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Specialty Box Office: 'Silver Linings' and 'Anna Karenina' Debut To Strong But Unspectacular Numbers

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire November 18, 2012 at 12:44PM

The potential downside to having an extraordinary amount of buzz surrounding a film is the mammoth expectations that come with it. They are definitely imposed upon "Silver Linings Playbook," which opened this weekend -- after a last minute move by The Weinstein Company to push it up a week earlier -- in 16 theaters. Weekend estimates gave the David O. Russell-directed film a strong $458,430 gross from its first weekend averaging $28,652.  Not bad numbers, and the film is clearly the type that could benefit and grow from word of mouth as it expands. But it's nowhere near the numbers of some its Oscar hopeful predecessors. READ MORE: Critical Consensus: Eric Kohn and Peter Knegt On the Oscar Prospects of 'Anna Karenina,' 'Silver Linings Playbook' and More
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The potential downside to having an extraordinary amount of buzz surrounding a film is the mammoth expectations that come with it. They are definitely imposed upon "Silver Linings Playbook," which opened this weekend -- after a last minute move by The Weinstein Company to push it up a week earlier -- in 16 theaters.

Weekend estimates gave the David O. Russell-directed film a strong $458,430 gross from its first weekend averaging $28,652.  Not bad numbers, and the film is clearly the type that could benefit and grow from word of mouth as it expands. But it's nowhere near the numbers of some its Oscar hopeful predecessors.

READ MORE: Critical Consensus: Eric Kohn and Peter Knegt On the Oscar Prospects of 'Anna Karenina,' 'Silver Linings Playbook' and More

The Weinstein Company have released two major Oscar hopefuls (and eventual best picture winners) in November the past two years, "The King's Speech" and "The Artist," both of which -- like "Silver Linings" -- were coming off hugely successful film festival runs. "Speech" averaged $88,863 in its first weekend, while "The Artist" averaged $51,220. Notably, each were just in 4 theaters, which surely boosted them relative to the 16 houses "Silver Linings" in screening in.

Perhaps a better comparison is a film that could be facing off with "Silver Linings" at the Oscars: "Lincoln." Last weekend, that film opened on 11 screens and averaged $85,846, roughly triple what "Silver Linings" averaged. It -- like "The Artist" and "The King's Speech" -- are extraordinarily high set bars for success, and its clearly way too early to judge the box office prospects of "Silver Linings" overall anyway. But so far it's off to a strong, but not quite spectacular, start.

The same could be said of "Anna Karenina," which Focus also released on 16 theaters this weekend. The film -- directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law -- came with much less expectations than "Silver Linings" thanks to fairly muted buzz since its North American debut at the Toronto Film Festival. It ended up grossing $315,395 for a very respectable $19,712 per-theater-average. Though notably its a smaller number than the  $24,504 "Atonement," Wright's last teamup with Knightley averaged on 32 screens back in 2007.

Both "Silver Linings" and "Anna Karenina" likely were hurt by the rare plethora of quality options studios are offering in wide release. Save "Breaking Dawn, Part 2," the top six releases from the studios were all very well-reviewed films that likely appealed to specialty audiences very much: "Skyfall," "Lincoln," "Wreck-It-Ralph," "Flight" and "Argo."

Head to the next page for full rundown of all specialty films reporting estimates, ranked by per-theater-average.


Focus "Anna Karenina."
The Debuts:

1. Silver Linings Playbook
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross: $458,430   
Theaters: 16
Average: $28,652
Cumulative Total: $458,430

2. Anna Karenina
Distributor: Focus Features
Weeks in Release: 1
Gross: $315,395
Theaters: 16
Average: $19,712
Cumulative Total: $315,395

The Holdovers:

1. The Comedy
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Weeks in Release: 2
Gross: $13,150
Theaters: 1
Average: $13,150
Cumulative Total: $21,194

2. Chasing Ice
Distributor: Submarine Deluxe
Weeks in Release: 2
Gross: $81,912
Theaters: 10
Average: $8,191
Cumulative Total: $107,311

3. Holy Motors
Distributor: Indomina
Weeks in Release: 5
Gross: $48,576
Theaters: 23
Average: $2,112
Cumulative Total: $193,129

4. The Other Son
Distributor: Cohen Media Group
Weeks in Release: 4
Gross:  $84,709
Theaters: 45
Average: $1,882
Cumulative Total: $670,174

"The Sessions."

5. The Sessions
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Weeks in Release: 5
Gross: $900,000
Theaters: 516
Average: $1,744
Cumulative Total: $2,803,434

6. A Late Quartet
Distributor: Entertainment One/RKO
Weeks in Release: 5
Gross:  $160,079
Theaters: 100
Average: $1,601
Cumulative Total: $532,671

7. This Must Be The Place
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Weeks in Release: 3
Gross:  $23,860
Theaters: 15
Average: $1,591
Cumulative Total: $83,514

8. The Flat
Distributor: Sundance Selects
Weeks in Release: 5
Gross:  $37,500
Theaters: 25
Average: $1,500
Cumulative Total: $310,300

9. 28 Hotel Rooms
Distributor: Oscilloscope
Weeks in Release: 2
Gross:  $4,000
Theaters: 3
Average: $1,333
Cumulative Total: $6,400

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Distributor: Summit
Weeks in Release: 9
Gross:  $635,000
Theaters: 511
Average: $1,243
Cumulative Total: $15,622,104

'Searching for Sugar Man'

11. Searching For Sugar Man
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Weeks in Release: 17
Gross:  $65,419
Theaters: 54
Average: $1,211
Cumulative Total: $2,680,250

12. The Imposter
Distributor: Indomina
Weeks in Release: 19
Gross:  $3,021
Theaters: 2
Average: $1,151
Cumulative Total: $886,188

13. Samsara
Distributor: Oscilloscope
Weeks in Release: 13
Gross:  $32,100
Theaters: 31
Average: $1,035
Cumulative Total: $2,457,557

14. The Master
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Weeks in Release: 10
Gross:  $51,000
Theaters: 52
Average: $981
Cumulative Total: $15,789,645

15. Wuthering Heights
Distributor: Oscilloscope
Weeks in Release: 7
Gross:  $5,000
Theaters: 9
Average: $556
Cumulative Total: $85,906

16. The Paperboy
Distributor: Millennium
Weeks in Release: 7
Gross:  $4,159
Theaters: 10
Average: $416
Cumulative Total: $692,640

This article is related to: Box Office, Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook





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