As the Toronto International Film Festival wrapped things up north of the border, a handful of specialty films had respectable debuts at the box office. Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George" was chief among them, finding the best per-theater-average of any film in release. The Oscilloscope-distributed film, which follows a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn, grossed $22,456 from an exclusive engagement at New York's Angelika Film Center. That's a promising start for the film, which was picked up after a warmly received premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Another Sundance alum, Alexandre Moors' "Blue Caprice," had a decent opening via Sundance Selects. The film -- starring Isaiah Washington in a much heralded performance -- grossed $15,200 from a single screen. The film will expand to the top 15 markets throughout September.
Also strong was the one screen debut of Jeremy Seifert’s Berlinale-premiering documentary "GMO OMG" -- which looks into how laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects the health of our planet. Distrubutor Submarine Deluxe reported a strong $15,121 gross from its exclusive engagement at the Cinema Village in Manhattan. The will expand next weekend in Los Angeles followed by Seattle on the 27th.
Haifaa al-Mansour's "Wadjda" -- recently selected as Saudi Arabia's very first submission to the Academy Awards -- got off to a very respectable start care of Sony Pictures Classics. The film -- which is also the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director -- grossed $40,491 from 3 theaters for a $13,497 average.
Meanwhile, the weekend's big bomb as far as indie openers went was Billy Bob Thornton's "Jayne Mansfield's Car." The Anchor Bay Films release -- starring Thornton alongside Robert Duvall, John Hurt and Kevin Bacon -- grossed just $7,400 from 11 theaters, averaging a weak $673.