By Peter Knegt | Indiewire August 19, 2012 at 12:54PM
David Cronenberg's Robert Pattinson-starring "Cosmopolis" led a slew of specialty debuts at the box office weekend, taking in $72,327 from just 3 screens for a $24,109 average.
"Cosmopolis" had the highest per-theater-average of any film in release, indie or studio -- and topped a crowded frame of 7 opening films. Among them, "Robot and Frank" and "Compliance" -- both alums of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival -- fared best, managing averages of $19,100 and $16,000, respectively.
Also doing very well this weekend was the sixth frame of anti-Obama doc "2016 Obama's America." The film nearly reached the overall top ten as it expanded 169 screens and grossed $1,249,000.
Check out the full rundown -- including numbers for the debuts of "Side By Side," "Chicken WIth Plums" and "The Awakening" -- below.
"Cosmopolis" (Entertainment One)
David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" -- coming of a considerable amount of press thanks to its star Robert Pattinson's tattered love life -- opened on 3 screens this weekend to reasonably strong numbers. Grossing $72,327, the film averaged $24,109 per theater. That's well below the debut of Cronenberg's last film "A Dangerous Method" (which averaged $41,988 from 4 screens last November), but far exceeding the debut "Cosmopolis" had in Cronenberg's native Canada earlier this summer.
Entertainment One gave "Cosmopolis" a limited release north of the border in June. On 24 screens, the film grossed just $56,566 over its first weekend, less than it did in the United States on just 3 screens. How it fares as it expands outside the most major markets in the latter remains to be seen.
"Robot and Frank" (IDP / Samuel Goldwyn Films)
On 2 screens in New York, Sundance Film Festival alum "Robot and Frank" managed a fairly impressive debut. Grossing $38,234, the film averaged $19,117.
Starring Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Susan Sarandon, the comedy follows an aging ex-convict (Langella), whose children hire a robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) to care for him. It will expand next week to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington DC. Further expansions to the top 40 markets are slated on Labor Day weekend.
On a single screen in New York, Craig Zobel's intensely acclaimed thriller "Compliance" took in a strong $16,000 ahead of further expansion. Inspired by true events, the film focuses on a prank caller who pretends to be a police officer and convinces the manager of a fast food restaurant that one of her employees committed a crime.
"Side By Side" (Tribeca Film)
Keanu Reeves produced doc "Side By Side" also opened on a single screen this weekend (Los Angeles's Laemmle NoHo 7) and took in $7,200. The film will hit VOD this week and next open in New York on August 31 before rolling out to an additional ten markets throughout September.
Along with director Chris Kenneally, Reeves interviews dozens and dozens of folks from the film industry in "Side" -- from Lars von Trier and David Fincher to David Lynch and George Lucas -- asking about both the science behind the development of digital cinema technology as well as its effects.
READ MORE: Our Interview with Keanu Reeves, the No-Kidding Digital Cinema Historian and Filmmaker
"Chicken With Plums" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Chicken With Plums" -- Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's follow-up to "Persepolis" -- debuted on 2 screens this weekend to underwhelming numbers. Taking in $11,207, the film averaged $5,604. Including its grosses from a release in Canada earlier this year, the film has a North American total of $53,383.
"Beloved" (Sundance Selects)
Christophe Honoré's "Beloved" hit 5 screens this weekend care of Sundance Selects. The film -- which closed last year's Cannes Film Festival -- stars Catherine Deneuve, Milos Forman, Ludivine Sagnier, Louis Garrel, Paul Schneider, Michel Delpech and Chiara Mastroianni, among others. It grossed $27,500 over the weekend for a $5,500 average. It will expand to the top 10 markets with the next two weeks.
"The Awakening" (Cohen Media Group)
British horror film "The Awakening" hit an aggressive 70 screens this weekend care of Cohen Media Group to weak numbers. The film -- directed by Nick Murphy and starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, and Imelda Staunton -- grossed $94,377 for a per-theater-average of just $1,348.
For news on holdover releases, including "Two Days in New York," "Celeste and Jesse Forever," "Ruby Sparks," "2016: Obama's America," "The Imposter," "Farewell My Queen," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and "Moonrise Kingdom," continue to the next page.