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Specialty Box Office: 'The Paperboy' Tops Slew of Modest Indie Openers

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire October 7, 2012 at 1:27PM

A number of high profile indies opened this weekend, including Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," Eugene Jarecki's Sundance winning doc "The House I Live In," Andrea Arnold's adaptation of "Wuthering Heights," and the much-buzzed horror anthology "V/H/S."
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Nicole Kidman in "The Paperboy"
Nicole Kidman in "The Paperboy"

A number of high profile indies opened this weekend, including Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," Eugene Jarecki's Sundance winning doc "The House I Live In," Andrea Arnold's adaptation of "Wuthering Heights," and the much-buzzed horror anthology "V/H/S."

But only "The Paperboy" ended up with a per-theater-average of over $10,000 (and barely), suggesting it was perhaps a bit too crowded this weekend, indie wise.

Full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"The Paperboy" (Millennium)
Lee Daniels' Southern gothic flick opened on 11 screens this weekend care of Millennium Entertainment.  The result was a respectable $110,033 gross and $10,033 per-theater-average, not bad considering overall the film has taken a bit of a lashing from critics. Though considering its starry cast (Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman), one might have thought it would do a bit better. And it's certainly a far cry from the whopping $104,025 Daniel's previous film "Precious" averaged from 18 screens back in 2009.

READ MORE: REVIEW: Is Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy' So Bad Its Good? Only If That's What You Want From It.

"The House I Live In" (Abramorama)
Eugene Jarecki's highly acclaimed doc "The House I Live In" nearly took best-in-show honors for its per-theater-average of $9,827. On 2 screens, the film -- which looks at the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy -- grossed a decent $19,654. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for a U.S. doc at Sundance, the film will expand further next weekend.

"Wuthering Heights" (Oscilloscope)
Oscilloscope released Andrea Arnold's adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" on a single screen this weekend to a so-so $8,785. That's slightly lower number than the $12,927 Arnold's previous film "Fish Tank" averaged from two screens back in 2010.

"V/H/S" (Magnolia)
On 15 screens, horror anthology "V/H/S" managed just $40,000 for a $2,667 per-theater-average. The found footage flick from the perspective of some of America's top genre filmmakers (it was collectively directed by David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West and the online filmmaking collective known as Radio Silencehad) had a lot of buzz coming out of Sundance, though its also available on VOD so perhaps it is doing much better on that format (though numbers are not available).

READ MORE: REVIEW: "V/H/S" Breathes New Life (And Death) Into Found-Footage Horror

"The Oranges" (IDP/ATO Pictures)
Julian Farino's "The Oranges" also found weak numbers in the widest release of all indie openers. On 110 screens, the film -- which stars Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Allison Janney and Oliver Platt, among others -- grossed just $180,000 for a per-theater-average of $1,636.

"Decoding Deepak" (Snag Films-Paladin)
Coming with lower expectations than the aforementioned films as its probably the "smallest" release of the weekend, "Decoding Deepak" -- a documentary directed by Gotham Chopra about his father Deepak Chopra -- grossed a respectable $9,050 this weekend from 3 screens, averaging $3,017. The film -- currently available on VOD and other digital formats -- will open exclusive engagements in another 8 top markets next weekend, including San Francisco and Portland, before expanding to additional markets in the weeks to follow.
 

Check back for a full report more than a dozen holdover releases shortly -- including "The Master" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" -- continue to the next page.

This article is related to: Box Office