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Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In Debuts

Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In DebutsBold debuts from two of the weekend’s openers in a crowded specialty box office included yet another Woody Allen film as well as a last starring turn from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight was another solid opener in a string of recent successes for the veteran writer-director, with a good per-screen average. That said, the numbers were less stratospheric than some of his recent summer films when comparing on a straight theater average, though this go-around did bow in substantially more locations.
Magic is Allen’s third consecutive summer release (and seventh if you count the ”shoulder” seasons).  The formula continues to be a lucrative one for Allen and his backers. In its opening weekend, Magic brought in nearly $426K in 17 theaters, for a solid $25K PTA. The film, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, bowed with 11 more runs than last year’s box-office and award-winning behemoth Blue Jasmine (the best performer of Allen’s very long career), which debuted to a $102K PTA in 6 theaters. That film also had a $612K opening weekend and went on to cume over $33.4M.
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Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’s’ Big Shoulders Continue To Dominate In Second Week

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 11:05am PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’s’ Big Shoulders Continue To Dominate In Second WeekBoyhood continued to muscle into the Specialty Box Office in its second frame amid an expansion, even while the weekend’s newcomers showed mixed numbers. Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here and Mike Cahill‘s I Origins, second films from both writer/directors, bowed with averages in the low $7K range. IFC FilmsBoyhood opened last week with the year’s second highest PTA among limited-release titles and only compounded its star status in expansion. The Richard Linklater-directed feature added 29 locations, grossing nearly $1.2 million in 34 theaters, a stellar $35,230 per-screen average and a $1,848,050 two-week cume.
Boyhood’s mid- to long-term momentum appears assured with a 99-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and what IFC Films says is “word of mouth… through the roof, as reflected by eye-popping exit polls this weekend and minimal drop at last weekend’s opening theaters.” IFC, which financed the film throughout its 12-year gestation, said the title played solidly across all demographics, with top scores from teens and from “those in their 60s and beyond.” Boyhood will expand to the top 25 markets next weekend and will continue to widen in coming weeks.
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Hot Trailer: Maggie Smith Vs. Kevin Kline In Paris-Set Dramedy ‘My Old Lady’

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 5:25pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Maggie Smith Vs. Kevin Kline In Paris-Set Dramedy ‘My Old Lady’Kevin Kline gets the French Kiss-off from Maggie Smith in BBC Films dramedy My Old Lady, which Cohen Media Group is releasing stateside September 10. Pic stars Kline as a down and out American who moves to Paris to claim a house willed to him by his estranged father. There he discovers he must wait for the current tenant, a spunky nonagenerian (Smith), to pass before he can assume ownership per French law.

Kristin Scott Thomas co-stars as Smith’s daughter in the U.S./UK co-production which marks writer-director Israel Horovitz’s debut. Producers are Gary Foster (Sleepless In Seattle, Community), Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball), David C. Barrot, and Nitsa Benchetrit. Check out the trailer: Read More »

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In Expansion

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 12:08pm PDT

Specialty B.O.: ‘Boyhood’ Spectacular Bow While ‘Begin Again’ Strong In ExpansionBoyhood bowed spectacularly this weekend, piling audiences into five theaters for the initial run of Richard Linklater‘s tour de force that was 12 years in the making. As we mentioned earlier this morning, the IFC Films title is coming in with a $360 – 385K weekend estimate for a stratospheric $72K to 77K PTA, depending on how the dust settles Sunday. Friday and Saturday numbers were buoyed by Q&As in both New York and LA, but none are scheduled today. IFC Films was actually conservative reporting their numbers Sunday morning, with an initial $359K gross ($71,800 PTA) though others tracking the numbers had estimates land a bit higher. Whatever the number, the final tally points in one direction — this is a tremendous opening for the Berlin and Sundance festival title (and award winner at both) that had audiences swooning ahead of this weekend’s opening. Boyhood is easily the year’s second-best opener in terms of screen average behind Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened in several locations back in March with a record-breaking $202,792 PTA.  ”We are thrilled with the opening numbers for Boyhood this weekend,” IFC noted in reporting their numbers. “The opening numbers have surpassed our highest expectations for the weekend, as audiences flocked to theatrers for the critically acclaimed film.”
IFC Films financed the film by doling out small amounts each year over its 12-year process of creation. The AMC Networks division has a long-standing relationship with Linklater, having financed Waking Life and Tape. The Austin-based filmmaker and producer John Sloss had approached IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring about what was then dubbed the “12-year project” and, together with his boss Josh Sapan at AMC Networks, committed about $200,000 a year to the film’s editing and shooting. Said Sehring and Sapan: “Back in 2002, we thought Rick’s idea was an extraordinary notion and we believed him to be a great filmmaker.  Putting our creative and commercial fates in the hands of people who are brilliant has proven to be a terrific strategy for the company and we couldn’t’ be happier to have supported Rick’s creative vision. The result is a film for the ages and we can’t wait to bring Boyhood to the rest of the country in the weeks to come.”
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Specialty B.O.: ‘Begin Again’ Continues Strongly, But Hard Rollout For ‘Hard Day’s Night’

By | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

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.

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ Solid

By | Sunday June 29, 2014 @ 11:14am PDT

Specialty Box Office: ‘Begin Again’ Begins On High Note; ‘America,’ ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘YSL’ SolidIt’s no way a shock that Transformers: Age Of Extinction performed spectacularly this weekend, both in the U.S. and overseas, but there are still discerning audiences out there who don’t toe the big-studio line when it comes to their movie-viewing decisions. Begin Again, another tuneful tale from the writer-director of Once, found a sliver of music-minded moviegoers to play along, grabbing the weekend’s highest PTA among newcomers. Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine, it grossed more than $148K for a respectable $29,665 average.
“I think that’s solid numbers. We view this exclusive opening as a preview for Wednesday’s [expansion],” said TWC’s Erik Lomis, president of theatrical distribution and home entertainment. The film drew a heavily female audience, with a 67-33 gender split, and a mix of art-house and commercial crowds. “I think it’s a date movie and will even out as it rolls across the country,”  Lomis said. “[Women] just loved the movie.” TWC will expand Begin Again to 175 theaters in the top 45 markets, then add 60 more markets and up to 500 theaters the following week. “We love (writer-director) John Carney and the cast. There’s no explosions or anything like that. It’s a nice movie and counter programming for the summer.”
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Specialty Box Office: Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’ Tops Slow Weekend

By | Sunday June 22, 2014 @ 10:15am PDT

Specialty Box Office: Roman Polanski’s ‘Venus In Fur’ Tops Slow WeekendDefinitely not a weekend to remember, with newcomers and recent holdovers coming in mostly flat. Roman Polanski was the weekend’s star addition, though that wasn’t hard: Sundance Selects’ Venus In Fur grossed over $26K, averaging $13,100 per screen. The Cannes 2013 pic is kicking off a platform release, rolling out to the top 15 markets throughout July. Elsewhere in the specialty world, gastronomy die-hards can take some solace in Cohen Media Group’s Le Chef, which sliced off a morsel of attention in New York. The Berlinale 2012 comedy opened in one theater, grossing $10,894.

Image (1) boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150-1__140530221134.jpg for post 738358Sony Pictures Classics bowed Paul Haggis‘ Toronto feature Third Person in five locations. It grossed just over $42K, averaging $8,419. Haggis said at the pic’s NYC theatrical premiere at the Sunshine that the 2-hour-plus feature demands attention with its parallel stories set in three cities. He joked with the crowd to use the restroom before it began and to “watch carefully.” His previous film, The Next Three Days, was a completely different game back in November 2010 when it bowed stateside. The action-thriller opened in more than 2,500 theaters, grossing over $6.5 million and ranking No. 5 that week with a $2,552 PTA. It went on to gross $21.1M domestically. The weekend wasn’t that busy for the bigger releases either, as two Sony sequels topped the domestic box office at what’s looking like less than $30 million each, while indie-seeming Clint Eastwood-directed musical adaptation Jersey Boys hit a false note, opening in fourth. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Robert Pattinson’s ‘The Rover’ Runs Strongly In Blah Weekend

By | Sunday June 15, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT

The Rover movie posterSpecialties generally had a blasé weekend with newcomers mostly flat at best. A24 has had a streak of chart-topping opening weekends of late with last week’s Obvious Child and, earlier in the spring, Under The Skin. The company continued its roll this weekend with The Rover, though with more modest results. The crime drama set in the Australian Outback starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and Scoot McNairy was nevertheless the weekend’s PTA-topper, grossing $70K in five New York and L.A. theaters, averaging a strong $14K per theater. A24 noted Sunday that the film “received strong reviews, particularly for Robert Pattinson’s breakthrough performance, and his fans responded, as the audience breakdown was close to a 50-50 split between men and women.” The Rover, directed by David Michôd, will expand nationwide next weekend.

Hellion movie posterIn other openers, IFC Films bowed its Sundance drama Hellion in an exclusive run at IFC Center in New York, grossing $9,000. It has measured momentum as it heads to Los Angeles next weekend and the top ten markets throughout the rest of June. Also bowing with tepid results is Focus FeaturesThe Signal though the title was by far the biggest roll out among the limited-release newbies. The feature grossed $146K in 120 theaters for a $1,217 PTA. Focus noted Sunday that … Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Obvious Child’ Bows Big; ‘The Grand Seduction,’ ‘Chef’ Expansions Solid

By | Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 2:51pm PDT

Obvious ChildA24‘s Obvious Child opened to solid numbers in a crowded weekend some other distributors likely would rather forget. The abortion comedy, based on a 2009 short by filmmaker Gillian Robespierre, bowed with $81K in three theaters in NYC and LA for a robust $27K per-theater average. A24, which has had a nice winning streak of recent openers including Under The Skin (which opened in April with a $35K PTA in four theaters), was pleased with Obvious Child‘s results when reporting numbers Sunday:

“Sundance hit Obvious Child opened with the highest per screen (average) in the country this weekend and is now poised to become one of the breakout hits of summer. The hilarious and crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, featuring a star-making performance by actress/comedian Jenny Slate, received overwhelmingly positive reviews (over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and incredible word-of-mouth, including continual love throughout social media.  The ‘revolutionary’ film that MTV called “your next obsession” saw sell-out shows on both Friday and Saturday.” A24 will expand the film to top markets over the next three weeks and go nationwide June 27. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Reichardt’s ‘Night Moves’ Strong; Docs ‘Korengal’ And ‘Elena’ Bow Decently; James McAvoy Opens ‘Filth’

By | Sunday June 1, 2014 @ 11:53am PDT

nightmovesThe first half of 2014 will not go down as memorable overall for specialties despite a weekend that boasted some star star power against Maleficent and the continuation of X-Men. Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves opened with single runs in NYC and L.A. this weekend matching up Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as eco-extremists in the Northwest. It came in with a decent $12,050 PTA ($24,100 gross) with sold-out showings from its bow at the Arclight. “We’re very happy with the strong opening this weekend. We anticipate continued critical acclaim and positive word of mouth fueling the expansion into both arthouses and select commercial venues across the country,” distributor Cinedigm noted Sunday. Night Moves will add theaters in Boston, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Portland.

Related: Box Office: Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ Casts $68M+ To $69M+ Spell; ‘A Million Ways To Die In the West’ Flatlines; ‘X-Men’ Falls About 64%

filth-james-mcavoyMagnolia Pictures opened two films this weekend. James McAvoy starrer Filth and festival favorite We Are The Best! opened in limited runs with slow results. Filth bowed in a pair of theaters grossing $7,500 ($3,750 PTA) while Swedish feature We Are The Best! actually did better with a $21K gross ($7K average). Magnolia was refreshingly honest Sunday and found a silver-lining for Best: “We were disappointed in the opening day’s gross, but we always knew this was an underdog film and very difficult to market. We also knew audiences loved it and it’s gotten some of the best reviews we’ve received in our company’s history. We had an enormous 125% jump Friday over Saturday and we think that the word of mouth is going to keep this film rolling all through the summer.” Read More »

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UPDATED: Specialty Box Office: ‘Dance Of Reality’ Sashays In Solidly; IFC Debuts ‘Cold In July’, ‘Gore Vidal’

UPDATED WITH MONDAY RESULTS: Jodorowsky's Dance of RealityThe Dance Of Reality glided into a pair of theaters Memorial weekend and has managed to slice out a decent crowd even as the masses headed to X-Men. The ABKCO release is holding OK in a holiday weekend in which the studios hold the reins. Other openers are faring so-so. Directed by Chile-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Dance Of Reality has grossed nearly $25K through Sunday for a $12,485 PTA. The drama-fantasy was an NYT “Critic Pick,” opening at The Sunshine in New York and the Nuart in Los Angeles. ABKCO released Jodorowsky’s El Topo (2006, $80,302 cume) and Holy Mountain (2007, $61K cume) and is on track to top his previous theatrical numbers.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘X-Men’ On Track To Top Five Memorial Day Openers

“We’re very excited for Alejandro and the reaction to the film,” said Michael Gochanour, Abkco’s Senior Director of Film. “The reviews have been very positive. “We’re very proud and honored to present the film.” The distributor picked up rights to the feature ahead of last year’s Cannes Film Festival and tapped audiences with special presentations at MoMA and elsewhere. “People in their 20s and ‘Williamsburg kids’ identify with his voice,” added Gochanour Sunday. “We focused our attention to reaching them. Reality played this year’s SXSW and will expand to other major markets in the coming weeks including Boston, Chicago and Seattle.

coldinjulyIFC Films bowed two films Friday, including doc Gore Vidal: United States Of Amnesia as well as Jim Mickle’s ’80s-set thriller Cold In July. The latter opened in a half-dozen locations, grossing $40,800 ($6,800 PTA) while Gore Vidal had a slightly higher $7K average in just two theaters. “IFC Films didn’t get involved until the beginning if this year, but once they did, they pushed to [release] it early. It has a theatrical release which is what I always wanted,” Gore Vidal director Nicholas Wrathall told me this week. Both will add theaters in the coming weeks. Read More »

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Cannes: Cohen Media Group Acquires Competition Drama ‘Timbuktu’

Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)Just as the festival winds down ahead of tonight’s awards ceremony, Cohen Media Group has acquired U.S. rights for Timbuktu, the Competition title directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. The French-Mauritanian film tells the story of the brief occupation of Timbuktu by militant Islamic rebels and has received strong buzz here on the ground. Co-written by Sissako and Kessen Tall, Timbuktu illustrates the fate of a previously free people at the hands of the rebels who attempted to impose religious law on the formerly freewheeling city. Sissako was last in Cannes with the out of competition Bamako in 2006. He won the FIPRESCI prize in 2002 with Un Certain Regard title Waiting For Happiness. The U.S. distribution deal was negotiated by CMG Executive Vice President John Kochman and Camille Néel, head of International Sales for Le Pacte.

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Chef’ Sweetens The Pot As Marion Cotillard-Led ‘Immigrant’ Lands Stateside

By | Sunday May 18, 2014 @ 11:21am PDT

The Immigrant cotillardNewcomers bowed with muted to mixed results this weekend, while some holdovers including Jon Favreau‘s Chef held some sway in a box office stomped by Godzilla. The Weinstein Company opened James Gray’s Cannes 2013 debut The Immigrant with Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in a trio of theaters in New York and L.A. Friday, grossing $45,430 for a $15,143 average. That theatrical result bests Gray’s previous opener, Two Lovers (also starring Phoenix as well as Gwyneth Paltrow), though only slightly in terms of PTA. Magnolia Pictures opened Lovers in 7 runs in February 2009, grossing almost $95K for a $13,569 PTA. It went on to cume nearly $3.15M in the U.S. Gray’s highest grossing pic remains the studio release We Own The Night in 2007 via Sony/Columbia. That feature racked up over $28.56 million in the U.S.

“We’re fairly pleased with The Immigrant [opening],” said TWC’s president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. “There’s a dedicated art house crowd which it appeals to. There were sell-outs at the Royal in L.A. and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York (a venue that has limited capacity). We’re not Godzilla, this is for a sophisticated audience and we expect that that [crowd] will discover the film as it [continues to head out].” The Immigrant will head out to the top 50 markets in the coming weeks. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Immigrant’, ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’, ‘Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case’, ‘The Discoverers’, ‘Chinese Puzzle’

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 6:26am PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Nearly a year after its premiere in Cannes, James Gray’s The Immigrant is headed for its theatrical release via TWC. Starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix, the New York-set feature is the highest profile Specialty feature to hit theaters this weekend. A bit under the radar, but still boasting named talent, Half Of A Yellow Sun will bow in theaters in the U.S. from Monterey Media. The film, set in Nigeria, has been effectively banned in the West African country after receiving an initial thumbs up. International Film Circuit’s doc Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case comes on the heels of another doc on the famed Chinese artist this weekend, while Cohen Media Group’s Chinese Puzzle completes a trilogy by Cédric Klapisch and stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou. And Justin Schwarz’s The Discoverers will bow in limited locations. The road trip movie, starring Griffin Dunne, raised P&A via Kickstarter for its DIY release.

The Immigrantthe-immigrant-2013-darius-khondji-dp
Director-writer: James Gray
Writer: Ric Menello
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Dagmara Dominczyk, Jicky Schnee, Elena Solovey, Angela Sarafyan
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Filmmaker James Gray had an uncle that died in 2010. The event would lay the seeds for The Immigrant. After he passed away, he left behind a treasure-trove of family history that Gray had previously never seen. “There was paperwork from my grandparents going through Ellis Island, which I was fascinated by,” said Gray at a recent event at Film Society of Lincoln Center, which will be among the first locations that will open The Immigrant this weekend. “My grandfather basically sat [my brother and me down] and begrudgingly told us the family history — much of which ended up in the movie.” Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Auds Savor ‘Chef’ Over Mother’s Day Weekend; Gia Coppola’s ‘Palo Alto’ Seduces

By | Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 8:38am PDT

chef2014 SXSW Film Festival opener Chef by writer-director-star Jon Favreau had audiences salivating this weekend in limited release. It cooked up a good showing in 6 theaters with a solid $204K opening and landing in the top tier of this year’s releases in terms of theater average. The feature, also starring Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, and Dustin Hoffman no less,Specialty Box Office came in just over $34K in its PTA. Only a few other titles landed higher in their openings in the averages game. Grand Budapest Hotel is way out in front — and likely will be for sometime — with a $202K average, while Fading Gigolo opened in April with a $39,860 average in an initial five runs. Under The Skin (which incidentally also featured Johansson) came in with a $35K PTA in four theaters.

“We’re excited, Chef played great this weekend,” said Open Road’s Jason Cassidy. “Exit polls are stellar and we think the film has a nice long life ahead of it. Kudos go to Favreau for making a great, very playable movie and his work in promotion.” Cassidy said that the audience leaned female “as expected.” It will hit the top 10 markets next week and will expand beyond that based on performance.

Related: DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE: ‘Neighbors’ A Raucous No. 1 As ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Hits A Wall; ‘The Other Woman’ On Strong Legs

After a premiere long ago in Telluride, Venice and Toronto (and recently at the San Francisco and Montclair film festivals), another Coppola enters the box office with her debut feature. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Chef’, ‘Palo Alto’, ‘God’s Pocket’, ‘The Double’, ‘Queen Margot’

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 6:01pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Specialties boasting stars are certainly in abundance among this weekend’s crop of newcomers. SXSW Film Festival opener Chef  by and starring Jon Favreau along with Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson and even Dustin Hoffman begins its run Friday in limited release via Open Road Films. Another Coppola will see a film hit a theatrical run as well. Gia Coppola’s directorial debut Palo Alto, based on short stories written by James Franco (who also stars) also bows courtesy of Tribeca Film. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in IFC Films’ God’s Pocket by Mad Men director (and actor) John Slattery, while Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in Richard Ayoade’s The Double for Magnolia Pictures. And Cohen Media Group will open the re-release of French filmmaker Patrice Chéreau’s 1994 feature Queen Margot in New York before heading to other U.S. locations.

Chefchef
Director-writer: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Dustin Hoffman, Sofía Vergara, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris
Distributor: Open Road Films

Open Road cooked up its acquisition of Chef while it was still in the script stage, though it did not produce the film. The 2014 SXSW Film Festival opening-night comedy revolves around a chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while putting back together his estranged family.Favreau had tapped on the talents of Food Truck guru Roy Choi to make sure authenticity was in tact.”He’s back to his indie roots and you can feel the passion,” said Open Road’s president of marketing Jason Cassidy. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Belle’ Is A Potent Lady; ‘Ida’ Shows Traction; ‘Walk Of Shame’ Tiptoes Into Limited Release

By | Sunday May 4, 2014 @ 10:21am PDT

Specialty Box OfficeFox Searchlight had another solid debut this weekend with its initial limited opening of Belle in four New York and L.A. theaters, while foreign-language feature Ida showed some traction in a trio of locations despite the Spider-Man 2 juggernaut. While certainly nowhere near the stratospheric numbers of its fellow Searchlight roll out The Grand Budapest Hotel earlier this year, British-set period drama Belle nevertheless managed a regal bow, grossing over $104K, giving the film a $26,123 theater average. Searchlight said the feature outgrossed Spidey at the Landmark in West LA and was the second highest grosser at the Arclight in Hollywood. In New York, it also had strong numbers at Lincoln Plaza and Sunshine theaters.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Casts $92M Web; ‘The Other Woman’ Holding Strong; ‘Rio2′ Passes $100M

belle“We’re pretty happy with how it opened. It’s an interesting thing with a film that’s very sophisticated like this and you’re hoping to get the cinephile crowd out,” Searchlight’s EVP of Distribution Frank Rodriguez told me Sunday morning. “The secret of this film is to keep it in theaters and see if it can get some traction. We know we have a great art film and we know we’re going to do well with it. The real goal here is to see if it can go a little mainstream. To do that with Spider-Man and the like will be interesting. Perhaps it’s a bit of counter-programming, but if we had had a $15 – 25K [PTA this weekend] I would have been happy, so we’re at the high end of that. In this business anything can happen, but we’re going into the right theaters and targeting a sophisticated audience.” Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Tom Hardy’s ‘Locke’ Drives A Solid Launch; ‘Fading Gigolo’ Strong In Expansion

By | Sunday April 27, 2014 @ 10:19am PDT

Locke Tom Hardy box officeThe weekend welcomed well over a half-dozen new Specialty releases, though most had tepid theatrical launches at best. A24‘s Locke was the sole exception, opening in several locations and grossing over $89K for a solid $22,302 theater average. The result is another feather in the cap for A24, coming on the heels of its Jonathan Glazer-directed feature starring Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin, at the beginning of April. That film is the year’s 3rd highest opener in terms of averages among Specialties ($35K in 4 locations). Locke sold to virtually every territory ahead of last year’s AFM and had a healthy start in the U.K., opening recently. A24 touted its Locke roll out Sunday when reporting numbers: “Locke had the highest per screen average in the country this weekend opening at $89,210 on 4 screens in NY and LA. Steven Knight’s extraordinary film received rave reviews, particularly for Tom Hardy’s one-man tour-de-force performance that is already garnering awards buzz.” The distributor will move Locke into the top 50 markets on this side of the Atlantic in the coming weeks.

Specialty Box OfficeArgentina’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration last year, The German Doctor, had the weekend’s second best PTA among newcomers. It grossed just over $35K in five theaters for a $7K theater average. “It’s a cool thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat,” said Peter Goldwyn this week about the title Goldwyn Films picked up out of Cannes last year. “[Writer-director Lucía Puenzo's] ability to keep this creeping monster in the room is extraordinary.” The German Doctor will expand into major cities throughout May.

Blue RuinRADiUS-TWC bowed fellow Cannes ’13 title Blue Ruin in 7 theaters in addition to a VOD/digital opening this weekend. Blue Ruin, written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, grossed $31,832 for a $4,547 PTA. RADiUS did not reveal actual non-theatrical numbers, but noted its solid showing in the space Sunday via co-president Tom Quinn: “After multiple awards, rave reviews, and an extraordinary Festival run, Blue Ruin is finally unleashed unto the masses. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening; ‘Under The Skin’ Passes $1M

By | Sunday April 20, 2014 @ 9:18am PDT

Indie FilmsFading Gigolo cashed in at the box office this Easter weekend, catapulting itself to the second-highest theater average of 2014 among specialty releases. The feature directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro, Woody Allen and Sharon Stone opened in five locations in New York and LA on Friday, grossing an estimated $198,399 through Sunday for a solid $39,680 average. That outranks A24′s strong debut for Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, which opened at the beginning of this month. That film, incidentally, passed the $1M cume mark this weekend, with the Jonathan Glazer-directed experimental sci-fi pic grossing $140K in four theaters for a $35K average. The top opener by far of course is Fox Searchlight’s sizzling The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed to a record $202K per-theater average March 9.

Related: Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises, ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell

FadingGigoloThe opening for Fading Gigolo portends a good run for the comedy, which centers on Fioravante (Turturro), who decides to become a Don Juan as a way of making money for his cash-strapped friend Murray (Allen). Turturro told me last week the film had sold to “top notch” distributors worldwide with strong opens in some international territories ahead of its U.S. launch. “It’s a date movie and even people in their 20s like the movie,” he said. “If they like the movie, then anyone will like the movie.” Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee said this morning that Fading Gigolo is performing better than even hoped. “We saw a spectacular jump from Friday to Saturday, which goes to show that audiences were craving a funny and heartfelt film,” he said. Millennium will hold in NY and LA next week expanding the film to 25 runs in both metropolitan areas. It will head to San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami on May 2, then to additional markets May 9.

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Under The Skin saw a sizable expansion and grossed more than $467K in 176 theaters, averaging $2,656. Last week, the film grossed over $309K from 54 runs ($5,727 PTA). Its cume now stands at $1,086,241.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Fading Gigolo’, ‘The Final Member’, More Read More »

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