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Specialty Box Office: ‘Sister’s Sister’ Has Weekend’s Best Debut; ‘Kingdom’ Keeps Rising

Specialty Box Office: 'Sister's Sister' Has Weekend's Best Debut; 'Kingdom' Keeps Rising

Lynn Shelton’s “Your Sister’s Sister” led a bunch of mostly unremarkable debuts, including weak starts for docs “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” and “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.”

“Sister” managed the second best per-theater-average of any film in release, topped only by the incredible continuing run of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” which topped $6 million this weekend.

Check out the full rundown below, including numbers for “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “The Intouchables,” all of which continued to take in very strong grosses.

The Debuts:

“Your Sister’s Sister” (IFC Films)
Lynn Shelton’s fourth feature film, “Your Sister’s Sister,” debuted on 13 screens this weekend care of IFC Films. Starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, the film grossed $117,000, averaging $9,000. That’s a decent debut for a 13-screen initial release, very much on par with “Safety Not Guaranteed” last weekend (which averaged $10,862 from 9 screens). Like “Sister,” “Safety” stars Mark Duplass and is set in the Seattle area.

“Sister” will open the top 30 markets this coming weekend.

“Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” (Music Box Films)
Before it airs on HBO this summer, Matthew Akers’ doc “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” opened in 2 theaters this weekend. Distributed theatrically by Music Box Films, the film — which follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York — was not off to a promising start. It took in just $10,989 from 2 screens for a fair $5,495 per-theater-average. Its total since opening last Wednesday is $16,235.

“The Woman in the Fifth” (ATO Pictures)
ATO Pictures released Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Woman in the Fifth” — which stars Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas” — on 9 screens this weekend. It took in a mild $36,985 as a result, averaging $4,109. Like “Your Sister’s Sister,” “Woman in the Fifth” was a pick-up out of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

“Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap” (Indomina)
The most aggressive new indie release was “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” which opened on 157 screens across the country. Ice-T and Andy Baybutt’s documentary on rap music and its rise to global prominence, it grossed a weak $150,000, averaging just $955.

For a report on holdover releases, including “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Lola Versus,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Intouchables,” “Bernie” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” continue to the next page.

The Holdovers:

“Safety Not Guaranteed” (Film District)
Film District’s Sundance Film Festival pick up “Safety Not Guaranteed” expanded from 9 to 47 screens in its second weekend to very strong results.  It took in $295,000 — up 202% from last weekend. That made for a $6,277 average and a new total of $438,505. 

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the “Safety” stars Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass (who impressively had roles in two of the three films with the best per-theater-averages this weekend). It follows three employees of a magazine as they investigate an ad that reads: Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.”

“Safety” will expand to 37 markets on the June 22nd and roughly 120 theatres.

“Lola Versus” (Fox Searchlight)
Not fairing so well in its second weekend was Fox Searchlight’s release of Daryl Wein’s romantic comedy “Lola Versus.” Starring Greta Gerwig as a woman dealing with life after a long term relationship ends, the film expanded from 4 to 52 screens and took in just $59,314.   That made for a weak $1,141 per-theater-average and a new total of $105,526.

“Dark Horse” (Brainstorm Media)
After having the best per-theater-average for a debuting film last weekend, Todd Solondz’s sixth feature film, “Dark Horse” dropped off steeply in its second frame.  Starring Selma Blair, Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Jordan Gelber, the film — which debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year — went from 1 to 2 screens but dropped 22% despite the new screen.  It grossed $10,500, averaging $5,250. The film is the first theatrical release for Brainstorm Media, and its total now stands at $30,800.

“Peace, Love and Misunderstanding” (IFC Films)
Despite the presence of Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener, IFC Films didn’t get particulalry good numbers out of the second weekend of “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding” (though its likely to be enjoying better results from its VOD release). The film jumped from 30 to 77 screens and managed a so-so $138,600 gross, averaging $1,800.  Its total now stands at $279,000.

“Moonrise Kingdom” (Focus Features)
Focus Features-released “Moonrise Kingdom” had the best per-theater-average for the fourth weekend in a row as the film expanded from 96 to 178 theaters and managed to place 9th in the overall box office (outgrossing “Battleship” and “The Dictator” despite playing on less than a fifth of their screens). The Wes Anderson-directed film grossed $2,181,000, averaging a potent $12,253.

“‘Moonrise’ had another strong weekend at the box office generating big numbers in the new markets; with many theaters in existing markets surpassing their box office yesterday from last Saturday,” Focus said in a statement.

The film’s new total is $6,779,000. It is having another expansion this upcoming Friday, and if it can continue the momentum of its first three weekends, Focus Features could be looking at a major indie breakout. At the very least, it should easily top $11.9 million Anderson’s last live action film, “The Darjeeling Limited,” grossed in 2007.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Fox Searchlight)
Also finding a place in the overall top 10 was John Madden’s older-audience skewing “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” In its seventh weekend, the film continued to also prove itself one of 2012’s true indie breakouts this weekend care of Fox Searchlight, crossing the $35 million mark.

On 1,184 screens (down 114 screens from last weekend), the film — which stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson as a group of seniors retiring in India — dropped just 32% to gross a fantastic $2,200,00 over the weekend. That gave it a $1,858 per-theater-average and put it in the overall top eight. The film’s total now stands at $35,133,000.

The film is by far the highest grossing indie of 2012, and a final gross north of $40 million assured. It’s already grossed well over $100 million worldwide (more on that here).

“The Intouchables” (The Weinstein Company)
Also doing well this weekend was Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s “The Intouchables,” which held steady in 77 theaters for its fourth frame.  It lost only 7% of its grosses as a result and took in an estimated $356,000, averaging $4,623. That helped it cross the $1.5 million mark,  giving it a new total of $1,552,000 as it heads into further expansion.

The film is already a massive hit overseas, taking in over $343 million — including $166 million in its native France alone.

“Hysteria” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Tanya Wexler’s Victorian-era romantic comedy (about the invention of the vibrator) went from 84 to 218 screens in its fifth weekend for Sony Pictures Classics (13 of the screens were in Canada, where it’s being released by E1). Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett, the film managed a respectable $310,000 gross over the weekend, averaging $1,422. Its total now stands at $1,085,000.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Indiewire tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the Indiewire Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at studiogrosses@rentrak.com by the end of the day each Monday.

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