Jonathan Glazer’s first film in 10 years, “Under The Skin,” found 2014’s second best limited debut this weekend. 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 $140,000 from just 4 theaters. That amounted to a $35,000 per-theater-average, the year’s highest after “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
That sure helped make a big weekend for Scarlett Johannson. The actress starred in the weekend’s best debuts for both an indie and a studio film, as her work in “Captain America: The First Soldier” soared to a massive $90 million+. “America” averaged north of $23,000 per its 3,938 theaters, which also meant Johannson starred in the films with the weekend’s two best per-theater-averages.
Not fairing quite so well was Jude Law, whose black comedy about a safecracker “Dom Hemingway” failed to rack up much business. Released by Fox Searchlight on 4 theaters, the film grossed just $32,000 for a $8,000 per-theater-average.
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 very strong. Adding 286 theaters to hit 1,263, “Hotel” ranked in the overall top 5 for the first time, grossing $6,300,000 for a $4,988 average. That brought the film’s total to $33,380,427 after 5 weeks and still gives it a very good shot at topping the $52,364,010 that “The Royal Tenenbaums” grossed in 2001 to become Wes Anderson’s highest grossing film ever.
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Notably also debuting in theaters this weekend the second volume of Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac.” In 29 theaters, the Magnolia Pictures-released film — which had been available on VOD for weeks (clearly affecting its theatrical numbers) — grossed an unimpressive $78,000 for a $2,690 average. The first volume averaged over twice that when it opened last month, and took in another $105,300 this weekend from 62 theaters, averaging $1,698. Clearly the films’ real test has been on VOD — though those numbers have yet to be released.
A quartet of documentaries also opened with RADiUS-TWC’s “The Unknown Known,” eOne’s “Watermark,” Visit Films’ “Flex is Kings,” and Zeitgeist’s “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden.” “Unknown” took in $64,892 from 18 theaters for a $3,605 average; “Watermark” grossed $8,012 from 2 theaters for a $4,006 PTA; And “Galapagos” and “Flex” made $5,850 and $3,200, respectively, from single theaters.
And finally, the bizarrely delayed release of Geoffrey Sax’s Halle Berry dissociative identity disorder drama “Frankie & Alice” met 171 theaters this weekend to a non-disastrous gross of $350,000, averaging $2,047. The bizarre part comes with the fact that Berry was nominated for a Golden Globe for the film in 2010 from a qualifying run. Over three years later, its finally hitting theaters via Codeblack/Lionsgate, who took the shelved film from Freestyle (who had taken care of that qualifying run way back when). All’s not exactly well that ends well so far, but it could have been a lot worse.