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by Peter Knegt
November 4, 2012 1:23 PM
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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

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.

TAGS: Box Office
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2 Comments

  • Rob G. | November 4, 2012 2:42 PMReply

    Can you please stop telling us that a natural disaster is hurting the weekend box office? Nobody cares! People do not care about who's losing money. YOU try to get back your house that burned up, got flooded or lost a loved one. Please show some respect!

  • Jason | November 4, 2012 3:35 PM

    Jeez, calm down dude. This is the weekly specialty box office post. It is posted every week. Its purpose is to give the box office totals for the weekend. If a natural disaster happened that affected those totals, its his job to report that. Please stop reading these articles if you do not want to find out specialty box office reports for the weekend and a disection of the reasons (i.e. weather that may affect numbers) for those specialty box office totals. Thats all this is. Its posted every week, storm or no storm. Its not being disrespectful, its doing his job. Again, if you think posting a weekly specialty box office report every week is somehow disrespectful, Im guessing you personally have a very long list of things you find disrespectful. I feel bad for you that this would warant a "show some respect" for if this mundane post of his is somehow not showing respect than Im guessing everything you see in a given day is not showing enough respect. "My god, he's wearing untied tennis shoes, THERE WAS A STORM, SHOW SOME RESPECT" or "My god, that person ran a hard yellow light SHOW SOME RESPECT, THERE WAS A STORM PEOPLE".