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‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ Leads Openers as Specialty Summer 2018 Soars

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" is by far the highest-grossing specialty documentary in over a decade, and the best ever for a biodoc.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Happy days continue at the specialty box office. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (FilmRise) is yet another Sundance debut to open well in limited release, in New York.

And several strong summer performers keep chugging along in wider release: “Eighth Grade” (A24) and “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon) lead the holdovers this week. Both could wind up with ultimate totals over $10 million.

Opening

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise) – Metacritic: 69; Festivals include: Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle 2018

$53,000 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $26,500

The biggest opening in the history of FilmRise (by a large margin), this Sundance drama stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a teen sent to gay conversion camp by her religious parents after being caught with another girl. This opened initially in two Manhattan locations, with Moretz boosting interest with Q&A sessions at the theaters. This drama joins non-documentary specialized releases “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” and “Leave No Trace” with strong initial response, unlike many that have fallen short this year. And it is another than seems to be boosted by its focus on female characters.

What comes next: Seven new cities open this Friday.

Maia Mitchell and Cami Morrone appear in Never Goin' Back by Augustine Frizzell, an official selection of the Midnight program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Clay Grier. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Never Goin’ Back”

Sundance

Never Goin’ Back (A24) – Metacritic: 61; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest 2018

$10,044 in 2 theaters; PTA: $5,022

Two young Texas waitresses break loose and join forces for a road trip in Augustine Frizzel’s debut feature which scored a coveted A24 acquisition at Sundance. The movie landed good theater placement in New York and Los Angeles, but not a strong initial result.

What comes next: A specialized location expansion starts this Friday.

“Puzzle”

Week Two

Puzzle (Sony Pictures Classics)

$128,598 in 16 theaters (+11); PTA: $8,037; Cumulative: $225,936

Kelly McDonald plays a home-bound suburban wife who becomes obsessed with jigsaw puzzles and opens up socially, engaging romantically with her puzzle partner (Irrfan Khan) in this drama, which expanded to top cities with a gross above most of SPC’s recent releases.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (Greenwich)

$43,259 in 5 theaters (+4); PTA: $8,652; Cumulative: $80,234

This documentary about the lesser known activities of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars came to New York and added some Los Angeles theaters after its very strong initial opening. The IFC Center did a $24,000 initial exclusive gross, in the range of the Arclight Hollywood last weekend. Chicago and San Francisco open this Friday.

The Captain (Music Box)  1-13

$6,016 in 2 theaters (+1); PTA: $3,013; Cumulative: $18,829

This German WWII faked identity escape story added Chicago in its second week to its initial New York exclusive to minor results. Music Box has this set for multiple big city dates ahead, including Los Angeles among new ones this Friday.

Elsie Fisher appears in I Think We're Alone Now</i> by Reed Morano, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Eighth Grade”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)

Eighth Grade (A24) – Week 4

$2,870,000 in 1,084 theaters (+926); Cumulative: $6,581,000

The quick and quite wide national break for this middle school girl’s awkward coming-of-age story showed strong results in some locations. A24 has released several broader hits (led by the recent “Hereditary,” at $44 million their biggest yet). “Eighth Grade” by rough comparison at a similar stage is doing about two-thirds as well as their “Ex Machina,” which ended up over $25 million.

Three Identical Strangers (Neon) – Week 6

$1,054,000 in 405 theaters (-28); Cumulative: $8,480,000

An excellent hold (down a little over ten percent) for this audience-grabbing documentary will easily top $10 million and might even reach the amazing “RBG” ultimate total (around $14 million).

Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) – Week 5

$810,000 in 404 theaters (-398); Cumulative: $14,917,000

Boots Riley’s acclaimed genre-bender shed about half of its theaters. But those remaining lifted the per theater average to about $2,000, better than last weekend. That should keep this afloat at most of the better performing theaters, as this successful Sundance release heads to an ultimate gross likely in the $17-18 million range.

Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal appea in <i>Blindspotting</i> by Carlos López Estrada, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Blindspotting”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Blindspotting (Lionsgate) – Week 3

$660,000 in 523 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $3,172,000

With the same theater count as last weekend, on its first wider national break, this Oakland story of young men struggling to stay on the good side of the law dropped 48 per cent. This is likely not enough to sustain an extended run at most theaters.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus) – Week 9

$495,000 in 284 theaters (-180); Cumulative: $21,032,000

The per-theater average actually went up this weekend in the late stages of the spectacular run of the Fred Rogers documentary. Documentaries have become a dominant force in specialized films, and whatever the ultimate gross here, its figure (which should get at least $2 million higher) is by far the best among them over the past four years, the best from the specialized world in over a decade, and the best ever for a biodoc.

Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) – Week 6

$266,701 in 169 theaters (-120); Cumulative: $5,194,000

Debra Granik’s first film since her Oscar nominated “Winter’s Bone” in 2010 is one of the few specialized dramas currently breaking out beyond the recent $3 million maximum beyond which it seems tough to reach. “Bone” adjusted (also a summer release, with its awards run after it had left theaters) reached (adjusted) about $8 million. This should approach $6 million, which in today’s environment makes it perhaps a more impressive achievement.

"McQueen"

“McQueen”

Ann Ray

McQueen (Bleecker Street) – Week 3

$181,664 in 34 theaters (+29); Cumulative: $491,073

In the subset of documentaries about fashion world icons, “McQueen” (that’s Alexander, not either of the Steves) in its third week is doing well and at a level above recent ones about Dior and Diana Vreeland, but not quite as well as “The September Issue” (focusing on Anna Wintour). This looks headed for a potential gross between their levels, perhaps around $2 million or more.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon) – Week 4

$147,972 in 177 theaters (-89); Cumulative: $1,209,000

Gus Van Sant’s latest (Portland-set) film is struggling to find a sizable audience. Even with Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill among those in the cast, this will end up no better than $2 million.

RBG (Magnolia) – Week 14

$(est.) 105,000 in 57 theaters (-46); Cumulative: $13,580,000

This huge success refuses to go quietly into the night, just like its subject.

The Cakemaker (Strand) – Week 6

$(est.) 56,000 in 31 theaters (-3); Cumulative: $(est.) 577,000

This Israeli drama about disparate worlds interacting in Israel continues to add to its gross and become one of the rare subtitled specialized films this year to gain traction.

Also noted:

Far from the Tree (IFC) – $26,664 in 13 theaters; Cumulative: $72,876

Dark Money (PBS) – $26,525 in 15 theaters; Cumulative: $94,148

Whitney (Roadside Attractions) – $19,500 in 27 theaters; Cumulative: $2,947,000

The King (Oscilloscope) – $16,525 in 27 theaters; Cumulative: $236,550

Hearts Beat Loud (The Orchard) – $14,132 in 33 theaters; Cumulative: $2,355,000

Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti (Cohen) – $13,793 in 7 theaters; Cumulative: $164,214

1945 (Menemsha) – $12,074 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $802,087

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