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Indie Box Office Preview: Will Rob Zombie Score With ‘Lords of Salem’?

Indie Box Office Preview: Will Rob Zombie Score With 'Lords of Salem'?

Rob Zombie isn’t usually typical “specialty market fare,” with his last three features — “The Devil’s Rejects” and the two new “Halloween” films — each getting initial wide releases that led to sizable opening weekend grosses (the “Halloween” films took in $26 million and $16 million, respectively, in their first frames). But the director’s latest film — “The Lords of Salem” — is taking a less aggressive approach to its theatrical release that’s more in the vein of Zombie’s feature debut “House of 1,000 Corpses.” How might it fare? Check out our box office predictions for “Salem” and a few other
notable films opening in limited release today, as well as musings on
some major expansions. And then check back Sunday for our report on the
actual numbers.


“The Lords of Salem”
Director: Rob Zombie
Distributor: Anchor Bay
Theater Count: 354
Office Prediction: Rob Zombie’s last 3 films have all debuted on over 1,500 screens, but Anchor Bay is starting out his fifth and latest film on 354. It’s a similar strategy to Zombie’s first film “House of 10,000 Corpses” which was released on 595 screens almost exactly 10 years ago. It managed a stellar $3,460,666, averaging $5,816. With that average, “Salem” would gross just over $2 million, though that seems unlikely given interest doesn’t quite seem as high as for “Corpses.” More likely the film will respectably average around $3,000 for a gross just over $1 million.

“In The House”
Director: Francois Ozon
Distributor: Cohen Media Group
Theater Count: 3
Office Prediction: Two years after his “Potiche” became a minor foreign language hit, grossing $1.6 million, Francois Ozon is back in American theaters with his acclaimed “In The House,” which debuted at Toronto last fall. Cohen Media Group is releasing it in 3 theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and the film should manage a solid average of over $10,000. How it manages as it expands into smaller markets in coming weeks will be the bigger question, though.

Expansions To Watch:

“To The Wonder”
Director: Terrence Malick
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Week #: 2
Theater Count: 51
Change From Last Weekend: 33 new theaters
Office Prediction: Terrance Malick’s follow-up to “The Tree of Life” underwhelmed theatrically last weekend, averaging $6,856 from 17 theaters (compared to the $90,000+ average “Tree” managed in its opening frame — though that film wasn’t released day-and-date digitally, where “Wonder” performed quite well). The film is expanding to 51 theaters this weekend, and if it can hold on to half of its average ($3,400 or so), it will be a reasonable showing. That would amount to a weekend gross just under $200,000.

The Place Beyond The Pines
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Distributor: Focus Features
Week #: 4
Theater Count: 1,542
Change From Last Weekend: 1,028 new theaters
Office Prediction: After expanding to 514 theaters and ranking in the overall top 10 last weekend (with a fantastic $7,521 average), Focus Features is going wide with Derek Cianfrance’s “The Place Beyond The Pines.” Taking it to 1,542 screens, Focus has a good shot at “Pines” hitting the overall top 5. If it manages a $4,000 average, “Pines” will gross over $6 million for the weekend and take its overall haul to $13 million. That would position it to overtake “Quartet” as 2013’s highest grossing specialty film by the following weekend.

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