The 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%
Magnolia 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 »
The likes of Maleficent, A Million Ways To Die In The West or X-Men haven’t completely scared away the Specialties hoping to slice a bit of box office cash from those who go against the grain. Some of this week’s slew of newcomers even have a number of stars to boost their chances. Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church star in IFC Films’ Lucky Them, while Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard are in Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves via Cinedigm. Taylor Kitsch goes indie in eOne’s The Grand Seduction and James McAvoy front’s Filth from Magnolia. The distributor is also rolling out Swedish director Lukas Moodysson’s festival favorite We Are The Best! and Indican is bowing Emoticon ;). And the doc of the weekend goes to PJ Raval’s Before You Know It spotlighting LGBT senior citizens with release partner The Film Collaborative.
Director: Megan Griffiths
Writers: Huck Botko, Caroline Sherman (original idea), Emily Wachtel
Cast: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Oliver Platt, Ryan Eggold, Nina Arianda, Ahna O’Reilly, Lynn Shelton, Johnny Depp
Distributor: IFC Films
Writer and producer Emily Wachtel had worked on the script for what would be Lucky Them for over a decade. Fellow producer Amy Hobby joined the project several years ago for the story that originally was destined to shoot in New York with a different director. The project changed coasts, added Megan Griffiths at the helm and scored a name cast with persistence paying off in the end on one star. The drama centers on a rock journalist who is assigned to explore her own past. “We met Megan [Griffiths] in Seattle and realized it felt better to shoot there,” said Amy Hobby. “Once she was on board a bit of money came in. Plus in winter you can get the best crew.” Emily Wachtel suggested Toni Collette as a lead and Thomas Haden Church’s role as Charlie was written for him specifically. Read More »
Things get mighty tense as three eco-saboteurs plot to take out a hydroelectric dam in Oregon. Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard star in Night Moves, which Cinedigm picked up after it screened at Toronto, Venice and Deauville. Kelly Reichardt directed the thriller, which she wrote with Jon Raymond. Here’s the trailer for the pic, which arrives May 30: