The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2021 (A Running List)

Kate Erbland
·4 min read

The below list only includes domestic (U.S. and Canada only, unless otherwise indicated) grosses for specialty films — which we define to include independent, foreign (including Bollywood films), and/or documentary films — that opened in limited release (599 screens and under) in 2021 AND/OR were acquired or produced for 2021 distribution by an independent distributor (including but not limited to STX Films, Annapurna, United Artists Releasing, A24, Entertainment Studios, IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, Lionsgate, Open Road, and Bleecker Street) or a studio or its specialty division (including Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, and Focus Features).

Given the rapidly changing state of the box office world (and its attendant reporting), this list only includes movies that have opened in theaters during 2021, including brick and mortar businesses and drive-ins. For more information on streaming and VOD box office takes, please check out our weekly updates in those markets right here.

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When provided, this list also includes budgets for each film. Last year’s list can be found here.

Grosses include all reported grosses (via BoxOfficeMojo) up to March 2, 2021. This chart is updated every Tuesday afternoon.

1. “The Marksman”
Distributor: Open Road Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 15
Opening Theater Count: 1,975
Opening Average: $1,571
Current Gross: $12,346,427

2. “Land”
Distributor: Focus Features
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 1,231
Opening Average: $763
Current Gross: $2,114,380

3. “Nomadland”
Distributor: Searchlight Pictures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 19
Opening Theater Count: 1,175
Opening Average: $428
Current Gross: $844,000

4. “Our Friend”
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 22
Opening Theater Count: 543
Opening Average: $442
Current Gross: $657,351

5. “The Mauritanian”
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 245
Opening Average: $665
Current Gross: $525,002

6. “Wrong Turn”
Distributor: Saban Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 26
Opening Theater Count: 259
Opening Average: $416
Current Gross: $327,643

7. “Willy’s Wonderland”
Distributor: Screen Media
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 123
Opening Average: $772
Current Gross: $304,810

8. “Supernova”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 29
Opening Theater Count: 330
Opening Average: $283
Current Gross: $237,632

9. “Crisis”
Distributor: Quiver Distribution
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 26
Opening Theater Count: 216
Opening Average: $882
Current Gross: $190,649

10. “Blithe Spirit”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 19
Opening Theater Count: 239
Opening Average: $370
Current Gross: $190,068

11. “Earwig and the Witch”
Distributor: GKIDS
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 3
Opening Theater Count: 430
Opening Average: $46
Current Gross: $173,704

12. “The Reckoning”
Distributor: RLJE Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 175
Opening Average: $370
Current Gross: $142,416

13. “No Man’s Land”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 22
Opening Theater Count: 254
Opening Average: $232
Current Gross: $138,089

14. “The World to Come”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 12
Opening Theater Count: 278
Opening Average: $153
Current Gross: $106,318

15. “Psycho Goreman”
Distributor: RLJE Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: Januar 22
Opening Theater Count: 45
Opening Average: $897
Current Gross: $88,259

16. “Dara of Jasenovac”
Distributor: 101 Studios
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 12
Opening Average: $1,392
Current Gross: $48,597

17. “MLK/FBI”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 15
Opening Theater Count: 120
Opening Average: $180
Current Gross: $45,200

18. “Some Kind of Heaven”
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 8
Opening Theater Count: 54
Opening Average: $181
Current Gross: $43,492

19. “Shadow in the Cloud”
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: January 1
Opening Theater Count: 75
Opening Average: $533
Current Gross: $40,000

20. “Little Fish”
Distributor: IFC Films
Budget (if reported): NA
Release Date: February 5
Opening Theater Count: 84
Opening Average: $256
Current Gross: $37,234

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