Safety Not Guaranteed

A slew of notable new indie films entered the marketplace this weekend, with Film District's "Safety Not Guaranteed" and Brainstorm Media's "Dark Horse" the only ones to manage per-theater-averages over $10,000. They topped the likes of Fox Searchlight's "Lola Versus" and IFC Film's "Peace, Love and Misunderstanding" (while Magnolia's "Bel Ami" did not report their estimates yet), but were overshadowed by the continuing success of Focus Features' release of Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom."

In its third weekend, "Kingdom" once again managed the best per-theater-average of any film in release, and looks like it will turn into quite the crossover hit for Focus as it expands more in future weekends.

Check out the full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"Safety Not Guaranteed" (Film District)
On 9 screens, Film District's Sundance Film Festival pick up "Safety Not Guaranteed" managed a good debut, taking in $100,000. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the "Safety" stars Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass. It follows three employees of a magazine as they investigate an ad that reads: "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed."

"Safety" averaged $11,111 this weekend, and notably was released in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland.  The latter two markets are unusual and risky launch pads for a first weekend, but it seems to have paid off.  "Safety" will expand to a total of 17 markets and close to 50 theatres on June 15th, and then expand into a total of 37 markets on the 22nd and roughly 120 theatres.

"Lola Versus" (Fox Searchlight)
Not fairing so well was Fox Searchlight's release of Daryl Wein's romantic comedy "Lola Versus." Starring Greta Gerwig as a woman dealing with life after a long term relationship ends, the film grossed $34,097 from 4 screens over its first weekend, averaging a disapponting $8,524. The film will expand in the coming weeks.   

"Dark Horse" (Brainstorm Media)
The best per-theater-average for a debuting film came from the single screen release of Todd Solondz's sixth feature film, "Dark Horse." Starring Selma Blair, Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Jordan Gelber, the film -- which debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year -- grossed $15,000 in its exclusive engagement at New York's Angelika Film Center. The film is the first theatrical release for Brainstorm Media, and is off to a very good start.

“We are extremely proud of the weekend numbers for 'Dark Horse,'” said Ruth Vitale, who is spearheading Brainstorm Media's entry into theatrical. “Todd Solondz is one of the definitive voices in independent cinema, and the combined teams of Brainstorm, Double Hope Films, and Vitagraph have all contributed to his latest film’s success. We are thrilled to be reaching audiences and cultivating awareness.”

"Peace, Love and Misunderstanding" (IFC Films)
Despite the presence of Jane Fonda and Catherine Keeners, IFC Films didn't get particulalry good numbers out of "Peace, Love and Misunderstanding" (though its likely to be enjoying better results from its VOD release). The film was released on 30 screens and managed a so-so $102,000 gross, averaging $3,400.  The film will expand into the top 50 markets this upcoming weekend.

For a report on holdover releases, including "Moonrise Kingdom," "The Intouchables," "Bernie" and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," continue to the next page.