Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.
There were a few weeks there when the specialties shined compared to their studio brethren — overall box office slumped, but newcomers like The Master and Arbitrage impressed. Well, the final weekend of September saw limited-release titles lack the star-power of those earlier releases, and this frame as a result can best be described as ho-hum for the indies. The documentary The Other Dream Team scored the best overall numbers with a solid $11K-plus screen average. Fellow docu The Waiting Room averaged just $2,444, while Hong Kong feature Vulgaria managed a shy $2,250.
Last week’s big specialty opener, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, provided the zest in the specialty realm. Summit took the film to 102 theaters from its initial four-location run, and it did superbly with an $11,150 average and a weekend gross just shy of $1.4 million. The title placed 13th in the overall box office and will likely head into the top 10 next week.
Distribution newcomer The Film Arcade can give a shout-out to its first-ever release The Other Dream Team. The new company went “old school” in its release of the Lithuanian docu it picked up out of Sundance this year, taking it only to theaters and, for now at least, holding off on VOD and other on-demand platforms that have become de rigueur. “We want to do proper theatrical [release], and are not doing day-and-date,” TFA’s Miranda Bailey said. “We want to take ‘harder indie releases’ and take them out into theaters. We absolutely believe that this film had to go theatrical.” The company plans to take Dream Team to additional markets slowly.
China Lion’s Vulgaria did not offer up the box office power it did in its native Hong Kong, where it is the highest-grossing Chinese-language title of the year. This weekend, the film grossed only $36K in 16 locations. ”We’re focusing our marketing efforts on our core audiences — both Mandarin and Cantonese — but see this as a film that will cross over to Western audiences, as early reviews have been extremely positive,” a China Lion spokesperson said this week.
Vulgaria (China Lion) NEW [16 Theaters] Weekend $36K, Average $2,250
The Waiting Room (International Film Circuit) Weekend $9,778, Average $2,444, Cume $13,340 (Includes national preview screenings)
Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $3,954, Average $1,318
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $95,200, Average $6,800, Cume $198,045
How To Survive A Plague (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $17,600, Average $2,200, Cume $58K
My Uncle Rafael (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $40,318, Average $8,064, Cume $177,364
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Summit Entertainment) Week 2 [102 Theaters] Weekend $1,137,300, Average $11,150, Cume $1,462,139
Arbitrage (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 3 [256 Theaters] Weekend $923K, Average $3,600, Cume $5,163,579
Last Ounce Of Courage (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 3 [297 Theaters] Weekend $146,086, Average $492, Cume $3,190,173
Liberal Arts (IFC Films) Week 3 [31 Theaters] Weekend $49,600, Average $1,600, Cume $159,600
The Master (The Weinstein Company) Week 3 [856 Theaters] Weekend $2,745,000 , Average $3,207, Cume $9.633,070
Hello I Must Be Going (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 4 [11 Theaters] Weekend $9.945, Average $2,562, Cume $84,990
For A Good Time, Call… (Focus Features) Week 5 [84 Theaters] Weekend $52,123, Average $621, Cume $1,210,910
Lawless (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [1,503 Theaters] Weekend $861K, Average $573, Cume $36,270,640
Samsara (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 6 [60 Theaters] Weekend $153,695, Average $2,562, Cume $1,400,317
Sleepwalk With Me (IFC Films) Week 6 [127 Theaters] Weekend $165,100, Average $1,300, Cume $1,890,100
Robot & Frank (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Week 7 [111 Theaters] Weekend $111K, Average $1K, Cume $3,075,686
Celeste And Jesse Forever (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [34 Theaters] Weekend $21,008, Average $618, Cume $3,056,173
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [37 Theaters] Weekend $96,649, Average $2,612, Cume $1,320,049
2016 Obama’s America (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 12 [575 Theaters] Weekend $393,316, Average $684, Cume $32,927,752
To Rome With Love (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 15 [23 Theaters] Weekend $37,985, Average $1,652, Cume $16,594,503
Safety Not Guaranteed (FilmDistrict) Week 17 [34 Theaters] Weekend $12K, Average $353, Cume $3,980,095
The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company) Week 25 [121 Theaters] Weekend $139K, Average $1,149, Cume $12,474,053For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...