been sitting on since Toronto in what was obviously a smart move.  Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Livine, the musical romance grossed $2,935,000 from 939 theaters to place 9th overall. Its $3,126 per-theater-average was the fourth highest of the top 10 films, after the studio likes of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "Transformers" and "Tammy."

Notable Milestones:

  • "Chef" crossed the $24 million mark -- only the second specialty release of 2014 to do so after "The Grand Budapest Hotel." The Jon Favreau comedy managed to rise in grosses week to week (by 1.2%) despite losing 115 theaters. That's extremely impressive, and suggests "Chef" might have the goods to hit the $30 million mark in the coming weeks.
  • "America" soared past $8 million in its third weekend -- it's already the highest grossing documentary of 2014, as noted above.
  • "Begin Again" hit $5 million in weekend #3.
  • "Ida" hit $3 million, a very impressive number for a foreign language film.
  • "Snowpiercer" crossed the $2 million mark, impressively while also being the #1 film on iTunes (read more about its VOD story here).


The Holdover Top 10: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)

1. Code Black (Long Shot)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $19,800
Theaters: 6 (up from 1)
Per-Theater-Average: $3,300
Total Gross: $75,400
Criticwire Average: A-

2. Begin Again (The Weinstein Company)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $2,935,000
Theaters: 939 (up from 175)
Per-Theater-Average: $7,520
Total Gross: $5,286,000
Criticwire Average: B

3. Le Chef (Cohen Media Group)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $32,100
Theaters: 12 (down from 18)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,675
Total Gross: $171,000
Criticwire Average: N/A

4. Yves Saint Laurent (The Weinstein Company)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $34,900
Theaters: 14 (up from 10)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,493   
Total Gross: $163,300
Criticwire Average: C+

5. The Breakup Guru (China Lion)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $14,500
Theaters: 6 (down from 10)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,417
Total Gross: $183,800
Criticwire Average: N/A

6. A Summer's Tale (Big Wolrd)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $13,800
Theaters: 6 (up from 4)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,3000
Total Gross: $79,400
Criticwire Average: N/A

7. America (Lionsgate)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $2,450,000
Theaters: 1,105 (even)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,217
Total Gross: $8,268,000
Criticwire Average: C-

8. Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $676,863
Theaters: 356 (up from 250)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,901
Total Gross: $2,676,965
Criticwire Average: A-

9. Chef (Open Road Films)
Week: 10
Weekend Gross: $1,311,000
Theaters: 701 (down from 686)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,870
Total Gross: $24,127,000
Criticwire Average: B

10. Coherence (Oscilloscope)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $11,000
Theaters: 6 (up from 3)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,833
Total Gross: $54,200
Criticwire Average: B

11. Obvious Child (A24)
Week: 6
Weekend Gross: $239,000
Theaters: 134 (down from 202)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,784
Total Gross: $2,365,000
Criticwire Average: B+

12. Ida (Music Box)
Week: 11
Weekend Gross: $145,000
Theaters: 85 (down from 100)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,706
Total Gross: $3,117,000
Criticwire Average: A


This article is related to: Boyhood, Box Office, Land Ho!, Closed Curtain