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Specialty Box Office: 'Gatekeepers,' 'Koch,' Oscar Shorts Off To Strong Starts; 'Quartet' and 'Amour' Keep Growing

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 3, 2013 at 1:18PM

Four documentaries and the annual collection of the short films nominated for the Academy Awards opened this weekend to generally promising results, giving the specialty box office a nice start to February.
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"The Gatekeepers"

Four documentaries and the annual collection of the short films nominated for the Academy Awards opened this weekend to generally promising results, giving the specialty box office a nice start to February.

The MVP out of the, er, gate was Dror Moreh's Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers," which tells the story of the Israeli Shin Bet from the perspective of six former heads of Israel’s secretive internal security service. Sony Classics released the film on 3 screens and saw a very promising $66,677 gross, for a $22,226 average. That's the second best average of any film to officially debut in 2013 (just behind "Quartet"). Its total including an Oscar qualifying run is $86,015.

Also debuting in a tragically timely fashion was Neil Barsky's "Koch," which coincidentally opened in two New York theaters on the same day that it subject -- former NYC mayor Ed Koch -- died. The film -- released by Zeitgeist Films -- grossed $40,000 as a result, averaging a strong $20,000.

The unique release of Dave Grohl's "Sound City" -- about the history of Los Angeles recording studio Sound City Studios -- did so-so numbers, at least theatrically (it was released day and date on online platforms like iTunes, where it's currently #9 on the sales chart and #1 on the doc charts). On 16 screens -- many of which played the film as a "one night only" event -- the film grossed $70,000, averaging a respectable-but-unspectacular $4,376. But again, considering its iTunes release and unique exhibition strategy, overall things are good for "City."

Magnolia and ShortsHD teamed up once again to release the Oscar-nominated short films theatrically, and found very good numbers. On 105 screens, "2013 Oscar Shorts" grossed $390,000, averaging $3,714. That average is  a jump over last year, where the film averaging $3,436 in its first weekend. The opening weekend average has increased every year since the program premiered in 2006.

As for the holdovers, 2013's two strongest limited release players continued to increase their grosses. Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet" and Michael Haneke's "Amour" rose 2% and 6% in the fourth and seventh weekends, respectively.  Their totals now stand at $3.4 million and $2.5 million, with much more where that came from.

Full list of numbers for reporting openers and holdovers below, ranked by per-theater-average.

"Koch."
"Koch."
The Debuts:

1. The Gatekeepers
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $66,677
Theaters: 3
Average: $22,226
Cumulative Total:  $86,015 (includes Oscar qualifying run)

2. Koch
Distributor: Zeitgeist
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $40,000
Theaters: 2
Average: $20,000
Cumulative Total:  $40,000

3. Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary
Distributor: First Run
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:   $10,500
Theaters: 1
Average: $10,500
Cumulative Total: $10,500

4. Sound City
Distributor: Variance
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:  $70,000
Theaters: 16
Average: $4,376
Cumulative Total:  $190,514

5. 2013 Oscar Nominated Short Films
Distributor: Shorts HD/Magnolia
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross:   $390,000
Theaters: 105
Average: $3,714
Cumulative Total: $390,000

The Holdovers

1. Quartet
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Weeks in Release: 4
Gross:  $1,184,000
Theaters: 202 (up from 161)
Average: $5,861
Cumulative Total:  $3,474,173

2. Amour
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Weeks in Release: 7
Gross:  $497,090
Theaters: 90 (up from 64)
Average: $5,288
Cumulative Total:  $2,487,950

3. A Royal Affair
Distributor: Magnolia
Weeks in Release: 37
Gross:  $103,000
Theaters: 37
Average: $2,783
Cumulative Total:  $1,007,106

4. The Impossible
Distributor: Summit
Weeks in Release: 7
Gross:  $1,280,000
Theaters: 764 (down from 782)
Average: $1,673
Cumulative Total:  $15,188,631

5. The Master
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Weeks in Release: 21
Gross:  $38,000
Theaters: 28 (down from 37)
Average: $1,357
Cumulative Total:  $16,198,304

6. Searching For Sugar Man
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Weeks in Release: 28
Gross:  $24,275
Theaters: 18 (down from 26)
Average: $1,349
Cumulative Total:  $3,216,849

7. Hyde Park on Hudson
Distributor: Focus Features
Weeks in Release: 9
Gross: $176,139
Theaters: 144 (even with last week)
Average: $1,223
Cumulative Total: $5,999,199

8. Chasing Ice
Distributor: Submarine
Weeks in Release: 13
Gross: $20,679
Theaters: 20 (down from 27)
Average: $1,035
Cumulative Total: $1,101,700

9. Rust and Bone
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Weeks in Release: 11
Gross: $78,841
Theaters: 80 (down from 116)
Average: $986
Cumulative Total: $1,841,464

10. Anna Karenina
Distributor: Focus Features
Weeks in Release: 12
Gross: $64,817
Theaters: 90 (down from 98)
Average: $720
Cumulative Total: $12,560,301

11. LUV
Distributor: Indomina
Weeks in Release: 2
Gross:  $5,000
Theaters: 8 (down from 21)
Average: $625
Cumulative Total:  $151,089

This article is related to: Box Office





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