“Museo” (Vitagraph) led a slew of new specialized releases this week. The Mexican heist film starring Gael Garcia Bernal topped all other fresh titles. The fall season is already taking off with an astonishing 40 films opening theatrically this weekend, including at least six Sundance 2018 titles, two of which just played the Toronto International Film Festival.
And to confuse audiences even more, even more movies were available on home-viewing platforms as well as theaters, from the Nicolas Cage cult film “Mandy” to three films directed by established female directors. Netflix opened Nicole Holofcener’s suburban drama “The Land of Steady Habits” and Ricki Sundberg and Anne Sundberg’s timely documentary “Reversing Roe” on Friday after their TIFF premieres; and Amma Asante followed two Fox Searchlight releases (“Belle,” “A United Kingdom”) with controversial Nazi Germany romance thriller “Where Hands Touch” (Vertical), which played in over 100 theaters with an estimated gross of under $70,000.
Dwarfing any release in recent weeks is “The Wife” (Sony Pictures Classics). The Glenn Close-starring film is doing very well with its targeted adult audience. The strategy of getting out ahead of this year’s festival hits is working very well, aided by strong word of mouth.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Museo (Vitagraph) – Metacritic: 87; Festivals include: Berlin, Toronto 2018
$17,500 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater allowance): $17,500
Gael Garcia Bernal heads the cast of this Mexico City museum heist thriller, which scored rave reviews to boost its initial exclusive opening at New York’s Angelika Theater, marking a considerably above average gross for a specialized subtitled film. This is a YouTube Original film with a simultanenous theatrical release.
What comes next: South Florida, Washington, and Los Angeles open over the next two weeks.
Lizzie (Roadside Attractions) – Metacritic: 61; Festivals include: Sundance 2018
$49,895 in 4 theaters; PTA: $12,473
Developed by Chloe Sevigne as a starring vehicle for herself, this indie also lured Kristen Stewart in a gender fluid co-starring role in this retelling of the Lizzie Borden legend. The low-budget movie found some interest in four initial New York/Los Angeles theaters with mixed reviews.
What comes next: This has a quick national expansion to around 250 theaters this Friday.
Science Fair (National Geographic) – Metacritic: 71; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest 2018
$12,250 in 1 theater; PTA: $12,250
This Sundance documentary about students from around the world showing their discoveries won the Audience Award. It debuted exclusively in Manhattan with a decent initial result.
What comes next: Los Angeles opens this Friday ahead of further nationwide dates ahead.
The Dawn Wall (The Orchard) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: South by Southwest 2018
$21,658 in 2 theaters; PTA: $10,829
In advance of its one night Fathom Event showing on Wednesday, this documentary about an attempt to scale a 3,000 foot sheer wall at Yosemite opened in New York and Los Angeles for reviews and awards qualification. As often happens, the rock climbing audience responded initially with decent results for these week-long dates.
What comes next: The Tuesday shows are the main event.
Mandy (RLJ) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Sundance, Cannes 2018; also available on home platforms
$(est.) 175,000 in 89 theaters; PTA: $(est.) 1,966
Parallel to its home venue release, this critically hailed revenge thriller features perhaps the ultimate Nicolas Cage over-the-top performance. Considering its limited release and streaming availability, these numbers are not bad.
What comes next: Mostly home viewing.
Bel Canto (Screen Media) – Metacritic: 52
$14,036 in 2 theaters; PTA: $7,018
Given star Julianne Moore and name-brand director Paul Weisz (“About a Boy,” “Little Fockers”) this adaptation of Ann Patchett’s bestseller would seem to be a higher profile movie, but met negative reviews. Recreating a South American embassy hostage crisis (Moore plays a singer hired for a private concert), this eschewed festival showings and opened at two New York and Los Angeles theaters. Its distributor usually handles day and date video on demand releases, which suggests this is headed for a limited theatrical life.
What comes next: ITunes lists this as available next Friday.
Hale County, This Morning, This Evening (Cinema Guild) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Sundance, New Directors/New Films 2018
$9,914 in 2 theaters; PTA: $4,457
This documentary, shot in the same part of black Alabama covered by Walker Evans’ photos and James Agee’s later writing, opened in two New York theaters to strong reviews and some modest initial interest.
What comes next: Los Angeles opens this Friday.
courtesy of TiFF
The Children Act (A24) – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Toronto 2017, Seattle 2018; also available on Video on Demand
$20,362 in 3 theaters; PTA: $6,787
A year after its Toronto premiere, this British drama comes with significant pedigree. Based on an Ian McEwan novel and directed by Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”), the story centers on Emma Thompson as a complacent English judge who is surprised by complications in her marriage to Stanley Tucci. This opened in four U.S. theaters plus additional screens in Canada (estimated $80,000). The U.S. gross comes parallel to domestic Video on Demand availability.
What comes next: This could have some niche theatrical interest ahead, but home viewing will be its main venue.
The Public Image Is Rotten (Abramorama) – Metacritic: 66; Festivals include: Tribeca 2017
$8,485 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,485
John Lydon (better know from his Sex Pistols name John Rotten) has had a major presence after his best known band. This documentary about him opened to decent initial results in New York.
What comes next: This will open in big cities, including some calendar and similar event dates this week.
American Chaos (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 53; Festivals include: Montclair 2018
$7,963 in 26 theaters; PTA: $306
A documentary filmed in the states won by Donald Trump in the weeks leading up to the election opened nationally to an average of only around ten customers per theater.
What comes next: Not likely to go much further.
Kusama – Infinity (Magnolia) 2-49
$(est.) 45,000 in 10 theaters (+8); PTA: $(est.) 4,500; Cumulative: $(est.) 94,000
The second-week expansion for this documentary on a legendary Japanese artist showed continued interest in her work after its strong initial week.
Bisbee ’17 (Fourth Row)
$25,150 in 8 theaters (+7); PTA: $3,144; Cumulative: $35,718
This documentary about labor strife a century ago in Arizona mining country added theaters across that state this week after its New York opening to respectable results for this unusual early release. Other top cities start opening this week.
Hal (Oscilloscope) 1-8
$12,150 in 1 (no change) theater; PTA: $12,150; Cumulative: $20,369
A Los Angeles exclusive at Landmark’s Nuart had a strong result after its one week initial Manhattan date. Director Hal Ashby’s legacy clearly resonates among cinephiles. This will expand to other top markets in upcoming weeks.
Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5
$1,228,000 in 541 theaters (+388); Cumulative: $3,536,000
This marital drama starring Oscar contender Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce as her Nobel Prize-winner husband continues its expansion. So far the movie is pulling ahead of nearly all of SPC’s recent films. This looks to have significant further business ahead.
Courtesy of Sundance Institute, photo by Alex Bailey.
Juliet, Naked (Roadside Attractions) Week 5
$288,483 in 265 theaters (-202); Cumulative: $3,020,000
This adaptation of Nick Hornsby’s music world romantic triangle is winding down after a wide national break that achieved modest results.
The Bookshop (Greenwich) Week 4
$185,361 in 131 theaters (+7); Cumulative: $1,121,000
Isabel Coixet’s English seacoast-set period piece, the fifth release from new distributor Greenwich Entertainment, has become their first to pass the $1 million mark.
Three Identical Strangers (Neon) Week 12
$106,886 in 95 theaters (-37); Cumulative: $12,090,000
There’s continued interest for this breakout documentary about separated triplets nearly three months after its release.
Eighth Grade (A24) Week 10
$88,000 in 101 theaters (-75); Cumulative: $13,428,000
Late in its run, Bo Burnham’s acclaimed middle school drama is still finding additional viewers.
Pick of the Litter (IFC) Week 3; also available on Video on Demand
$85,473 in 33 theaters (+23); Cumulative: $172,823
The training of service dogs is clearly an appealing topic. This documentary, while also on home viewing platforms, is doing decent business as it expands in theaters.
Blaze (IFC) Week 5
$73,381 in 34 theaters (-2); Cumulative: $349,508
Ethan Hawke’s biopic of a cult Austin-based performer added Los Angeles to its circuitous release pattern (initially mostly in Texas) with continued positive reviews.
Puzzle (Sony Pictures Classics) – $39,205 in 60 theaters; Cumulative: $1,889,000
Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) – $34,467 in 76 theaters; Cumulative: $6,046,000
We the Animals (The Orchard) – $28,805 in 48 theaters; Cumulative: $339,012
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise) – $16,750 in 20 theaters; Cumulative: $881,849