Specialty B.O.: ‘Begin Again’ Continues Strongly, But Hard Rollout For ‘Hard Day’s Night’

Begin Again continued its strong beginning as it expansed and Snowpiercer did decent business in the second week of a truncated theatrical release as Weinstein-owned companies had solid box-office performances in the Specialty arena amid other titles’ tepid troubles on a rain-soaked holiday weekend. Newcomers, including a doc about Roger Ebert and the 50th-anniversary re-release of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, had mixed results at best
A Hard Day's Night movie poster vertical
Janus Films re-released A Hard Day’s Night, but this time the influential Richard Lester-directed quasi-doc/musical/proto-music video struggled to get the kind of reception that packed the London Pavilion back in 1964. The Beatles feature grossed $20K in its first week back in ’64 at the Pavilion. This week, it made eight times as much but needed 102 theaters to do it, grossing $160K for a $1,569 PTA. Janus said the film sold out shows “coast to coast” and acknowledged that the July 4th weekend is tricky to maneuver. Said Janus’ Peter Becker: “To rack up this kind of gross with a classic film on a busy holiday weekend is astounding, especially since two-thirds of these screens were special-event bookings with only one or two shows. After the strongest repertory opening of the year at New York’s Film Forum and the incredible word of mouth from all across the country, this is just the beginning. We expect to see excited crowds of all ages lining up for A Hard Day’s Night all summer long.” Janus will add 30 theaters in the next week with further expansions planned throughout the summer.

Magnolia bowed Life Itself, a doc based on Roger Ebert’s memoir, in 23 theaters, grossing $138K, averaging $6K. Magnolia said L.A. won out the Friday-to-Sunday tally, followed closely by New York and Chicago. Life Itself will expand next Friday into an additional 25 locations, topping 100 by July 18.
The Weinstein Company added 170 theaters for the second weekend of John Carney’s music-minded romance Begin Again, taking in solid grosses. The film grossed $1.316M from 175 runs, averaging $7,520. “We are very happy with the results,” said TWC’s Erik Lomis Sunday. “The film is playing very well with women with a [very high] definite recommend… We feel like we have a movie that’s going to play and play and play.” Lomis added, “The best tool we have to sell the movie is the movie.” TWC will take Begin Again - starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine to around 800 theaters in the coming week. The feature  bowed with a $29,665 PT in five theaters last week.
Snowpiercer in train Chris Evans John HurtWeinstein sibling label RADiUS added 242 theaters for sci-fi yarn Snowpiercer in its second frame, holding solidly. It grossed over $998K in 250 theaters for a $3,993 PTA. Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s film stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt and Jamie Bell opened last week with a $20K PTA in 8 theaters. The company is employing an unusual hybrid release, with the film premiering in theaters for only two weeks before opening July 11 on VOD. Here’s what RADiUS Co-President Tom Quinn had to say about the approach (spoiler alert, some puffery amid the really interesting business details):

“We enjoyed an incredible turnout over the holiday and will be expanding to more theaters and screens this coming weekend,” Quinn said in a statement. “Ironically, Snowpiercer is a good parallel for film distribution. You’re either at the front or the back of the theatrical pipeline (ed. note: the film is built around a class conflict in a train that circles the ruined planet). Everything is either a limited or a wide theatrical release with zero room for anything innovative or nuanced.  So, we at RADiUS decided early on to do something completely different with this release.  By truncating Snowpiercer’s theatrical premiere to 2 weeks and then launching VOD this coming Friday on July 11th (yes, for those of you who’ve been asking…it’s really happening!) we’re embracing both the benefits of a platform theatrical, but also the merits of going SUPER WIDE by making it available on more “screens” than any movie this summer. Jeffrey Katzenberg predicted this kind of release might be something we (would) see in 10 years time. The train’s ahead of schedule.”

AmericaLionsgate moved Dinesh D’Souza‘s doc America into wide release after an initial three-theater open. The doc from the people who made 2016: Obama’s Americathe high-grossing anti-Obama doc back in 2012, held steady in 1,105 theaters, grossing over $2.7M for a $2,466 PTA. The company is estimating its five-day cume to come in at over $4M. The company noted Sunday that the feature had “performed well, including an A+ Cinema score,” though given its initial red-meat open in three GOP-friendly areas, that may not fully reflect its prospects for wide release across the country.
SPC added 16 theaters for the 3rd week of its Third Person, holding decently. The film grossed almost $120K from 34 runs, averaging $3,525. Last week, it averaged $4,481 from 18 theaters. Its cume is now well over $291K. A24′s The Roverfeaturing a career-turning performance by Robert Pattinson, inched passed the $1M mark this week, but shed a lot of theaters en route. It grossed $10,652 over the weekend for a $507 PTA.
Fox Searchlight‘s Belle passed the $10M milestone in its 10th week. It grossed $190K in 123 theaters, averaging $1,545. The film is in the upper echelons of 2014 limited-release titles, with only fellow Searchlight title The Grand Budapest Hotel and Open Road’s Chef boasting higher cumes to date. Below are all the totals for the weekend:
NEW
A Hard Day’s Night (Janus Films) NEW [102 Theaters] Weekend $160K, Average $1,569
Life Itself (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [23 Theaters] Weekend $138K, Average $6K
RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND 
America (Lionsgate) Week 2 [1,105 Theaters] Weekend $2,725,000, Average $2,466, Cume $4,042,320 (5 day)
Archipelago (Kino Lorber) Week 2 [1 Theater] Weekend $3,500
Begin Again (The Weinstein Company) Week 2 [175 Theaters] Weekend $1,316,000, Average $7,520
The Breakup Guru (China Lion) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $35K, Average $3,500, Cume $146,197
Snowpiercer (RADiUS-TWC) Week 2 [250 Theaters] Weekend $998,325, Average $3,993, Cume $1,501,844
Yves Saint Laurent (The Weinstein Company) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $38,722, Average $3,872, Cume $86,110
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Le Chef (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [18 Theater] Weekend $42,229, Average $2,346, Cume $118,268
Third Person (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [34 Theaters] Weekend $119,859, Average $3,525, Cume $291,794
Venus In Fur (Sundance Selects) Week 3 [11 Theaters] Weekend $29,700, Average $2,700, Cume $113,652
Code Black (Long Shot Factory) Week 3 [1 Theater] Weekend $6,952, Cume $51,300
The Rover (A24) Week 4 [21 Theaters] Weekend $10,652, Average $507, Cume $1,019,391
Obvious Child (A24) Week 5 [202 Theaters] Weekend $382,652, Average $1,894, Cume $1,942,046
Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon (RADiUS-TWC) Week 5 [12 Theaters] Weekend $7,872 Average $656, Cume $194,128
Words And Pictures (Roadside Attractions) Week 7 [58 Theaters] Weekend $91,300, Average $1,574, Cume $1,886,411
Chinese Puzzle (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [7 Theaters] Weekend $7,534, Average $1,076, Cume $323,771
Chef (Open Road Films) Week 9 [686 Theaters] Weekend $1,678,000, Average $2,446, Cume $22.04M
Fed Up (RADiUS-TWC) Week 9 [18 Theaters] Weekend $5,894, Average $327, Cume $1,487,201
Belle (Fox Searchlight) Week 10 [123 Theaters] Weekend $190K, Average $1,545, Cume $10,000,196
Ida (Music Box Films) Week 10 [100 Theaters] Weekend $220K, Average $2,200, Cume $2,852,084
Fading Gigolo (Millennium Entertainment) Week 12 [12 Theaters] Weekend $12,427, Average $1,035, Cume $3,748,456