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Specialty Box Office: ‘Locke’ Leads Newcomers; ‘The Lunchbox’ Becomes 2014’s Top Foreign Film

Specialty Box Office: 'Locke' Leads Newcomers; 'The Lunchbox' Becomes 2014's Top Foreign Film

Steven Knight’s “Locke” locked in a promising debut this weekend, taking in $89,210 from 4 theaters for a strong $22,303 average. The A24 released film follows Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy in an essential one man show), who receives a
phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets
in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated
existence. The film will platform into the top 50 markets and beyond in the coming weeks.

A quartet of other films debuted to varying degrees of success (or lack thereof).  IDP/Samuel Goldwyn’s release of Lucía Puenzo’s “The German Doctor” was best in show among them, taking in $35,013 from 5 theaters for a decent $7,003 average.  The film — which was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and Argentina’s entry into the Academy Awards — will expand into major cities throughout May.

RADiUS-TWC released another Cannes alum, Jeremy Saulnier’s well-reviewed thriller “Blue Ruin,” in 7 theaters. The result was a so-so $31,832, averaging $4,547 — but the film did exceptionally well on VOD, reaching #11 on iTunes (topping “Gravity” and “Anchorman 2,” no less).

“This is a real Cinderella story and I expect it to be the first of many
hits to come for the brilliant Jeremy Saulnier and Macon Blair,” Tom
Quinn, Co-President of RADiUS-TWC said.

Also opening were Charlie Paul’s Ralph Steadman doc “For No Good Reason” and Francois Ozon’s French import “Young and Beautiful.” The former took in $5,014 from 2 theaters, and the latter $4,600 from one — both disappointing numbers.

As far as holdovers went, John Turturro’s “Fading Gigolo” continued to bring some very good news to distributor Millennium Entertainment. The film — which stars Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber — expanded from 5 to 37 theaters and jumped 78%, grossing $322,620 to average $8,719. The film’s total now stands at $567,113.

Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” also held on nicely. The story of Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), two retro cool vampires, “Only Lovers” expanded from 17 to 53 theaters in weekend three to take in $216,450 and average $4,084. That took the Sony Pictures Classics-released film’s total to $516,471, with the $1 million mark a sure bet for the next week or so.

The Weinstein Company was more aggressive with the third weekend of their film “The Railway Man.” The film went from 26 to 156 theaters, taking in $606,000 as a result (for a $3,885 average). Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, the film stars Colin Firth as a man suffering from psychological trauma after being captured by the Japanese during World War II. With the help of his wife (Nicole Kidman), he decided to find and confront one of his captors.  The film’s total now stands at $922,839.

Roadside Attractions saw David Gordon Green’s “Joe” drop 48% as it went from 48 to 41 theaters.   Starring Nicolas Cage as an ex-con who develops a relationship with a 15-year-old boy, the film grossed $38,750, averaging just $945.  Its total stands at $298,787.

In its fourth weekend, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skindropped 18 theaters to 158. The A24-released film — which stars Scarlett Johannson as an alien roaming around Scotland preying on men found its way under the skin of enough filmgoers to gross another $263,845 as a result, a 38% drop from last weekend. That amounted to a $1,670 per-theater-average and a new total of $1,522,265.

 Jude Law-led black comedy  “Dom Hemingway” failed to rack up much business in its fourth frame. Released by Fox Searchlight on 119 theaters (down from 129), the film grossed just $67,000 for a $563 per-theater-average.  Its total stands at $437,568 and it seems unlikely the film will hit $1 million.

But both Law and Fox Searchlight can take serious solace in the fact that their previous collaboration, Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” was still going strong. Despite dropping 259 theaters (to 1,021), the film lost only 28% of its audience, taking in another $2,475,000 for a $2,424 average. That brought the film’s total to $48,818,981 after 8 weeks and puts it a week or two away from topping the $52,364,010 that “The Royal Tenenbaums” grossed in 2001 to become Wes Anderson’s highest grossing film ever.

Two other films well into their releases that continued to do exceptional business were Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Lunchbox” and Sundance Selects’ “Finding Vivian Maier.” The former — in its 9th weekend of release — dropped just 3% as it took in another $339,198 from 165 theaters.  That gave the Indian import a very strong $2,056 average as it totaled $2,713,093. It has now topped “The Raid 2” and “Gloria” as 2014’s highest grossing foreign language release, and at this rate should easily be adding another $1 million or two to its already nice total.

“Maier,” meanwhile, went to 58 theaters in its 5th weekend and took in another $133,400, averaging $2,300. The doc has now hit $673,500 as it continues to roll out into more markets over the next month. It should easily end up joining “Tim’s Vermeer” in the small club of 2014 docs to hit $1 million.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Writer and box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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