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Specialty Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Lofty $55K PTA In Expansion; Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ Solid

By | Sunday March 16, 2014 @ 11:11am PDT

Specialty Box OfficeThe Grand Budapest Hotel continued to charm audiences as it expanded, cashing in. The Fox Searchlight powerhouse moved into 66 theaters in its second weekend, grossing a cool $3.64M for a still dazzling $55,152 per-theater average. The Wes Anderson film shattered a slew of records last weekend when it opened in four theaters with a $200K screen average. It is still a must-see in its second round and even surpassed Anderson’s last film Moonrise Kingdom in the b.o. in its second week. That film played in 16 theaters in its second weekend after a record-breaking opener $130K-plus average back in May 2012. In its second weekend, Moonrise averaged $53,043 and went on to cume over $45.5M.

Related: Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Looks To Take No. 1 Spot; ‘Need For Speed’ Stalling; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Lackluster, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again

grand-budapest_2813768bBudapest placed 8th in the overall box office. Noted Searchlight Sunday reporting the numbers: “The film is reaching a wide audience beyond the core Wes Anderson fans. While moviegoers have been visiting Art houses and Specialty venues in record breaking fashion this weekend, there have also been great results in the few mainstream multiplexes that we opened as well. It appears that the film has as opportunity to cross over to an audience who may not have seen his films before, but are now ready to check into The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Searchlight will take Budapest to an additional 40 markets next week and will expand in existing cities, taking the feature to 275 – 325 theaters. And it will expand further later in the month and into April. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Enemy’, ‘Bad Words’, ‘Le Week-end’, ‘On My Way’, ‘Teenage’, ‘Big Men’, ‘Dark House’, ‘Shirin In Love’

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The shadow of the Oscar season and last weekend’s record shattering theatrical debut of Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel hang over the coming weekend’s releases. Some competitors hailed its success and said they hoped to ride in its wake as they head to theaters this Friday and beyond. A24 will roll out Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Enemy by Denis Velleneuve who has had success in both the studio and indie space. Jason Bateman takes the director’s chair for the first time with TIFF and SXSW feature Bad Words for Focus. Music Box Films will open U.K.’s Le Week-end after delaying its roll out post awards-season. France’s On My Way starring Catherine Deneuve opens in theaters following its premiere at an annual French film series in NYC via Cohen Media Group. Abramorama is opening doc Big Men with the support of Brad Pitt who executive produced. Jason Schwartzman also exec produced a doc opening this weekend, the hybrid Teenage from Oscilloscope. And Paladin and Cinedigm are teaming on indie thriller Dark House, while Shirin In Love takes a bilingual approach as it heads to theaters in the Specialty space this weekend.

Enemyenemy2
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Javier Gullón, José Saramago (novel)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace
Distributor: A24

Québécois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his 2011 feature Incendies, which Sony Classics released with a cast unknown in the States, taking in $2 million-plus domestically. His next feature was crime-thriller Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, a studio film that grossed over $61 million domestically. Gyllenhaal returns with Enemy, a mystery-thriller about a man who seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. A24, which had multiple box office hits in the Specialty arena in its first year, including Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring and The Spectacular Now, first caught Enemy at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Newcomers Overshadowed By ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Opener

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 1:26pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)After spending most of 2014 gushing over the Oscar nominees and relatively few others, the specialty box office biz got a massive jolt this weekend with the arrival of Wes Anderson‘s Berlin opener The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Fox Searchlight film broke records for a live-action opener, grossing a massive $800K in four theaters (the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, the Landmark in West LA, the Regal Union Square in NY, and the AMC Lincoln Square in NY) for a stunning $200K per-theater average. Other openers braved opening alongside Budapest this weekend with various results.

Related: Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Record Debut

Three of the bigger openings this weekend had not reported numbers as of this afternoon. Magnolia Pictures opened the Elijah Wood-starring thriller Grand Piano in one theater each in New York, L.A. and Austin. The distrib’s genre label Magnet Releasing is behind the North American rollout of China blockbuster Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons, which grossed $205 million in its home territory alone last year. It opened Friday in 10 markets ahead of a broader U.S. rollout. Another pic, the Italian drama Miele (Honey), opened in a single NY theater before expanding to LA next week. We’ll update with those numbers when they arrive.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Journey To The West, More

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Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Record Per-Screen Average

grand-budapest_2813768bWes Anderson topped himself with another record-breaker this weekend. After premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and last week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far the year’s biggest screen average debut and the biggest-ever opening for a live-action film. Fox Searchlight opened Budapest in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, grossing $800K for a stunning $200K screen average between Friday and Sunday. The number easily surpasses another record holder, The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson, which starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That film opened in September 2012 with five runs, grossing over $736K for a $142,262 PTA. This weekend’s Budapest numbers also top Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed nearly $523K in four theaters when it opened following its Cannes debut in May 2012. A Focus Features release, it averaged $130,749 and went on to cume more than $45.5 million in the U.S.

Related: Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Budapest’ Per Screen Stuns

Last year, animated feature Frozen opened with a $243,490 PTA, but this weekend’s Budapest numbers outgross another 2013 box office juggernaut, American Hustle, which opened in six theaters in December, grossing more than $740K for a $123,409 PTA. It has grossed $148.43M to date. Budapest also debuted this weekend in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film’s profile is sky-high in Germany and elsewhere in Europe after its world premiere as opening-night film last month in Berlin.

Related: Specialty Box Office: Newcomers Overshadowed By ‘Budapest’ Opener

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Specialty Box Office: SPC’s ‘The Lunchbox’ Solid Newcomer As Oscar Hopefuls Continue Their Reign

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:40am PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)All attention is on the Oscars (and Spirits) this weekend, but a couple new specialty releases managed to gain some sparkle as they rolled out in limited release. Sony Pictures Classics’ Cannes debut The Lunchbox from India reigned over a half-dozen newcomers that rolled out Friday. e LunchboxThe feature from the subcontinent (and not a “usual Bollywood” film) found traction to the tune of $51K-plus in an NYC & LA platform release for a solid $17,108 average, while Cinedigm’s Bag Man also bowed decently, grossing over $28K for a $14,245 average.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Non-Stop,’ And Powerful ‘Son Of God’ Fly Past ‘Lego’ On Wings And A Prayer; ‘Lego’ Passes $200M, ‘Frozen’ To Pass $1 Billion

“It’s one of those engaging foreign films that has a potential to cross over [audiences],” SPC’s Michael Barker said about the film this week. “It’s culturally Indian, however the story crosses all borders.” Barker said the film will head to up to a dozen markets the following week, eventually playing the top 50 markets within five weeks of this weekend’s initial rollout.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Bag Man’, ‘Repentance’, ‘Stalingrad’, ‘The Lunchbox’, ‘Fatal Assistance’

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 6:00pm PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Big Sony is opening Russian epic Stalingrad in a record number of IMAX theaters this weekend. The roll out may be a watershed for Russian filmmaking in the U.S. and it marks another blending of “specialty” and “Hollywood” though that isn’t really new as the grey areas have mounted for years. Hollywood’s biggest stars have long had indies intervals between studio cash cows. Cinedigm will open The Bag Man with Robert De Niro and John Cusack theatrically, while the Universal acquisition will remain with the studio’s non-theatrical lineup. Lionsgate/Codeblack will bow Repentance with Anthony Mackie and Forest Whitaker in over 150 theaters, targeting its primarily African-American audience. On the traditional end, Sony Classics will platform Cannes debut The Lunchbox this weekend, while Velvet Films will open an exclusive engagement at Film Society of Lincoln Center for Raoul Peck’s Fatal Assistance.

The Bag Manthe-bag-man-movie-poster
Director-writer: David Grovic
Writers: Paul Conway, James Russo, Marie-Louise von Franz (inspired by her short story, The Cat)
Cast: John Cusack, Rebecca Da Costa, Robert De Niro, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell
Distributor: Cinedigm

First-time feature filmmaker David Grovic landed quite a cast for his crime thriller The Bag Man. Starring John Cusack, Rebecca Da Costa and Robert De Niro, the title centers on a criminal who bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag. “We were incredibly fortunate to get essentially first choices in all the roles,” said Grovic. “Unless you’re a studio paying huge money, I think the only way you can get this quality of cast is by making it a passion project.” Grovic said that the cast responded to the script’s non-stereotypical traits including De Niro’s hair and eccentric dialog as well as Da Costa’s wonder woman outfit for starters. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Elaine Stritch’ & Oscar Contender ‘Omar’ Bow OK; ‘Beijing Love Story’ Continues To Seduce

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 11:27am PST

Specialty Box OfficeElaine Stritch‘s new docu opened in a pair of New York theaters this weekend to a decent crowd. The Tribeca ’13 doc opened at Lincoln Plaza and IFC Center grossing $30K. Now in a wheelchair and frail, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress/performer nevertheless made headlines last weekend when she delivered the F-bomb on The Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, giving the film a round of publicity in the lead up to its weekend opening. elaine stritch shoot meElaine Stritch: Shoot Me got off to a fantastic start as the film will roll out to the top twenty markets throughout March. “Audiences came out to see the well reviewed documentary about the legendary Emmy and Tony award winner,” noted IFC Films Sunday. It will also be available via VOD soon.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Is Lord Of Business, Costner’s ’3 Days To Kill’ No. 2 Buries ‘Pompeii’

Adopt Films opened its Foreign-Language Oscar nominee Omar in a fairly wide 51 theaters. The Palestinian feature by Hany Abu-Assad won festival accolades from Cannes, London, NYFF and AFI Fest had by far the widest opening among its fellow Oscar contenders that have opened Stateside. Tribeca Film’s Broken Circle Breakdown opened in one theater grossing $7,100 ($158 cume), while Magnolia’s The Hunt bowed in 10 theaters last July, growing $43K ($613 cume). Janus Films’ The Great Beauty is by far the box office winner among the pack, passing the $2 million cume threshold this week. It opened in one location in November, grossing $23,442. Strand’s The Missing Picture from Cambodia will open next month. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Omar’, ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’, ‘Barefoot,’ ‘In Secret,’ ‘The Standbys’, ‘Black Out’

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 7:57pm PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)A new Oscar nominee is finally making its theatrical outing this weekend. Foreign-language contender Omar will open in over a few dozen locations, giving the director of this Palestinian feature his largest bow Stateside via Adopt Films. IFC Films will open Tribeca debut Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me in New York, capitalizing on the Tony and Emmy Award-winner’s long-time home before her recent move. Roadside Attractions will launch a pair of films, Barefoot and In Secret, though the two will have much different theatrical trajectories. Diginext will open doc The Standbys in NYC, capitalizing on its Broadway base, while Music Box Films’ genre label Doppelgänger Releasing will open Black Out in limited runs.

Omaromar
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Cast: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Iyad Hoorani, Essam Abu Aabed, Baher Agbariya
Distributor: Adopt Films

Combining elements of a thriller, intrigue and a love story, Oscar-nominated film (Foreign Language category) Omar had its premiere in Cannes and later screened in Toronto and at NYFF. The feature revolves around a young Palestinian fighter who agrees to work as an informant after he’s tricked into an admission of guilt by association after the killing of an Israeli soldier. “Omar showcases the human limitations of an occupied people where the collective paranoia invades the daily life of both the Israelis and Palestinians,” said Tim Grady, president of Distribution at Adopt Films, which also distributed Israeli film Bethlehem, also filmed in the West Bank. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Beijing Love Story’ Solid Niche Opening In Quiet Holiday Weekend

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:12pm PST

beijinglovestoryThe Presidents Day weekend was rather quiet for the Specialty Box Office in a holiday otherwise dominated by Legos. Only one newcomer bothered to report 3-day numbers Sunday, though they were decently solid. China Lion’s Valentine’s offering Beijing Love Story brought out its niche following of audiences who gravitate to China’s big screen features. The film grossed $128K for a $14,222 PTA. “We’re in our core communities and pushing our grassroots outreach there,” China Lion’s Robert Lundberg said this week.

Specialty Box OfficeAs of early afternoon EST, other Specialty openers including Girl On A Bicycle (Monterey Media), Lucky Bastard (Cavu Pictures) and Jimmy P. (IFC Films) hadn’t reported their numbers. Here’s hoping IFC Films will back Jimmy P., a film that premiered in competition in Cannes and later debuted Stateside at the New York Film Festival. It has had decent reviews, so hopefully it is not simply being dumped by the distributor. Stay tuned…

Related: Box Office: ‘Lego’ Blocks ’80s Remakes In Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend

Among second weekend holdovers, Kino Lorber continued to reap decent numbers for its doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq, which continued its exclusive engagement at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Girl On A Bicycle’, ‘Down And Dangerous’, ‘Beijing Love Story’, ‘Lucky Bastard’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 10:50am PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Valentine’s Day, not surprisingly, is a ripe date to open a romantic comedy. Monterey Media is hoping to tap those love bird dollars with its Paris set Girl On A Bicycle with a fairly hefty 60-market bow in major cities including New York and Los Angeles. China Lion will open Beijing Love Story, appealing to its Chinese-American audience with the filmed version of a popular television show. But Valentine’s Day can also offer work that perhaps goes against the grain. Cavu Pictures will open Lucky Bastard, which boasts an NC-17 and a story involving a young man winning a “date” with a porn star. Zak Forsman’s Down And Dangerous skirts the manufactured holiday as well with a film that filmed in L.A. on the edge of the law.

Girl On A Bicyclgirlbicycle1e
Director-writer: Jeremy Leven
Cast: Vincenzo Amato, Nora Tschirner, Paddy Considine, Louise Monot, Stéphane Debac
Distributor: Monterey Media

Agency Paradigm presented German-U.S. production Girl On A Bicycle to Monterey Media last spring. The company found appeal with its Paris setting and the fact it’s a romantic comedy. The feature follows an Italian who drives a Parisian tour bus. He has proposed to his German girlfriend, but things turn upside down when a woman pulls up beside his bus on her bicycle. “We found the film so very charming, and the opportunity of Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year was just the right convergence of circumstances,”said Monterey Media managing partner Scott Mansfield. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Docus ‘Afternoon Of A Faun,’ ‘Kids For Cash’ Bow Solid As Oscar Holdovers Hold Sway

Specialty Box OfficeDocumentaries ruled the school this weekend in the Specialty Box Office. Kino Lorber Films’ doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq pirouetted atop the Specialty Box Office among the weekend’s newcomers including fellow docu Kids For Cash and Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. Afternoon of a Faun, which debuted at the 51st New York Film Festival, Afternoon of a Faun ballet documentaryreturned to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for its theatrical roll out, clearly tapping into an audience familiar with the famous ballerina, affectionately known as Tanny. Kino Lorber booked over $4,800 in pre-sales before its opening at Film Society. The film played the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and moved later to the bigger Walter Reade Theater. Noted Kino Lorber’s Gary Palmucci Sunday: “With perfect first positioning by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Afternoon of a Faun certainly blasted off this weekend – we’re all thrilled and getting ready to pirouette into national release in the coming weeks.”

kidsforcashProducer-director Robert May’s SenArt Films teamed with Mark Urman’s Paladin on Kids For Cash, a documentary centered on a scandal that took place in Pennsylvania. The partners kept it local, opening at several locations in and around the Philadelphia area and other cities, tapping into public awareness of the story. The strategy of ducking the usual L.A.-NYC roll out appears to have mostly paid off in its first bow.Kids For Cash grossed $40,800, for a $10,200 PTA. “At the end of February, we’ll take on other major markets,” Urman told Deadline this week. “We’re not sneaking into town to that place that typically plays your usual documentary. It’s a gut punch of a movie and we see no reason to treat it as if it were for the only discerning few.” Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Love & Air Sex’, ‘Kids For Cash’, ‘Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq’, ‘Cavemen’, ‘The Attorney’, ‘The Pretty One’

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 5:59pm PST

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The weekend is offering a bounty of Specialty newcomers, though most will likely see out their releases in a niche capacity. Tribeca Film is bowing Bryan Poyser’s Love & Air Sex, combining a contest with a not quite real simulation to accompany its roll out. SenArt and Paladin are teaming for a unique release for Kids For Cash in Pennsylvania, while fellow doc Afternoon Of A Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq will go a more traditional route. Well Go USA is doubling up with Cavemen and The Attorney, though there should be very little audience overlap, while Dada will open The Pretty One in limited release. Also opening this weekend is Drafthouse Films’ Field In England. The specialty distributor will open the film in select cities theatrically as well as on VOD/digital platforms.

Love & Air Sexloveairsex
Director-writer: Bryan Poyser
Writers: David DeGrow Shotwell, Steven Walters
Cast: Ashley Bell, Zach Cregger, Sara Paxton, Michael Stahl-David, Addison Timlin, Marshall Allman, Justin Arnold
Distributor: Tribeca Film

Director-co-writer Bryan Poyser debuted his latest film in his hometown, Austin, at last year’s SXSW Film Festival. The comedy centers on Stan who attempts to alleviate his broken heart by flying to Austin for the weekend, hoping to “accidentally” run into his ex-girlfriend Cathy. When he arrives, he finds his best friends Jeff and Kara in the middle of their own vicious breakup. “It’s a script that came to me through Preferred Content and optioned through a couple of writers,” said Poyser. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Docus ‘Tim’s Vermeer,’ ’12 O’Clock Boys’ Lead Indie Newcomers

Specialty Box OfficeTwo docs joined the Specialty Box Office ranks this weekend doing OK business in theaters, while holdovers grabbed most of the shine. SPC re-released Tim’s Vermeer after a December qualifying run. The film failed to secure a nomination, 12 O'Clock Boysbut nevertheless bowed fairly well in 4 theaters, grossing almost $58K for a $14,461 PSA. Oscilloscope, meanwhile, opened SXSW ’13 doc 12 O’Clock Boys with less robust theatrical numbers, averaging $2,452 in 21 theaters. The film is also available on demand and the outfit noted it “enjoyed the top performing documentary spot on iTunes throughout the entire weekend.”

Magnolia Pictures once again packaged Oscar-nominated shorts, opening the pack of films in 100 theaters. It has, thankfully, had success in the past with the release and hopefully this year will be no different. Hats off to them for doing so. The shorts grossed $330K for a $3,300 average.

Stranger by the LakeStrand Releasing stuck its neck out with the Cannes Un Certain Regard French-language sexually charged feature Stranger By the Lake. The film opened decently last weekend in two locations and held on in its second round in six theaters, grossing just over $34K for a $5,678 average. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘12 O’Clock Boys’, ‘Peter Brook: The Tightrope’, ‘At Middleton’, ‘Best Night Ever’

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 5:23pm PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Oscilloscope may have the weekend’s biggest Specialty newcomer with 12 O’Clock Boys. The SXSW competition feature was a hit with audiences at the Austin, TX festival and played well there. It will have a fairly sizable opening for a documentary Friday. Anchor Bay’s At Middleton will play over a dozen runs. The Seattle International Film Festival premiere stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in the romantic comedy. Other roll outs will be much more niche with First Run’s Peter Brook: The Tightrope targeting a New York theater/actor audience. Magnet’s Best Night Ever is an Ultra-VOD release that will have only one run outside the major markets before adding some playdates in the coming weeks.

12 O’Clock Boys12oclockboys
Director-writer: Lotfy Nathan
Subjects: Coco, Pug, Steven
Distributor: Oscilloscope

Documentary 12 O’Clock Boys was an in-demand choice at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival where it premiered in competition. The feature is a stylish look at the 12 O’Clock Boys, a group of teens from West Baltimore who illegally ride their bikes en masse through the streets. The film follows story of impressionable young Pug, who aspires to join them. “I hired [director] Lotfy Nathan based on a short film he did,” said producer Eric Blair of Mission Film. “The short film did not have the same characters. I asked him to continue shooting footage and see about turning it into a feature.” Blair also grew up in the neighborhoods where he saw the 12 O’Clock Boys ride. Blair was aware of their mantra “living free by riding free” and used that as inspiration to inject lush slow-motion scenes into Nathan’s feature. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Gloria’ Gets Her Number; ‘Gimme Shelter’ Opens Limited; ‘Dallas’ & ’12 Years’ Ride Oscar Wave

gloriaGloria was dissed by Oscar, but she scored on the box office rebound. Chile’s entry for Foreign Language Oscar consideration opened in three theaters to a solid debut, grossing $58,775 for a $19,445 average.

Still, Oscar nominee The Great Beauty opened with a $23,442 average though that was in one theater (its 11 week cume is over $11.45M). Gloria trumped over Belgian nominee Broken Circle Breakdown, which opened with $7,100 also in a single location. Denmark’s The Hunt bowed in 4 runs, averaging $10,761 Stateside and the others have yet to show their pizzazz.

Specialty Box OfficeCannes Un Certain Regard Director’s prize winner Stranger By The Lake opened at Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in New York with a good debut. Set on a beach (and the nearby woods) lakeside in rural France, the sexually upfront feature grossed $26,741 for a $13,370 average. It will next head to San Francisco, Seattle and Miami. And Visitors opened in one run. The Cinedigm release grossed $10,742.

gimmeshelterRoadside also opened Gimme Shelter in a fairly large 385 theaters, continuing its strategy of skirting the traditional platform release when it has a title with named talent. High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens stars as a pregnant teen who runs away from her abusive addict mother (Rosario Dawson) to find her Wall Streeter dad (Brendan Fraser). The film grossed almost $721K for a $1,872 average. “The film went up a promising 23% from Friday to Saturday and we are finding terrific word of mouth for the film,” noted Roadside chief Howard Cohen Sunday. “We expect the audiences we are targeting to discover the film over the next few weeks.” Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Gloria’, ‘Stranger By The Lake’, ‘Visitors’

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 10:51am PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Box Office SpecialtyIt’s probably fair to say that this weekend’s Specialty newcomers fall on opposite ends of the moral spectrum, at least for traditionalists. Roadside’s Gimme Shelter has received a friendly blessing from the Catholic Church ahead of its significant bow this weekend, something that is very unlikely to be enjoyed by Strand’s Stranger By The Lake, which will open in limited release. The Sundance Film Festival, however, gave it its thumbs up by programming it in its event, which is winding down in Park City. Roadside is also debuting Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, Gloria, with a traditional art house release, while Cinedigm will open doc feature Visitors, beginning its limited run Friday.

Gimme Sheltergimmeshelter
Director-writer: Ron Krauss
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, Stephanie Szostak, James Earl Jones, Dascha Polanco, Anne Dowd
Distributor: Roadside Attractions

It’s somewhat rare when mainstream movies find an ally with the Catholic Church, but Gimme Shelter apparently has friends, even in the highest reaches of the Vatican. The drama centers on a pregnant teen who flees her abusive mother in search of her father, but is rejected by him once she finds him. She’s forced to survive on the streets until a compassionate stranger offers “a hopeful alternative.” “We are spending media dollars in both the mainstream and [art house] space on this film,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen. “We have gotten support in the Catholic community. Even the Vatican has mentioned the movie [positively] and U.S. bishops have also talked about the movie.” Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Oscar Nominees ’12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Expand; Newcomers Open Flat

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST

Specialty Box OfficeThe Oscar nominations worked their magic with titles landing major nominations mostly reaping small box office rewards in the first three days of the Martin Luther King weekend, while newcomers were mostly flat. 12 Years A SlaveSteve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave received nine nominations Thursday morning and Fox Searchlight capitalized on the film’s strong showing with the Academy. The film, starring Oscar nominee Chiwetel, added 647 theaters and grossed $1.515M in 761 theaters, averaging a decent $1,991. Last weekend, the film grossed $267K, averaging $2,342. It has a total cume of over $40.6M. Dallas Buyers Club won big at last night’s SAG Awards and also scooped up six Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto. Focus added 294 runs for the film to gross around $917K for a $2,189 per screen average. Dallas‘ PSA is actually an uptick from last weekend’s $1,936 average in 125 theaters. It has cumed $17.972M to date. TWC added 1,146 runs for August: Osage County, holding solid with a nearly $7.6M gross in its fourth week. The film, which received actor nods for Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, averaged $3,702 in 2,051 theaters and has cumed over $18.18M. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Life Of A King’, ‘Generation War’, ‘Back In The Day’, ‘Big Bad Wolves’, ‘G.B.F.’

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 9:33am PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)As Sundance kicks into high gear with much of the spectrum of the indie world high up in Utah, Millennium will debut Life Of A King with Cuba Gooding, Jr. The project has been a passion of veteran producer Jim Young over a decade in the making and will open in a fairly sizable launch this weekend. Music Box will bow Generation War, a feature that was initially shown as a highly successful mini-series in Germany with a “unique” story against the backdrop of WWII. Also a project that gestated over some years, Back In The Day will bow this weekend via Screen Media Films, while Magnet releasing will open Israeli-produced thriller Big Bad Wolves. And festival favorite LGBT-centered G.B.F. will open in an initial limited run by Vertical Entertainment.

Related: Fleming On 2014 Sundance Forecast: Thriving Indie Biz Makes Appetite Strong

Life Of A Kinglifeofking
Director-writer: Jake Goldberger
Writers: David Scott, Dan Wetzel
Cast: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dennis Haysbert, LisaGay Hamilton, Thurston Hill
Distributor: Millennium Films

Life Of A King has roots in a segment from ABC’s Nightline over a decade ago. The drama centers on ex-felon, Eugene Brown (Cuba Gooding, Jr) who establishes a Chess Club for inner city teens in Washington, D.C. “I met a sports writer named Dan Wetzel and he said I had to watch this episode of Nightline about Eugene Brown,” said producer Jim Young. “I watched it and it was unbelievable.” He attempted to track Brown down via the internet, but had difficulty at the time (we’ve come a long way) and decided to go the traditional route by hiring a private detective. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ And ‘Nebraska’ Expand In Blasé Weekend

By | Sunday January 12, 2014 @ 10:44am PST

Specialty Box OfficeThe New Year has yet to make its mark on the Specialty Box Office, though 2013 titles continue to show traction in January. CBS Films jumped Inside Llewyn Davis from 156 runs to 729 in the run-up to tonight’s Golden Globes, where the film is vying for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Actor for Oscar Isaac as well as other categories. It grossed $1.876M, averaging $2,573, placing its 6 week cume mostly in limited release at $9,309,126. CBS Films took out a two-page spread this week in the New York Times naming several hundred critics, writers and bloggers who tagged the film as one of their year-end favorites and it has been active generally in touting the Cannes Grand Prix winner this Awards Season. Inside Llewyn DavisHow it will drive audiences as it continues to move into an expansive release is the question mark. CBS Films did note Sunday when reporting the film’s numbers that Llewyn Davis‘ cume has already surpassed the lifetime gross of the Coens’ previous non-studio feature, A Serious Man, which cumed $9,228,768 domestically. Inside Llewyn Davis‘ 9 week cume stands at $9,309,126. Paramount also added theaters for Alexander Payne’s Awards contender Nebraska, moving the film into an additional 281 locations in its 9th weekend in release. It grossed $820K, averaging $1,574. Last week, it averaged $2,792 in 240 theaters. Also up for a Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Best Director prizes tonight at the Globes, Nebraska has cumed $8.15M. Read More »

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