Theaters were full of "love" this weekend as both "Love Is Strange" and "The One I Love" debuted in limited release to strong numbers (though one "love" more than the other -- though notably "The One I Love" is currently both the #1 romance and #1 sci-fi film on Itunes). A full report:
Debut Winner of the Weekend: "Love Is Strange"
Ira Sachs' late-in-life gay love story "Love Is Strange" opened to very strong numbers this weekend. Sony Classics picked up the film at Sundance after it premiered to glowing reviews, and Sachs and his cast -- which includes John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei -- aggressively made the media rounds and the result was a $127,000 gross from 5 theaters, averaging $26,400. Controversy surrounding the MPAA's decision to give the film an "R" rating (despite no sex or violence in the film) perhaps helped raise awareness as well. Sony Classics will expand the film next weekend, though its well ahead of Sachs' last film out of the gate -- his 2012 film "Keep The Lights On" averaged $11,115 from 5 theaters in its first weekend.
This Weekend's Debuts: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)
Holdover 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 $127,000 in its second weekend, averaging $11,400. That's double the $5,879 that "The Trip" averaged in its second weekend.
"The Trip to Italy" will open the top 20 markets on Labor Day Weekend.
- "Boyhood," as noted, reached $16 million, with more where that came from.
- "A Most Wanted Man" crossed $14 million after its fifth weekend.
- "Magic in the Moonlight" hit $6 million mark in its fifth 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.
- "Calvary" managed to hit the $1 million mark in its fourth weekend.
The Holdover Top 10: (ranked in order of per-theater-average)
9. Alive Inside (Bond/360)
Weekend Gross: $21,700
Theaters: 16 (up from 15)
Total Gross: $150,200
Criticwire Average: B
10. Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC)
Weekend Gross: $27,000
Theaters: 28 (down from 42)
Total Gross: $4,431,000
Criticwire Average: A-
Peter Knegt is a contributing editor at Indiewire and our box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.