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Specialty Box Office: 'Cosmopolis' and 'Robot and Frank' Score Solid Debuts; 'Obama's America' Huge In Expansion

Photo of Peter Knegt 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.
4

"2 Days in New York."
"2 Days in New York."
The Holdovers:

"2 Days in New York" (Magnolia Pictures)
Julie Delpy's "2 Days in New York" expanded from 2 to 14 screens in its second weekend care of Magnolia Pictures (who are also releasing the film on VOD). The result was a decent $86,000 gross and a $6,143 average, helping take the film's total to $123,928.

A sort-of sequel to "2 Days in Paris," the film stars Delpy and Chris Rock. Though its numbers so far are not bad, they do fail in comparison to "Paris." That film ended up totalling $4,433,994, a number it will be tough for "New York" to come close to.

"Celeste and Jesse Forever" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony Classics' Sundance pickup "Celeste and Jesse Forever" expanded from 18 to 67 screens in its third weekend. The film -- written by real-life best friends Rashida Jones (who also stars) and Will McCormack -- grossed $250,874, averaging $3,744. That  brought the film's total to $619,435 ahead of further expansion.

"Celeste and Jesse" stars Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts and Ari Graynor. It follows a separated couple (Jones and Samberg) who try and remain best friends after breaking up.

READ MORE: Rashida and Will Forever: Screenwriting Duo Invents Words, Talks Sundance's 'Celeste and Jesse'

"Killer Joe" (LD Entertainment)
Despite its NC-17 rating, LD Entertainment continued to see very good numbers from its release of William Friedkin's crime thriller "Killer Joe." Starring Matthew McConaughey (who is having an incredible year between this, "Magic Mike" and  as-yet-unreleased Cannes titles "Mud" and "The Paperboy") in the title role, the film expanded from 36 to 42 theaters in its fourth weekend and held on strong. It took in $150,457 for a $3,582 average. Its total now stands at $663,769. The film will continue to expand through August, and it will soon become one of just 14 NC-17 rated films to cross the $1 million mark.

"Ruby Sparks" (Fox Searchlight)
Also in its fourth weekend was Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's long-awaited follow up to "Little Miss Sunshine," "Ruby Sparks." Fox Searchlight saw the film -- which stars Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan (who also wrote the script) -- drop from 261 to 218 theaters after very aggresive expansion last weekend. The result saw "Sparks" only drop 32%, taking in $300,000 for a unimpressive $1,376 average. The film has totalled $1,795,371 so far.

"Searching For Sugar Man" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony Pictures Classics expanded Malik Bendjelloul's doc "Searching For Sugar Man" from 15 to 27 screens in its fourth weekend. The film -- which won the Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year (and, as you see below, is one of four Sundance docs in current release) -- follows two South Africans who set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock 'n' roller, Rodriguez. It took in $108,536 over the weekend, jumping 71% and averaging $4,020 (down just slightly from last weekend). Its total now stands at $311,612.

"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" (Sundance Selects)
Another documentary alum of the Sundance Film Festival, Alison Klayman's "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," went from 25 to 31 screens this weekend care of Sundance Selects. The film --  which chronicles artist and activist Ai Weiwei as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government -- grossed $46,500 for a $1,500 per-theater-average. The film's cume is now $320,200.

"The Queen Of Versailles" (Magnolia)
Magnolia saw yet another Sundance doc, Lauren Greenfield's much-discussed "The Queen of Versailles," drop from 84 to 77 screens in its fifth weekend to still strong results. The film -- which won the best directing award at Sundance -- took in another $190,000 (down just 11%) as it averaged $2,468 per theater. That made for a new total of $1,228,191 as it crossed the important doc milestone of $1 million.

"Queen" follows a couple building the second largest and most expensive single-family house in the America, and the crisis they're going through as the US economy goes down. Its definitely becoming one of summer 2012's rare documentary breakouts.

READ MORE: 'The Queen of Versailles' Director Lauren Greenfield Explains Why Two Billionaires Let Her Into Their Mansion

"The Imposter" (Indomina)
Indomina expanded acclaimed doc "The Imposter" (which, yes, debuted at Sundance) from 13 to 19 screens in its sixth weekend. The film -- directed by Bart Layton -- centers on a young Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years. Indomina saw a $82,641 gross from the film, averaging $4,350 per screen. That average is impressively up 29% from last weekend ($3,411), suggesting very strong word of mouth. The film's total stands at $272.255.

"Farewell My Queen" (Cohen Media Group)
Benoît Jacquot's "Farewell My Queen" -- a look at the relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her readers during the final days of the French Revolution -- went from 64 down to 60 theaters in its sixth weekend care of Cohen Media Group. The result was quite strong as the film took in another $100,175 for a $1,670 per-theatre-average. The film's total now stands at $969,315 with the $1 million mark in store for the next week.

"2016 Obama's America" (Rocky Mountain Pictures)
The anti-Barack Obama documentary “2016: Obama’s America" -- written and directed by John Sullivan and “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” author Dinesh D’Souza -- expanded significantly this weekend from 61 to 169 screens and saw a huge increase in both grosses and per-theater-average. Released by Rocky Mountain Pictures (the same folks that brought you "Atlas Shrugged, Part I" and "An Inconsistent Truth"), the film jumped 294% in grosses as it took in $1,249,489. Its $7,393 average (up from $5,249 last weekend) helped take its total to a very impressive $2,066,991 and its quite possible it will end up passing the $5 million mark in the next few weeks.

The film aims to show how the future of the United States might unfold should Barack Obama be elected to a second term as president.

READ MORE: ‘Schindler’s List’ Producer Gerald Molen Wants ‘2016: Obama’s America’ To Help Romney Win the Presidency

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight)
Benh Zeitlin's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" saw its grosses decline slightly in its eighth weekend as it lost 50 screens (it went from 286 to 236). The film dropped 23% as it took in $555,000   to push past the $8 million mark.  Averaging $2,352, the film's total now stands at $8,102,676, with the $10 million mark a good possibility. The film has now impressively topped the grosses of recent Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners "Like Crazy" and "Winter's Bone."

"Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus Features)
Finally, in its whopping thirteenth weekend, Focus Features' "Moonrise Kingdom" continued to prove itself one of the summer's biggest indie hits. It lost screens as it went from 447 to 282 and dropped just 20% as a result. It still took in another $493,997, averaging $1,752 (for a film to have 13 straight weeks of $1,000+ averages is a feat in itself). That took its total to $42,956,805. "Moonrise Kingdom" is the second highest grossing Anderson film, after 2001's "The Royal Tenenbaums." And at this rate, it should be set to pass the $45 million mark -- rivalling "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" as the highest grossing indie of 2012 so far (that film's total now stands at %45,587,973).

Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Indiewire tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the Indiewire Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at studiogrosses@rentrak.com by the end of the day each Monday.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Cosmopolis, Robot And Frank





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