Picturehouse "reopened" to good news this weekend, with its IMAX 3D film "Metallica Through The Never" grossing $1,672,075 from 305 theaters, averaging a very respectable $5,482 and placing just outside the overall top 10.
Picturehouse -- known for release films like Oscar-winning "La Vie En Rose" -- returns with its founder Bob Berney as the company's CEO and Jeanne Berney as its President. They are rebuilding the company independent of its former owner, Time Warner. "Metallica" -- re -- stars Dane DeHaan as a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a live set, only to see his world go haywire. The film expands to 650 screens on October 4th.
The weekend's most significant box office story, however, belonged to the fifth frame of Panetlion Films' "Instructions Not Included," which grossed another $3.4 million to bring its total to $38.6 million. That is not only the highest gross for a specialty film released in 2013, but also tops "Pan's Labyrinth" (which, oddly enough, was released by Picturehouse) to become the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever at the domestic box office. It is now one of the four highest-grossing foreign-language films ever in the U.S., ranking behind only "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Taiwan), "Life is Beautiful" (Italy) and "Hero" (China). Pantelion noted that Instructions Not Included has achieved its entire domestic box office in the U.S. since the film hasn’t been released in Canada.
“We’ve been building our brand and our audience for three years, and we’re very pleased that our efforts have resulted in a record-breaking hit,” said Pantelion Films Chief Executive Officer Paul Presburger. “The film’s success reaffirms our belief that there is a large audience in the U.S. with an appetite for commercial films with Latino characters and themes. Its performance is a testament to the prodigious talents of Eugenio Derbez, Lionsgate and Televisa’s support, guidance and vision since our launch, an adroit and focused marketing campaign which we developed with Televisa and Univision and the superb distribution and expansion plan executed by the Lionsgate theatrical distribution team.”
"Instructions" tells the story of Valentin (played by director Eugenio Derbez), a former playboy who is forced to change his ways when an ex-girlfriend leaves a baby on his doorstep and takes off without a trace. Valentin leaves Mexico for Los Angeles to find the baby’s mother, but only ends up finding a new home for himself and his newfound daughter, Maggie (Loreto Peralta).
The film was one of two specialty films to gross over $2 million this weekend, the other one also a growing success story: Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said." After a massive opening weekend average of just under $60,000, the film -- which features one of the late James
Gandolfini's final performances opposite the likes of Julia
Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette -- expanded from 4 to 227 theaters and saw a 809% leap in grosses. That amounted to a $2,115,000 gross and an impressive $9,317 average. The film has now totaled $2,482,479 with clearly a lot more where that came from.
"It is a very well written film which appeals primarily to the underserved adult audience, however we are beginning to see that a wider and somewhat younger demo of moviegoers are becoming fans of the film," Frank Rodriguez, head of distribution at "Enough" distributor Fox Searchlight, said. "This is evidenced by the strong showing in suburban theatres and upscale multiplexes nationwide."
Next weekend "Enough" will expand to a total of 400-450 theaters, and in the process should top the gross of Holofcener's last film "Please Give" (which took in just over $4 million). Her top grosser overall is 2006's "Friends With Money," which grossed $13,368,437. If "Enough Said" keeps up these numbers, it definitely has a shot at rivaling that number.
Also notable were a few other openers besides "Metallica." RADiUS-TWC opened doc "Inequality For All" in 28 theaters and saw a $140,000 gross, averaging $5,000. Another doc, "Muscle Shoals," found the highest per-theater-average of the weekend thanks to an exclusive run at NYC's IFC Center, where the Magnolia release took in $14,000. Also on a single screen was Stand's "I Used To Be Darker," which took in $4,491. Meanwhile, EOne set "We Are What We Are" in 2 theaters and saw a $15,081 gross, averaging $7,540.
Check back Monday for a chart of the top final numbers.