Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie Films

Tribeca Film’s Somebody Up There Likes Me bowed exclusively at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre with the best score among the specialties this weekend with a strong $38,495. The 2012 SXSW Film Festival entry had multiple sold-out showings in the 700-seat theater, with producer and Chicago native Nick Offerman hosting Q&As. The weekend potentially bodes well for distributor Tribeca, although momentum will be better gauged once it hits other cities. It will next head to Cinefamily in L.A. next weekend, according to Tribeca Film. Somebody Up There Likes Me will open San Francisco on March 22 and New York on March 29 with Austin to follow. Paladin/108 Media opened Michel Gondry’s The We And I with an average of $6,140 in a pair of NYC locations. The We And I heads to Los Angeles, San Francisco and 5 other top markets on March 22. 

Roadside Attractions debuted its WWII feature Emperor in 260 locations, by far the most among this weekend’s specialty openers. It grossed just over $1.04 million for a $4,010 average. Roadside has had success with its midsize releases, and though Emperor received comparable numbers, its average was lower than recent titles Arbitrage and Friends With Kids. Arbitrage opened last September in 197 theaters averaging $10,163 (the film went on to cume just over $7.9 million). Last March’s opening of Friends With Kids in 369 locations averaged $5,472 (going on to an eventual tally of just over $7.25 million). Noted Roadside chief Howard Cohen: “We had particular success targeting the older demo, and with areas of the country with strong military presence like San Diego and parts of Virginia” plus “a grass roots program with the American Legion which has 14,000 posts across the country. We will be expanding moderately for next weekend” including markets “in Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Colorado”.

Related: Specialty Preview: ‘Emperor,’ ‘The Silence,’ ‘ABCs Of Death’, ‘Beyond The Hills’

Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s critically acclaimed Beyond The Hills opened softly compared with his 2007 Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days. That film went on to cume $1.4 million for IFC Films. Hills averaged $6K across three theaters. The distributor, which is releasing Beyond The Hills via its Sundance Selects label, will likely only see a fraction of the earlier movie’s theatrical run. The Girl from Brainstorm Media and Vitagraph Films opened in two theaters, averaging $5,200, while Music Box Films’ The Silence opened with a softer $4,585 average. It will head to Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia in the coming weeks.

Among holdovers, Fox Searchlight added 10 theaters for Stoker in its second weekend. It averaged $6,700 vs its hefty $22,500 in 7 runs in its debut. Searchlight will add 20 new markets bringing the total theatre count up to 70-80 locations. Sony Pictures Classics expanded its three titles. Oscar-nominated No added 24 locations, averaging $4,782 and grossing a four-week cume just over $500K. The Gatekeepers passed the $1 million mark in its sixth weekend after a 21-theater expansion. And Oscar-winner Amour added 128 theaters in its 12th weekend. Its cume is now slightly less than $6.25 million.

The following distribs/films did not report weekend figures: Magnolia/A Place At The Table, Variance/The End Of Love, Cinema Guild/Leviathan, Tribeca/War Witch, Oscilloscope/Welcome To Pine Hill, and Magnet/The ABCs Of Death.

NEW

Beyond The Hills (Sundance Selects) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $18K, Average $6K

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (Cinedigm) NEW [23 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $1,087

Emperor (Roadside Attractions) NEW [260 Theaters] Weekend $1,042,800, Average $4,010

The Girl (Brainstorm Media/Vitagraph) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $10,400, Average $5,200

The Silence (Music Box Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $9,170, Average $4,585

Somebody Up There Likes Me (Tribeca Film) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $38,495

The We And The I (Paladin/108 Media) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $12,280, Average $6,140

RETURNING / 2ND WEEKEND

Hava Nagila (The Movie) Week 2 (International Film Circuit) [12 Theaters] Weekend $39,369, Average $3,280, Cume $90,766

Stoker (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [17 Theaters] Weekend $115K, Average $6,700, Cume $330K

HOLDOVERS / 3RD+ WEEKEND

Like Someone In Love (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [6 Theaters] Weekend $16,800, Average $2,800, Cume $117,900

No (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [35 Theaters] Weekend $167,361, Average $4,782, Cume $510,519

The Power Of Few (Steelyard Pictures) Week 4 [1 Theaters] Weekend $1,815, Cume $25,048

Lore (Music Box Films) Week 5 [12 Theaters] Weekend $67K, Average $2,481, Cume $255,741

The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [67 Theaters] Weekend $250,122, Average $3,733, Cume $1,027,092

Happy People: A Year In The Taiga (Music Box Films) Week 7 [21 Theaters] Weekend $31K, Average $1,476, Cume $213,086

Quartet (The Weinstein Company) Week 9 [715 Theaters] Weekend $1,279 million, Average $1,789, Cume $13,269,831

Amour (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 12 [333 Theaters] Weekend $195,511, Average $954, Cume $6,244,649

The Impossible (Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate) Week 12 [114 Theaters] Weekend $90K, Average $789, Cume $18,478,391

Hyde Park On Hudson (Focus Features) Week 14 [39 Theaters] Weekend $35,647, Average $914, Cume $6,286,864

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