By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 23, 2012 at 1:36PM
In the midst of a media storm resulting first from the hype surrounding the release of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," and then from the tragic events that occurred at a screening of the film early Friday morning, two documentaries from the Sundance Film Festival -- Lauren Greenfield's "The Queen of Versailles" and Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace's LCD Soundsystem doc "Shut Up and Play The Hits" -- opened to quite strong numbers (though the latter actually opened on Wednesday for an exclusive night of screenings). Aided by potent showings from holdovers like "The Imposter," "To Rome With Love," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Farewell My Queen," it all made for a strong summer weekend at the specialty box office.
The box office reporting this weekend was delayed in light of the tragic events at a "Dark Knight Rises" screening early Friday morning. While some indie releases reported yesterday anyway, Indiewire decided to move its report from Sunday to Monday anyway.
Check out the full rundown below.
"The Queen Of Versailles" (Magnolia)
Magnolia released Lauren Greenfield's much-discussed Sundance doc "The Queen of Versailles" on 3 screens this weekend to very strong results. The film -- which won the best directing award at Sundance -- grossed $54,000 for a potent per-theater-average of $18,000.
"Queen" follows a couple building second largest and most expensive single-family house in the America, and the crisis they're going through as the US economy goes down. It will open in San Francisco, Boston, DC, San Diego, Atlanta and Philadelphia this Friday, before further expansion on August 3rd.
"Shut Up And Play The Hits" (Oscilloscope)
Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace's LCD Soundsystem doc "Shut Up and Play The Hits" opened last Wednesday for a "one night only" screening on 160 screens across North America. The result on opening day was impressive. The film took in $345,000 for a daily average of $2,156. Distributor Oscilloscope added encore shows the following day due to demand and saw the film's overall gross grow to $378,751. The film's run has now been extended in some markets.
"Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai" (Tribeca Film)
Tribeca Film released Takashi Miike's 3-D drama "Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai" on 2 screens this weekend. The alum of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival managed a $10,920 gross, averaging $5,460.
The film notably did quite well New York's IFC Center, the film grossed $9,338 for the weekend. Initially limited by opening on just a 60 seat screen, the film was quickly promoted to a larger 110 seat screen. The film's weak $1,582 gross at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles was not so impressive.
Tribeca Film is set to bring the title to major markets including Boston, Seattle and San Francisco over the next few weeks, with more dates to be added soon.
"The Well Digger's Daughter" (Kino Lorber)
Daniel Auteuil's update of Marcel Pagnol's "The Well Digger's Daughters" opened on 3 screens in New York and Seattle this weekend and took in $13,000. Released through Kino Lorber, the film averaged $4,333. It will expand next Friday to LA, San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia, with many more markets to follow in August and September.
For a report on holdover releases, including "The Imposter," "Farewell My Queen," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "To Rome With Love" and "Moonrise Kingdom," continue to the next page.