Weekend openers in the specialty arena did not impress once again, taking an unfortunate cue from their studio brethren apart from The Avengers juggernaut. Even so, some holdovers including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Bernie undoubtedly received a champagne santé by their execs today at the (very wet) Cannes Film Festival.
Among specialty newbies, Zeitgeist Films’ Elena led the per-theater race, although it opened at just one location, taking in over $9K. Sony Classics‘ Hysteria‘ bowed in five theaters, averaging just over $8K, nabbing the second best of the newcomers. More disappointing were Sundance Selects‘ Polisse, which rolled into three theaters, averaging under $6K, while eOne’s Virginia squeaked out a $1,262 average from five locations.
Pantelion/Lionsgate’s Girl In Progress grossed $460K in its second weekend, down steeply from its debut of $1.35 million in its opener, a gross decline of 67%, while the number of theaters held at 322. Girl averaged $1,429 ($4,193 last week) and has cumed just over $2.1 million. Also in its second weekend, Where Do We Go Now? added nine locations, averaging $2,174 from a $26K gross. In its debut, the film averaged $5,592 from three theaters.
Now in its third weekend, Fox Searchlight’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel took the No. 6 spot in the overall national box office — pretty impressive considering it’s in only 354 theaters. By comparison, The Hunger Games, which is in seventh place (although it’s been in release awhile) remained in 2,064 theaters. With a weekend gross of $3.25 million, Marigold has now cumed $8.2 million. By comparison, last year’s Midnight In Paris had taken in just under $7 million at the same point in release. “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has started to draw from a wider audience who are interested in a film with interesting characters, a great story, and lots of laughter,” said Frank Rodriguez, Fox Searchlight’s SVP of Distribution. Searchlight will expand the film into 1,100 theaters heading into Memorial Day weekend. Also impressive is Millennium’s Bernie which had a 133% increase in gross over the previous weekend after adding 59 locations. The Richard Linklater-directed feature grossed $511K, averaging $5,380 vs last weekend’s $6,014.
1. Hysteria (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $40,829, Average $8,166
2. Polisse (Sundance Selects) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $17,680, Average $5,893
3. Elena (Zeitgeist Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,393
4. Virginia (Entertainment One) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $6,311, Average $1,262
5. American Animal (Screen Media) NEW [1 Theaters] Weekend $6K