Boyhood 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 Films‘ Boyhood 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.
Last weekend Richard Linklater made a Specialty box office splash with the 2nd highest screen average of the year with Boyhood. This week, Focus will hope to grab some similarly outsized attention for Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here. His previous film, 2004′s Garden State, cumed more than $26.7 million at a time before crowd sourcing was an indie norm. Braff has since learned some new tricks, raising the seed money for his latest, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Fox Searchlight will open second-time feature filmmaker Mike Cahill‘s I Origins on both coasts, while Drafthouse will bow French filmmaker Michel Gondry‘s Mood Indigo in two locations in NYC and L.A. Bond/360 will open the weekend’s new doc, Alive Inside, in an initial exclusive New York run. The film won an audience prize at Sundance.
Fox Searchlight has debuted the trailer to Mike Cahill‘s provocative sci-fi romance feature. The film marks Cahill’s second directorial feature following Another Earth. Similar to that film three years ago, I Origins took home the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, an award that is bestowed to a film that focuses on science or technology as a theme or depicts a scientist, mathematician or engineer as a major character. Fitting the latter part of that description in I Origins is molecular biologist Dr. Ian Gray (Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Pitt), who is pursuing his Ph.D. in eye evolution with med student Karen (Brit Marling) as his lab assistant. While Karen is set on giving non-seeing organisms (i.e. worms) a pair of eyes, Dr. Gray only has eyes for Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), a mysterious beauty who captivates his life. Years later, after her departure, Karen and Dr. Gray make a discovery that jolts their world, sending them to India to validate their theory. Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) also star. Searchlight, which also distributed Another Earth, acquired worldwide rights on I Origins at Sundance for about $3 million. I Origins bows July 18. Take a look:
EXCLUSIVE: The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun has signed with Gotham/Principal for management and Paradigm. Yeun, whose Glenn character staved off illness and a final episode zombie attack that brings him back for more, is part of the cast of I Origins, the Mike Cahill-directed science fiction film that premiered at Sundance and was acquired for distribution by Fox Searchlight, with Michael Pitt, Brit Marling and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey also starring. Yeun has made it four seasons on AMC’s The Walking Dead. He continues to be lawyered by Adam Kaller.
UPDATE, 2 PM: Fox Searchlight just confirmed it has acquired worldwide rights to I Origins. Full release follows after the original break.
PREVIOUS, EXCLUSIVE, 9:30 AM: I hear Fox Searchlight is the frontrunner to make a world rights deal on I, Origins, the science fiction film written and directed by Mike Cahill. I’m hearing the deal closed at around $3 million, but I’m waiting to confirm. The film premiered Saturday at the Eccles Theater; it will be released domestically by Fox Searchlight. It stars Michael Pitt and Brit Marling, and Cahill and Pitt produced it with Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky. It focuses on a group of biologists who make a discovery that has far-reaching consequences. Fox Searchlight did the domestic on Cahill’s last film with Marling, Another Earth, and Fox released in some foreign territories. WME Global brokered the deal.
PARK CITY, UT January 20, 2014 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the existential drama I ORIGINS. Directed and written by Mike Cahill, I ORIGINS is his second feature following ANOTHER EARTH which Fox Searchlight acquired at Sundance in 2011. The film stars Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi with Cahill, Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky serving as producers. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014.