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Specialty Box Office: Searchlight Has ‘Belle’ of the Box Office Ball; Focus Has a ‘Walk of Shame,’ Indeed

Specialty Box Office: Searchlight Has 'Belle' of the Box Office Ball; Focus Has a 'Walk of Shame,' Indeed

Here’s a rundown of the specialty box office this first weekend of May. It’s a new format for Indiewire’s weekly box office column — with debuts and holdovers both ranked separately in order of per-theater-average. This isn’t always necessarily the best variable for ranking (though no one thing is with limited releases), but we’ll try and explain whenever something did better or worse than its ranking suggests in the “winner” and “loser” of the weekend designations for each chart. Happy Sundays!

The Debuts:

Debut Winner of the Weekend:Belle.” Amma Asante’s well-reviewed
film is off to a very promising start. It’s been a slow year, with only
3 other films — “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Under The Skin” and
Fading Gigolo”  — managing to average over $25,000 in their first
weekends. “Belle” — a 1800s set costume drama without the star power of
those four films — is definitely the least marketable film to join
them in that club, so props to Fox Searchlight for their efforts. How it
holds up in the coming weeks will be more telling (it will be in 50-60
theaters next weekend), but in this regard “Belle” is by far the big
winner among this weekend’s debuts. Solid runner-up status definitely
goes to “Ida,” which ranked behind only “The Raid 2” and “Gloria” in
terms of foreign language limited debuts this year.

Debut Loser of the Weekend: 
“Walk of Shame.” Passed over to Focus from FilmDistrict, extremely
negative reviews definitely didn’t help the comedy, and apparently
neither did the usually enjoyable presence of Elizabeth Banks and James
Marsden. Its $745 average was shameful even with the low expectations,
and doesn’t bode well for whatever expansion it can manage in the coming

This Weekend’s Debuts:

1. Belle (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $104,493
Theaters: 4
Per-Theater-Average: $26,123
Total Gross: $104,493

2. Ida (Music Box)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $50,000
Theaters: 3
Per-Theater-Average: $16,667
Total Gross: $50,000

3. NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage (Spacey)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $21,500
Theaters: 3
Per-Theater-Average: $7,167
Total Gross: $21,500

4. Documented (Define American)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $6,100
Theaters: 1
Per-Theater-Average: $6,100
Total Gross: $6,100

5. For a Woman (Film Movement)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $5,950
Theaters: 2
Per-Theater-Average: $2,975
Total Gross: $5,950

6. We Always Lie To Strangers (self-released)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $4,017
Theaters: 2 (though notably in Branson and Columbia, Missouri and only for a handful of screenings.
Per-Theater-Average: $2,009
Total Gross: $4,017

7. Decoding Annie Parker (eOne)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $14,688
Theaters: 13
Per-Theater-Average: $1,128
Total Gross: $14,668

8. Walk of Shame (Focus World)
Week: 1
Weekend Gross: $38,000
Theaters: 51
Per-Theater-Average: $745
Total Gross: $38,000

Head over to the next page for a rundown of holdover grosses…

The Holdovers:

Holdover Winner of the Weekend: All of these films can probably
give distributors a reason to celebrate in one way or another, but
arguably the biggest winner this time around is “Fading Gigolo,” which
had a very successful expansion to 100+ theaters, jumping 69% and
holding onto an average north of $4,600. The John Turturro-directed film
(with a rare acting appearance by Woody Allen in a non-Woody Allen
directed film) is already the third highest grossing film in the three
year history of Millennium Entertainment.

Holdover Loser of the Weekend: 
We’ll refrain of officially designating any of these films a “loser,”
though the second weekend grosses of “Blue Ruin” — notably a big hit on
VOD — aren’t worthy of “winner” status either.

Notable Milestones:

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” hit $50 million and is $1 million away from becoming Wes Anderson’s highest grossing film ever.
  • “The Lunchbox” became the first foreign language release of 2014 to hit $3 million.
  • “Fading Gigolo” hit $1 million, as noted its one of only 4 Millennium Entertainment films to do so.
  • Outside the top 10, “Le Week-End” crossed the $2 million mark and “Enemy” hit $1 million.

The Holdover Top 10:

1. Locke (A24)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $140,000
Theaters: 25 (up from 4)
Per-Theater-Average: $5,600
Total Gross: $253,000

2. Fading Gigolo (Millennium Entertainment)
Week: 3
Weekend Gross: $507,637
Theaters: 110 (up from 37)
Per-Theater-Average: $4,615
Total Gross: $1,149,712

3. Only Lovers Left Alive (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $243,000
Theaters: 67 (up from 53)
Per-Theater-Average: $3,627
Total Gross: $836,000

4. The Railway Man (The Weinstein Company)
Week: 4
Weekend Gross: $508,000
Theaters: 164 (up from 156)
Per-Theater-Average: $3,098
Total Gross: $1,635,000

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight)
Week: 9
Weekend Gross: $1,735,000
Theaters: 884 (down from 1,021)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,963
Total Gross: $51,606,000

6. The Lunchbox (Sony Pictures Classics)
Week: 10
Weekend Gross: $282,000
Theaters: 149 (down from 165)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,893
Total Gross: $3,101,000

7. Finding Vivian Maier (Sundance Selects)
Week: 6
Weekend Gross: $144,000
Theaters: 80 (up from 60)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,800
Total Gross: $915,000

8. Under The Skin (A24)
Week: 5
Weekend Gross: $173,000
Theaters: 125 (down from 158)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,384
Total Gross: $1,844,000

9. Blue Ruin (RADiUS-TWC)
Week: 2
Weekend Gross: $73,300
Theaters: 60 (up from 7)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,222
Total Gross: $121,200

10. On My Way (Cohen Media Group)
Week: 8
Weekend Gross: $$10,100
Theaters: 9 (up from 5)
Per-Theater-Average: $1,122
Total Gross: $295,100

Peter Knegt is a regular contributor to Indiewire and their box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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