IFC Films is clearly on a roll the summer, with the debut of Michael Winterbottom's "The Trip To Italy" providing icing to the cake that continues to be "Boyhood," which expanded to over 700 theaters this weekend and had its biggest weekend gross yet. A full report:
Debut Winner of the Weekend: "The Trip To Italy"
Back in 2011, IFC Films found very nice numbers from "The Trip," a collaboration of Michael Winterbottom, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. That film grossed $2 million, making it one of the year's biggest hits for the distributor. Three years later, and hot off the major success story that is "Boyhood" (more on that later), the distributor is keeping the good news coming with the film's sequel, "The Trip To Italy." With strong reviews and a considerable fanbase for the original, the film made its way to a $71,577 gross from just 3 theaters this weekend, averaging an impressive $23,859. That's almost double the $12,984 that "The Trip" averaged from 6 theaters in its first weekend.
"The Trip to Italy" will open the top 20 markets by Labor Day Weekend.
This Weekend's Debuts: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)
Holdover Winner of the Weekend: "Boyhood"
Expanding from 507 to 771 theaters, the success story of Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" continued to unfold as it took in another $2,089,000, placing it 10th at the overall box office. Its $2,789 average helped it bring its total gross to $13,800,781, which now makes it both the third highest grossing film in IFC Films' history (after "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "Y Tu Mama Tambien," the latter of which it should surpass in the next few days), and the third highest of director Richard Linklater's career (after "The School of Rock" and "The Bad News Bears" -- both of which were studio films that opened north of 2,500 screens).
"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.
"Boyhood" will expand further on Labor Day weekend.
- "Chef" hit $29 million, and should become the second 2014 indie film (after "The Grand Budapest Hotel") to hit $30 million by next weekend.
- "Boyhood," as noted, reached $13 million, with more where that came from.
- "A Most Wanted Man" crossed $12 million after a strong fourth weekend.
- "Magic in the Moonlight" hit $4 million mark in its fourth weekend. Though relative to Woody Allen's recent releases, its headed for a somewhat disappointing final tally.
- "Obvious Child" made its way past the $3 million mark in weekend #1.
- "What If" managed to hit the $1 million mark in its second weekend -- though its numbers are also underwhelming overall.
The Holdover Top 12: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)Magic In The Moonlight (Sony Pictures Classics)
Weekend Gross: $1,883,000
Theaters: 964 (up from 170)
Total Gross: $4,714,000
Criticwire Average:A Most Wanted Man (Roadside Attractions)
Weekend Gross: $1,239,000
Theaters: 650 (down from 808)
Total Gross: $12,624,000
Criticwire Average: B
10. What If (CBS Films)
Weekend Gross: $829,000
Theaters: 787 (up from 20)
Total Gross: $1,034,855
Criticwire Average: B+
Peter Knegt is a contributing editor at Indiewire and our box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.