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All the Fine Young Cannibals, a Gay Marine, and an Ass Score at Box Office

"The Inspection" and "EO" do well in initial platform runs as a slower specialized market awaits two key expansions Wednesday.

Bones and All

“Bones and All”


The Fabelmans” (Universal) and “Bones and All” (United Artists), two very different films playing platform runs in New York and Los Angeles, will  go wider this Wednesday after respectable debuts.

Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal love story costarring Timothée Chalamet opened at five theaters with about $120,000 (per theater,  $23,985), drawing an overwhelmingly under-35 audience as anticipated. This tricky-sell story got the start UA expected.

This is a tough title for comparisons, but it does have some overlap with A24 genre titles. Most recently, it opened “Bodies Bodies Bodies” to $226,000 in six theaters last August ($38,000 per) with a more conventional horror audience appeal.

This expands to over 2,500 theaters Wednesday. Whatever the results, this will likely find post-theatrical interest.

Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman in The Fabelmans, co-written, produced and directed by Steven Spielberg.

“The Fabelmans”

Merie Weismiller Wallace / courtesy of Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” (Universal), with hopes for strong word of mouth to propel it, dropped about 40 percent its second weekend at its initial four theaters (all also played “Bones”). These days, distributors count on these platforms to at least elevate attention ahead of wider play. This is going more slowly than “Bones,” with around 600 upscale-area theaters added Wednesday, suggesting Universal expects long-term word of mouth. The film continues to face the difficulty of getting older audiences out of their homes, particularly with the ongoing expectation of PVOD (reinforced by films like Ficus Features’ “TÁR”).

The precedent for this is Universal’s “Green Book.” Though a bit wider at both initial stages, it expanded to 1,063 theaters over Thanksgiving, grossing $7.9 million for the five-day holiday. It of course went on to Oscar glory as well as an $85 million domestic gross.

The Inspection

“The Inspection”


Two other releases stood out among new platform films. “The Inspection” (A24), about the experiences of a gay Black man when he joins the Marines, took in $65,000 in five New York/Los Angeles locations. It moves quickly to 30 markets this week.

Master director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Cannes award winner “EO,” featuring an enigmatic donkey, had a decent $24,000 gross at two New York theaters. This film is likely to get longer-term acclaim (including awards consideration) as it slowly rolls out, with the next opening December 2 in Los Angeles.

Once again, “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight) is having the most success, though still far below pre-Covid standards. It added $703,000, now at just under $7.2 million. Assuming it can hold most of its better-grossing theaters, this could still get above $10 million. Director Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” though with a wider break and the benefit of Thanksgiving play, had taken in $18 million on its way to $54 million.

Films opening that haven’t yet reported include “Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter” (Greenwich), and “Bad Axe” (IFC, also on VOD). Netflix is keeping quiet about response there was for its multi-hundred theater break for Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio.”

Films are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week:

Bones and All (United Artists) NEW – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: Venice, Telluride 2022

$119,916 in 5 theaters; PTA: $23,985

EO (Sideshow/Janus) NEW – Metacritic: 80; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2022

$24,000 in 2 theaters; PTA: $12,000

The Inspection (A24) NEW – Metacritic: 75; Festivals include: Toronto, New York 2022

$65,942 in 5 theaters; PTA: $13,188

Only in Theaters (Wishing Well/Film Collaborative) NEW – Festivals include: Santa Barbara 2022

$6,092 in theaters; PTA: $6,092

Memories of My Father (Cohen) NEW – Metacritic: 60; Festivals include: San Sebastian 2020

$5,512 in 2 theaters; PTA: $2,756

The Fabelmans (Universal) Week 2

$94,000 in 4 (no change) theaters; PTA: $23,500; Cumulative: $314,000

Meet Me in the Bathroom (Utopia) – Week 3

$19,464 in 23 (+3) theaters; Cumulative: $274,204

Armageddon Time (Focus) Week 4

$51,000 in 169 (-816) theaters; Cumulative: $1,837,000

Holy Spider (Utopia) Week 4

$20,080 in 12 (+4) theaters; Cumulative: $96,738

The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight) Week 5

$703,000 in 812 (-148) theaters; Cumulative: $7,167,000

Aftersun (A24) Week 5

$75,528 in 97 (+5) theaters; Cumulative: $689,183

All That Breathes (Submarine Deluxe/Sideshow) Week 5   3

$9,078 in 5 (+2) theaters; Cumulative: $43,467

Till (United Artists)  Week 6

$217,558 in  656 (-702) theaters; Cumulative: $8,547,000

Decision to Leave (MUBI) Week 5

$(est.) 90,000 in 96 (+20) theaters; Cumulative: $(est.) 1,770,000

TÁR (Focus) Week 7; also on PVOD

$164,000 in 205 (-154) theaters; Cumulative: $4,900,000

Triangle of Sadness (Neon) Week 7

$170,000 in 128 (-175) theaters; Cumulative: $3,816,000




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