Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight) scored the best platform opening of the fall with an estimated $181,000 in four New York/Los Angeles theaters. The 1920s Ireland-set comedy slightly outpaced the recent good initial results for “TÁR” (Focus) early in this year’s seasonal upsurge in specialized releases.
Although the total gross so far is still only a small part of the weekend box office (about $4 million total among all specialized films), I dates are mostly limited or platform. Three of these are already in the 100-300 theater range, with all showing some strength and promise for more.
“Aftersun” (A24), with the year’s best Metacritic score of 96 (“Banshees” has an outstanding 90), also opened in four theaters in the same two cities. It doesn’t have the same directorial or actor presence, with few selling points other than the outstanding reviews. Its initial performance ($66,000, PTA of over $16,000) is a positive sign, even if not at the same level of gross.
With “TÁR” and “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon) in their third weeks, and “Till” (United Artists), “Decision to Leave” (MUBI) in their second all expanded with decent results. Their ultimate fate will be determined by wider breaks starting this weekend, but each has hit its respective marks so far.
“Triangle” had the top gross with its 280 theaters, more than any of the others. It sneaked into the Top Ten at #10 with $600,000/$2,143 PTA, already at $1.4 million. At this early stage, that is just below what Ruben Östlund’s earlier “Force Majeure” and “The Square” grossed domestically.
With fewer theaters, both “Till” and “TÁR” had higher PTAs ($3,627 and $3,333, respectively), which is typical when fewer locations divide the pie and smaller markets join earlier. “Till” went to 104 theaters and $376,000 total in its second weekend. Of note is a 16 percent increase over Friday, which is even more impressive since Friday included some Thursday sales from new theaters. That reaction could carry over to its rapid jump to around 2,000 theaters this Friday.
“TÁR,” now in its third weekend, grossed $470,000 in 141 theaters. In those playing both it and “Triangle” (a considerable overlap), Todd Field’s film is generally doing better. (The wider break for “Triangle” in some cases is a factor). Again, both should see their best numbers still ahead, and will provide a better sense of their success and a feel for how specialized is doing in this critical period.
“Decision to Leave,” the one non-English film in the group, had the best PTA ($6,176) in 48 theaters with a $296,000 gross. It’s early, but this appears to have a clear shot at being the best-grossing art house subtitled film this year.
In the broader independent/specialized world, “Terrifier 2” (Cinedigm/Iconic) continues to astound. The $250,000 budget horror film, originally intended mainly as a mid-week special event, is catching fire. With only a small increase in theaters (now 755), it grossed $1.9 million this weekend, with $5.2 million in. That’s a little under half of what the much wider release of “Amsterdam” has done with more ahead for “Terrifier.”
“All That Breathes” (Submarine Deluxe), considered a prime documentary awards contender, did a decent $8,177 at Film Forum as it begins a theatrical launch ahead of its HBO showing. That was best PTA among other additional openers this weekend.
Notable titles not reporting grosses this weekend include Netflix’s “The Descendant” (90 Metacritic score) and Amazon’s poorly reviewed “My Policeman.” Both are scheduled to make their streaming debuts soon.
Films are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week:
The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight) NEW – Metacritic: 90; Festivals include: Venice, Toronto 2022
$191,000 in 4 theaters; PTA: $45,250
Aftersun (A24) NEW – Metacritic: 96; Festivals include: Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, New York 2022
$66,355 in 4 theaters; PTA: $16,589
All That Breathes (Submarine Deluxe/Sideshow) NEW – Metacritic: 89; Festivals include: Sundance, Cannes, New York 2022
$8,177 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,177
The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW – Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: South by Southwest, Telluride, Toronto 2022
$9,358 in 4 theaters; PTA: $2,340
Brainwashed: Sex-Power-Camera (Kino Lorber) NEW – Metacritic: 61; Festivals include: Sundance, Berlin 2022
$8,032 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,032
Paul’s Promise (Atlas) NEW
$141,754 in 396 theaters; PTA: $358
The Divine Protector: Master Salt Begins (Freestyle) NEW
$12,952 in 9 theaters; PTA: $1,439
Till (United Artists) Week 2
$376,134 in 105 (+89) theaters; PTA: $3,617; Cumulative: $666,500
Decision to Leave (MUBI) Week 2
$296,436 in 48 (+45) theaters; PTA: $6,176; Cumulative: $437,116
Cat Daddies (Gray Hat) NEW – Festivals include: Heartland 2022
$9,250 in 3 (+2) theater; PTA: $3,083
TÁR (Focus) Week 3
$470,000 in 141 (+105) theaters; PTA: $3,300; Cumulative: $1,200,000
Triangle of Sadness (Neon) Week 3
$600,000 in 280 (+149) theaters; PTA: $2,143; Cumulative: $1,420,000
Terrifier 2 (Cinedigm/Iconic) Week 3
$1,895,000 in 755 (+55) theaters; PTA: $2,511; Cumulative: $5,256,000
The Good House (Roadside Attractions) Week 4
$30,235 in 124 (-261) theaters; Cumulative: $2,153,000
Pearl (A24) Week 6
$45,198 in 99 (-165) theaters; Cumulative: $9,364,000
See How They Run (Searchlight) Week 6
$115,000 in 280 (-245) theaters; Cumulative: $9,526,000
Moonage Daydream (Neon) Week 6
$41,000 in 86 (-112) theaters; Cumulative: $4,152,000
Running the Bases (UPU2) Week 6
$9,500 in 56 (-84) theaters; Cumulative: $1,474,000