Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Pedro Almodovar‘s boozy sex comedy I’m So Excited lead an otherwise unremarkable host of newbies in the Specialty Box Office. The feature, which opened the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this month, bowed in 5 locations in New York and L.A., grossing over $100K for a three-day winning $20,546 average. Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours debuted two runs, grossing almost $30K for a decent $14,718, while Tribeca Films’ doc How To Make Money Selling Drugs rolled out in 5 theaters, grossing over $15K. IFC Films’ Byzantium opened with a $3K average in 6 theaters, followed by Drafthouse Films’ A Band Called Death ($2,193 PSA) and Roadside’s Redemption, which floundered with a $959 average albeit in 19 runs.
Insiders speculated over whether the latest feature from Spanish maestro Almodóvar would pass muster from his fans and the art house crowd. The speculation will still linger. Opening weekend numbers were decent although not, to take a cue from the film, orgasmic. Almodovar’s much darker last film The Skin I Live In boasted more recognizable stars and bowed with a $37,187 average in 6 theaters, a figure topped by Broken Embraces in 2009 ($53,556 PSA in 2 runs). 2006′s Volver averaged $39,540 in five theaters on its way to nearly a $12.9 million cume in the U.S. Excited has not flown the way of his most recent films, however, opening in the summer and bowing out of the usual Almodovarian Cannes debut.
“I wanted to return to a genre that I was very familiar with in the ’80s,” said Almodóvar at a recent preview screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “It’s a light comedy and discussion… And the discussion is mixed with a lot of alcohol and sex.” The next test will come in expansion when SPC takes I’m So Excited into 100 markets over the next month.
Among holdovers, TWC’s Unfinished Son bested several of this weekend’s debuts in its second weekend. The feature had an additional 17 runs, averaging just over $5K in 19 theaters. It’s two week cume is just under $135K. Weinstein’s RADiUS label continues to see traction with its crowd pleaser 20 Feet From Stardom. In its third weekend, the True/False Film Festival closer averaged a solid $5,284 in 44 theaters. Last weekend it had 6 runs, averaging $10,780. The Bling Ring, meanwhile shed 20 locations in its third weekend. The Cannes Un Certain Regard opener grossed $850K in 630 theaters for a $1,349 average.
A Band Called Death (Drafthouse Films) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $28,511, Average $2,193
Byzantium (IFC Films) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend 18K, Average $3K
How To Make Money Selling Drugs (Tribeca Film) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $15,285, Average $3,057
I’m So Excited (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $102,730, Average $20,546
Museum Hours (Cinema Guild) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $29,435, Average $14,718
Redemption (Roadside Attractions) NEW [19 Theaters] Weekend $18,221, Average $959
Returning / 2nd Weekend
The Attack (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [36 Theaters] Weekend $139,794, Average $3,883, Cume $180,974
Unfinished Song (The Weinstein Company) Week 2 [19 Theaters] Weekend $95.141, Average $5,007, Avergae $134,708
Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS-TWC) Week 3 [44 Theaters] Weekend $232,517, Average $5,284, Cume $415,396
The Bling Ring (A24) Week 3 [630 Theaters] Weekend $850K, Average $1,349, Cume $4,363,305
Much Ado About Nothing (Roadside Attractions) Week 4 [217 Theaters] Weekend $590,000, Average $2,719, Cume $2,186,000
Dirty Wars (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [30 Theaters] Weekend $45K, Average $1,500, Cume $275K
The East (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [185 Theaters] Weekend $255K, Average $1,378, Cume $1,640,064
The Kings Of Summer (CBS Films) Week 5 [48 Theaters] Weekend $84K, Average $1,750, Cume $924,630
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [290 Theaters] Weekend $666,047, Average $2,297, Cume $5,743,338
Fill The Void (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [61 Theaters] Weekend $184,636, Average $3,027, Cume $912,811
Frances Ha (IFC Films) Week 7 [90 Theaters] Weekend $160,200, Average $1,780, Cume $3,482,523
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions) Week 8 [23 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $1,390, Cume $1,389,141
The Iceman (Millennium Entertainment) Week 9 [5 Theaters] Weekend $3,982, Average $796, Cume $1,930,401
What Maisie Knew (Millennium Entertainment) Week 9 [18 Theaters] Weekend $16,466, Average $915, Cume $994,212
Mud (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 10 [160 Theaters] Weekend $195,500, Average $1,221, Cume $20,488,165For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...