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Specialty Box Office: Polanski's 'Venus In Fur' Leads Openers; 'The Rover' Crashes In Expansion

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 22, 2014 at 12:47PM

Here's a rundown of the specialty box office this weekend, which saw A24 find both the best opener and best holdover with David Michod's "The Rover" and Gillian Robespierre's "Obvious Child" both having very strong weekends.
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"Venus In Fur"

Here's a rundown of the specialty box office this weekend, which saw seven new films enter the market place, including the latest from both Roman Polanski and Paul Haggis. In the end, it was Polanski's "Venus In Fur" that had the best per-theater-average of the of the lot, while French import "Le Chef" -- not to be confused with Jon Favreau's "Chef," which is still doing quite well -- surprised with a strong debut as well.

The Debuts:

Debut Winner of the Weekend: "Venus In Fur." Over a year after it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, Roman Polanski's "Venus In Fur" hit both theaters and VOD this weekend to the tune of $26,200 from 2 theaters. That made for a $13,100 average -- the highest of any film in release save "Think Like a Man Too." The French language film -- starring Polanski's wife Emmanuelle Seigner alongside Mathieu Amalric -- adapts the 1870 novel "Venus In Furs." Polanski's name alone clearly helped it find this decent opening, though its steamy content might make it even more of a hit on VOD. This debut shows it's likely be tough for it to top the $2.5 million Polanski's "Carnage" grossed back in 2011, but that film was in English and starred the A-list likes of Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, so that's not an expectation "Venus" should have anyway.  Things will be more clear when the film expands next weekend.

This Weekend's Debuts:

1. Venus In Fur (Sundance Selects)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $26,200
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $13,100
Total Gross: $26,200
Criticwire Average: B

2. Le Chef (Cohen Media Group)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $10,900
Theaters: 1
Per-Theater-Average: $10,900
Total Gross: $10,900
Criticwire Average: N/A

3. Coherence (Oscilloscope)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $17,000
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $8,500
Total Gross: $17,000
Criticwire Average: B

4. Third Person (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $42,000
Theaters: 5
Per-Theater-Average: $8,400
Total Gross: $42,000
Criticwire Average: C-

5. A Summer's Tale (Big Wolrd)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $13,000
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $6,500
Total Gross: $13,000
Criticwire Average: N/A

6. Code Black (Long Shot)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $6,000
Theaters: 1
Per-Theater-Average: $6,000
Total Gross: $6,000
Criticwire Average: A-

7. The Last Sentence (Music Box)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $9,000
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $4,500
Total Gross: $9,000
Criticwire Average: B

Head over to the next page for a rundown of holdover grosses...

"Obvious Child."

The Holdovers:

Holdover Winner of the Weekend: "Obvious Child." Continuing to make good on its Sundance promise, A24 brought Gillian Robespierre's "abortion rom com" from 18 to 55 theaters this weekend and saw more promising numbers.  The film grossed $269,000, averaging a strong $4,891 -- the highest of any holdover release.

"Obvious Child" will expand to the top 50 markets next weekend.

Holdover Loser of the Weekend: "The Rover." A24 wasn't so lucky with David Michod's "The Rover." After a decent debut on 5 screens last weekend, the film was aggressively pushed to 599 screens, and failed to do much business. It grossed just $500,000 for a weak $835 average, not exactly promising in terms of pushing it much past its current $590,453 total.

"David Michod made an excellent film that received very strong reviews for its unique filmmaking and wonderful performances from Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson," A24 said. "Unfortunately we were unable to find a broader audience this weekend, but have no doubt that the film will gain fans as we continue to push it out in the weeks and months ahead."

Though notably, it's actually a bit lower than the $23,446 Robert Pattinson's last attempt at indie cred -- David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" -- averaged last summer. That film ended up not even grossing $1 million. However, "The Rov

Notable Milestones:

  • "Chef" crossed the $16 million mark -- only the second specialty release of 2014 to do so after "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
  • "Belle" crossed $9 million, becoming the third highest specialty release of 2014.
  • "Ida" hit $2 million, and is turning into a significant breakout hit for Music Box Films
  • "The Rover" and "Obvious Child" both hit $500,000.

The Holdover Top 10:

1. Obvious Child (A24)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $269,000
Theaters: 55 (up from 18)
Per-Theater-Average: $4,891
Total Gross: $602,000
Criticwire Average: B+

2. A Coffee In Berlin (Music Box Films)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $12,000
Theaters: 5 (up from 1)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,400
Total Gross: $19,400
Criticwire Average: B

3. Ida (Music Box)
Week: 8
Weekend Gross: $254,000
Theaters: 125 (up from 104)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,032
Total Gross: $2,051,000
Criticwire Average:

A

4. Korengal (Saboteur Media)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $8,100
Theaters: 4 (up from 1)
Per-Theater-Average: $2,025
Total Gross: $32,200
Criticwire Average: C

5. The Grand Seduction (eOne)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $245,372
Theaters: 124 (up from 104)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,979
Total Gross: $1,683,998
Criticwire Average: B

6. The Dance of Reality (ABKCO Films)
Week: 5
Weekend Gross: $13,500
Theaters: 7 (down from 9)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,929
Total Gross: $189,500
Criticwire Average: B+

7. Chef (Open Road Films)
Week: 7
Weekend Gross: $1,845,000
Theaters: 961 (down from 1,102)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,920
Total Gross: $16,942,000
Criticwire Average: B

8. Belle (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 8
Weekend Gross: $330,000
Theaters: 244 (down from 339)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,362
Total Gross: $9,209,000
Criticwire Average:

B

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 16
Weekend Gross: $141,000
Theaters: 112 (down from 149)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,259
Total Gross: $58,355,000
Criticwire Average: A-

10. Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (IFC Films)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $9,000
Theaters: 2 (even from last weekend)
Per-Theater-Average: $4,500
Total Gross: $32,737
Criticwire Average: B+

Also of note:
The Rover (A24)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $500,000
Theaters: 599
Per-Theater-Average: $835
Total Gross: $590,453
Criticwire Average: B

This article is related to: Box Office, News, Belle, Ida, Chef, The Rover, Obvious Child, Venus in Fur