By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 21, 2013 at 3:37PM
Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" had a massive limited debut last weekend, taking in $263,002 from just three screens and managing one of the 25 best per-theater-averages ($87,667) ever. Starring Disney Channel alums Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens (not to mention James Franco) in a not-so-Disney tale of a group of college-aged girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant to pay for their spring break getaway, the film was on par, money-wise, with the likes of "Lincoln" and "The King's Speech" when it came to its first weekend out. But what happens now?
Upstart distributor A24 -- who have found the perfect storm of timing, marketing and public interest with this film so far -- are going for it in weekend #2: Expanding the film from 3 to 1,104 theaters as most of the country is on actual spring break. The move makes sense, but will it pay off? We'll find out Sunday. But it seems unlikely given the buzz that it will fall prey to a "Master"-esque second weekend slump.
That Paul Thomas Anderson film (like "Breakers," produced by Megan Ellison) holds the all time per-theater-average record for a live-action film with $147,262 last September. Then it went from 5 to 788 screens in its second weekend and saw its average slump to $5,572. I'd imagine "Breakers" -- on 300 more screens -- could pull off an average around $9,000-$10,000 at least given the appeal of its Disney-stars-gone-wild. That would give it $10 million or so for the weekend. Incredible for a film that reportedly cost just $2 million and was marketed largely on social media alone.
What do you think? Are we overestimated or perhaps underestimating? Clearly, A24 should be pleased with anything over $5 million this weekend. But the sky just seems a bit like the limit with this film, so we're very curious to see how things play out.