Specialty Box Office: Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’ Beats ‘Midnight In Paris’ Debut

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Indie FilmsWoody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine sparkled at the Box Office this weekend, grossing nearly $603K, out-performing Midnight In Paris ($99,834 debut average in 6 theaters), the director’s best-grossing film to date. The Sony Classics feature opened in 6 theaters, averaging a shiny $102,128, placing the film atop the year’s specialty debuts. “It certainly belies the myth opening,” said SPC’s Michael Barker about debuting against the summer blockbusters. “When we first screened the film I remember we heard that people said, “‘Why aren’t you waiting until the fall?’ Our response was that a good serious film will be a good breath of fresh air.” Jasmine edges out Spring Breakers in the averages game in 2013. The To-Do List, meanwhile, became this summer’s largest opening specialty, bowing in 591 theaters, grossing a cool $1.535M. Coming back down to earth, Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s Drug War opened in one theater, grossing a decent $7K, while fellow Sino title Tiny Times averaged $4,167 in three runs.

Blue Jasmine‘s b.o. cha-ching apparently isn’t an aberration. Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back and TWC’s Sundance winner Fruitvale Station continue to lure discerning audiences away from the tentpoles. The company said it would take the title wide this weekend and it really delivered. The Weinsteins pushed Fruitvale out to 1,064 theaters (last week in only 34 runs) and the film by this year’s indie darling Ryan Coogler held up. It averaged $4,377 and the distributor touted its numbers Sunday. And Fox Searchlight added 582 runs for its hit The Way, Way Back, grossing $3.3M ($3,724 average). It’s been noted that the film cost a cool $10M to buy, so it will take some time to make a return for the company, but it is clearly showing momentum. Back has cumed about $9 million to date. Read More »

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Johnnie To’s ‘Life Without Principle’ Takes Top Prize At Asia-Pacific Film Festival

By | Saturday December 15, 2012 @ 11:30pm PST

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

Johnnie To’s crime drama Life Without Principle (watch trailer below) was named best film at the 55th Asia-Pacific Film Festival awards presented today at Macau’s Venetian Resort Hotel. The festival originally was to take place in September in Shanghai, the first time the event would have been held in mainland China, but was cancelled after the Chinese government raised objections about the fest’s secretariat being based in Taiwan. To’s saga about a criminal, a bank officer and a cop caught up in the global financial crisis — Hong Kong’s submission for best foreign-language film at the Oscars — also garnered the best supporting actor gong for Lo Hoi-pang.
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Global Showbiz Briefs: Branagh Knighted, Winslet Honored, ‘Drug Lord’ In Rome

By | Sunday November 11, 2012 @ 5:35pm PST

Actor-director Kenneth Branagh has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth who also recognized actress Kate Winslet as a Commander of the British empire. Stage and screen veteran Branagh will now be known as Sir Kenneth. “I feel very humble about it, I feel elated about it,” he told the BBC.  Branagh is currently directing and co-starring with Chris Pine in Paramount’s Tom Clancy reboot Jack Ryan. Winslet will be seen next in the ensemble comedy Movie 43 that opens January 25. Additionally Take That frontman Gary Barlow, a judge on the British version of X-Factor, received the Order of the British Empire.
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