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The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2021 (A Running List)

Refreshed weekly, here's a chart of the year's twenty highest-grossing theatrically released films.

Frances McDormand stars in “Nomadland”

Searchlight

The below list only includes domestic (U.S. and Canada only, unless otherwise indicated) grosses for specialty films — which we define to include independent, foreign (including Bollywood films), and/or documentary films — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2021 AND/OR were acquired or produced for 2021 distribution by an independent distributor (including but not limited to STX Films, Annapurna, United Artists Releasing, A24, Entertainment Studios, IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, Lionsgate, Open Road, and Bleecker Street) or a studio or its specialty division (including Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, and Focus Features).

Given the rapidly changing state of the box office world (and its attendant reporting), this list only includes movies that have opened in theaters during 2021, including brick and mortar businesses and drive-ins. For more information on streaming and VOD box office takes, please check out our weekly updates in those markets right here.

When provided, this list also includes budgets for each film. Last year’s list can be found here.

Grosses include all reported grosses (via BoxOfficeMojo) up to February 23, 2021. This chart is updated every Tuesday afternoon.

1. “The Marksman”
Distributor: Open Road Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 15
Opening Theater Count: 1,975
Opening Average: $1,571
Current Gross: $11,457,055

2. “Land”
Distributor: Focus Features
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 1,231
Opening Average: $763
Current Gross: $1,626,215

3. “Our Friend”
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 22
Opening Theater Count: 543
Opening Average: $442
Current Gross: $653,219

4. “Nomadland”
Distributor: Searchlight Pictures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 19
Opening Theater Count: 1,175
Opening Average: $428
Current Gross: $503,000

5. “The Mauritanian”
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 245
Opening Average: $665
Current Gross: $351,624

Colin Firth Stanley Tucci gay

“Supernova”

Bleecker Street

6. “Supernova”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 29
Opening Theater Count: 330
Opening Average: $283
Current Gross: $233,532

7. “Willy’s Wonderland”
Distributor: Screen Media
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 123
Opening Average: $772
Current Gross: $211,070

8. “Earwig and the Witch”
Distributor: GKIDS
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 3
Opening Theater Count: 430
Opening Average: $46
Current Gross: $168,079

9. “No Man’s Land”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 22
Opening Theater Count: 254
Opening Average: $232
Current Gross: $136,040

10. “The Reckoning”
Distributor: RLJE Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 175
Opening Average: $370
Current Gross: $134,802

The World to Come

“The World to Come”

Bleecker Street

11. “The World to Come”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 278
Opening Average: $153
Current Gross: $90,417

12. “Blithe Spirit”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 19
Opening Theater Count: 239
Opening Average: $370
Current Gross: $88,559

13. “Psycho Goreman”
Distributor: RLJE Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: Januar 22
Opening Theater Count: 45
Opening Average: $897
Current Gross: $86,235

14. “MLK/FBI”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 15
Opening Theater Count: 120
Opening Average: $180
Current Gross: $45,200

15. “Dara of Jasenovac”
Distributor: 101 Studios
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 12
Opening Average: $1,392
Current Gross: $42,320

16. “Some Kind of Heaven”
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 8
Opening Theater Count: 54
Opening Average: $181
Current Gross: $40,601

“Shadow in the Cloud”

TIFF

17. “Shadow in the Cloud”
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 1
Opening Theater Count: 75
Opening Average: $533
Current Gross: $40,000

18. “Little Fish”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 84
Opening Average: $256
Current Gross: $36,752

19. “Bloody Hell”
Distributor: Entertainment Squad
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 14
Opening Theater Count: 21
Opening Average: $625
Current Gross: $28,037

20. “The Night”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 29
Opening Theater Count: 33
Opening Average: $333
Current Gross: $26,066

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