St. Patrick’s Day weekend proved lucky for the Dardenne brothers’ U.S. debut of The Kid With A Bike. IFC Films opened the Belgian filmmakers’ picture in 3 locations with a robust $16,300 per screen. SXSW ’11 awards-winner Natural Selection opened at the Angelika in NYC with a decent $9,201. The Duplass Bros’ Jeff Who Lives At Home bowed in 254 theaters, with a modest $3,307 average.
Co-director Mark Duplass told Deadline that their distributor Paramount Vantage spent very little on the release’s P&A debut and they hoped the film’s cast would attract audiences despite the modest marketing dollars. They remain hopeful for the weeks ahead. “We found the gamble to be good and bad,” said Duplass. “Turns out awareness of the film was low going into the weekend, but that the people who did discover the film are spreading incredibly strong word-of-mouth as evidenced by the uptick throughout the weekend. We plan to expand next weekend with a more aggressive P&A spend as well.”
The main box office story was Sony’s 21 Jump Street‘s $35 million bow, but Lionsgate’s Spanish-language Will Farrell vehicle Casa De Mi Padre had an impressive rollout for what otherwise amounted to a specialty release.
Among week 2 specialty holdovers, Roadside Attractions added 266 theaters for Friends With Kids, averaging a decent $2,344, a 26% decline from its first weekend. Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen was perhaps the weekend’s most solid holdover, adding 44 screens, averaging a solid $7,339, a 45% drop from the film’s bow in 18 locations.
1. The Kid With A Bike (IFC Films) New [3 Theaters] Weekend $48K, Per Screen Average $16,300
2. Jeff Who Lives At Home (Paramount Vantage) NEW [254 Theaters] Weekend $840K, Per Screen Average $3,307
3. Natural Selection (The Cinema Guild) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $9,201
4. Detachment (Tribeca Film) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $11,050, Per Screen Average $5,525
5. Seeking Justice (Anchor Bay) NEW [231 Theaters] Weekend $260K, Per Screen Average $1,126