After two weeks of unimpressive specialty openers, Focus FeaturesMoonrise Kingdom has taken the specialty box office by storm, shattering records over Memorial weekend. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film opened the Cannes Film Festival and then hit theaters in the States, setting a new record for a live-action feature in a regular theatrical run, surpassing Dreamgirls‘ stunning $126K per theater average debut in three theaters back in 2006. Moonrise Kingdom averaged a whopping $130,752 at four locations and an overall four-day $669K gross. Focus, which holds worldwide rights, will take the movie to additional cities in the U.S. each weekend through June, expanding Moonrise Kingdom to several hundred screens. “Moonrise is a story of love’s improbable triumph, and for Wes Anderson and his team a labor of love from start to finish,” said Focus CEO James Schamus. “How wonderful it is to congratulate him, on behalf of everyone at Focus, for this remarkable, record-breaking opening.”

Also opening with gusto, The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables, which averaged over $34K in four theaters. This should bode well for the French-produced film. It has had a spectacular run overseas, breaking records in France and grossing well over $300 million to date.

Related: ‘Marigold’, ‘Bernie’ Shine As Newcomers Disappoint

Among other Memorial Day weekend specialty debuts, Samuel Goldwyn’s Cowgirls n’ Angels screened in 50 theaters, averaging a disappointing $1,314, while Adopt Films launched Mighty Fine at 30 locations, averaging a similarly tepid $1,233. A bit stronger were Fisher Klingenstein’s OC87 which bowed at one location, grossing $7,500, while Strand Releasing’s Oslo, August 31st averaged $5,750 from a pair of theaters.

Among specialty holdovers, Zeitgeist’s Elena added one theater, averaging $8,580 in two locations vs its $9,393 debut average, while Sony Classics added 27 theaters for Hysteria, averaging $5,539. The film opened in five theaters, averaging $8,166. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel continued to hold strong, placing 8th this holiday weekend in the overall box office, and again it played far fewer theaters than its tentpole rivals. Most of those films had screen counts over 3,000 except Chernobyl Diaries which bowed in 2,433 locations. Marigold Hotel grossed $8.2 million over the Friday through Monday holiday weekend, averaging $6,650 from 1,233 theaters. Last weekend the Fox Searchlight hit averaged $9,180 from 354 locations. Richard Linklater’s Bernie, meanwhile held strong, placing 12th in the overall box office, averaging just under $6K from 104 theaters.

Four-day holiday weekend grosses:
The IntouchablesNEW

1. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $669K, Average $167,372

2. The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $137K, Average $34,360

3. Cowgirls n’ Angels (Samuel Goldwyn Films) NEW [50 Theaters] Weekend $65K, Average $1,314

4. Mighty Fine (Adopt Films) NEW [30 Theaters] Weekend $37K, Average $1,233

5. Oslo, August 31st (Strand Releasing) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $11,500, Average $5,750

6. OC87 (Fisher Klingenstein) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,500

Returning / 2nd Weekend

1. Crooked Arrow (Branded/Peck Entertainment) Week 2 [67 Theaters] Weekend $178K, Average $2,657, Cume $456K

2. Hysteria (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [32 Theaters] Weekend $177K, Average $5,539, Cume $233K

3. Polisse (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $63K, Average $3,400, Cume $111K

4. Elena (Zeitgeist Films) Week 2 [2 Theater] Weekend $17,161, Average $8,580, Cume $37K

Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends

1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [1,233 Theaters] Weekend $8.2M, Average $6,650, Cume $18.4M

2. Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) Week 5 [194 Theaters] Weekend $1.16M, Average $5,985, Cume $2.51M

3. First Position (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [56 Theaters] Weekend $201K, Average $3,600, Cume $544K

4. Girl In Progress (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 3 [ 143Theaters] Weekend $165K, Average $1,154, Cume $2.44M

5. Darling Companion (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [61 Theaters] Weekend $81K, Average $1,331, Cume $535K

6. Where Do We Go Now? (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [25 Theaters] Weekend $70K, Average $2,801, Cume $133K

7. Bully (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [104 Theaters] Weekend $50K, Average $485, Cume $3.304M

8. The Kid With A Bike (Sundance Selects) Week 11 [21 Theaters] Weekend $24K, Average $1,000, Cume $1.357M

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...
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