Henry Alex Rubin's "Disconnect" narrowly topped Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder" to lead this weekend's generally disappointing limited debuts. "Disconnect" stars Jason Bateman, Hope Davis and Paula Patton, and premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival. Distributor LD Entertainment debuted it in 15 theaters this weekend, and saw a $123,597 gross for a $8,240 per-theater-average.
Expectations were clearly a bit higher for "To The Wonder," which Magnolia released in 17 theaters just under 2 years after Malick's "The Tree of Life" debuted to a staggering $93,230 average in 4 theaters. No one expected "To The Wonder" to compete with that (anticipation is much more muted this time around), though its $130,000 gross was probably on the lower end of expectations. Averaging $7,647, it grossed about a third of what "Life" did in its first frame despite being in four times the theaters.
That said, Magnolia did release the film day and date on VOD. "Wonder" notably is ranked #10 on iTunes overall movie rental charts (just behind "Wonder" star Ben Affleck's "Argo") and #1 on iTunes' independent film charts.
Both films were overshadowed by the third weekend performance of Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines," however. That film expanded to 514 theaters and held on very strong, grossing $4,079,575 for a $7,937 average (higher than "To The Wonder" despite being on 500 or so more screens). It placed "Pines" in the overall top 10, and gave it a new total of $5,453,755.
Said "Pines" distributor Focus Features: "There are notable box office dynamics driving the film's success: sell outs occurred in many houses particularly in the prime late matinee/early evening shows which is when older adult (35+) patronage is usually strong; late show business was also robust in smart/commercial houses—indicating the film’s appeal to younger ticket buyers around the country."
Focus said the geographic range of the successful new markets was "broad and diverse," listing San Jose, Anchorage, Austin, Miami, Indianapolis, Nashville San Antonio, Milwaukee, Memphis, Wichita and Santa Cruz among them.
Check out a full list of reporting grosses for both debuts and holdovers on the next page.