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Specialty Box Office: 'This Must Be The Place,' 'Vamps' and 'The Bay' Among Weak Openers In Sandy-Afflicted Weekend For Indies

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire November 4, 2012 at 1:23PM

While the studios boasted a very strong first weekend of November (thanks to "Wreck It Ralph" and "Flight"), the specialty market struggled. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, popular New York indie venues like the IFC Center, the Sunshine, the Angelika and the Film Forum were among those closed for part of the weekend. And only one film -- Jean-Marc Vallee's "Café de Flore" -- estimated an average of over $10,000 -- and that could easily change with final numbers, as "Flore" averaged exactly $10,000. And it was screening exclusively in a Miami suburb. READ MORE: Legends (and Failures) of the Fall: Indie Box Office Winners and Losers
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This Must Be The Place

While the studios boasted a very strong first weekend of November (thanks to "Wreck It Ralph" and "Flight"), the specialty market struggled. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, popular New York indie venues like the IFC Center, the Sunshine, the Angelika and the Film Forum were among those closed for part of the weekend. And only one film -- Jean-Marc Vallee's "Café de Flore" -- estimated an average of over $10,000 -- and that could easily change with final numbers, as "Flore" averaged exactly $10,000. And it was screening exclusively in a Miami suburb.

READ MORE: Legends (and Failures) of the Fall: Indie Box Office Winners and Losers

Among the openers that struggled were "This Must Be The Place," "The Details," "The Bay" and "Vamps," though some hopeful news came care of holdovers like "The Sessions," "The Flat" and the whopping 15th weekend of "Searching For Sugar Man," which managed to jump 18% despite losing screens.

Full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"Cafe De Flore" (Adopt Films)
Jean-Marc Vallee's Quebecois import "Café de Flore" opened on one screen -- the 144 Coral Gables Art Cinema in surburban Miami -- and ended with the best per-theater-average among new specialty titles.  It is estimated to gross $10,000 over the weekend, and will open in New York Friday and in LA on November 16th.

"A Late Quartet" (Entertainmeny One)
"A Late Quartet" -- starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Catherine Keener -- managed a respectable $75,899 from 9 screens this weekend, averaging $8,433. Notably, the film managed a massive $31,123 at New York's Lincoln Plaza alone and was hurt by The Sunshine's closure until midday Saturday. The film will expand to 25 markets on November 9.

"This Must Be The Place" (The Weinstein Company)
Paolo Sorrentino's “This Must Be the Place," starrring Sean Penn and Frances McDormand, grossed just $7,052 from 2 screens for a $3,526 average. Again, one should keep in mind that one of its 2 screens was the Sunshine in New York.

"The Details" (RADiUS-TWC)
Not faring better was the latest release from The Weinstein Company's RADiUS label (which notably also releases on VOD), Jacob Aaron Estes' "The Details." Starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney, the film grossed just $19,981 from 14 screens, averaging a poor $1,427 (though one of those 14 screens was notably closed Friday due to Sandy).

"The Bay" (Roadside Attractions)
Barry Levinson's well-received Toronto pick-up "The Bay" opened on 23 screens (also including ones closed Friday), and took in only $21,400, averaging a dismal $930.

"Vamps" (Anchor Bay)
Outdoing "The Bay" was Amy Heckerling's Alicia Silverstone reunion "Vamps" (a vampire comedy that's already been out on DVD, and oddly opened in theater the weekend after Halloween). The film grossed just $500 from a single screen.

For a full report on more than a dozen holdover releases -- including "The Loneliest Planet," "The Sessions," "Middle of Nowhere," "Searching For Sugar Man" and "The Master"  -- continue to the next page.

This article is related to: Box Office





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