‘Foxcatcher’ Wrestles Away Specialty Box Office Crown; ‘Birdman’ Still Flying

Foxcatcher, the creepy true tale about a wrestling-obsessed millionaire played by Steve Carell, put a hold on the weekend’s best specialty debut on a per-theater average, pinning Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut, Rosewater, and Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman. That said, Rosewater had a solid debut, reporting a muscular $1.2 million in 371 locations. Meanwhile, Oscar contender Birdman continues to fly high after a month in theaters, expanding its reach and landing in the overall weekend top 10.

The Theory Of Everything Redmayne
The Theory Of Everything Redmayne

Sony Classics opened Bennett Miller’s drama Foxcatcher on the heels of screenings at the Academy earlier this week on both coasts. The film, which also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo opened with a robust $288K in six theaters, averaging $48,019. That tops last week’s debut of The Theory Of Everything, which opened in five locations grossing $207K for a $41,400 PTA. Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman still rule the 2014 specialty box office with $202K and $106K opening averages. IFC Films’ Boyhood averaged $77,524 in five theaters in its July opening weekend and still is in a few theaters.

Still, this is by far Miller’s biggest debut on a per-theater basis. His feature Capote, which SPC opened in 2005 and resulted in an Oscar win for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, bowed in 12 theaters, averaging just over $27K. Capote went on to cume more than $28.75 million.

Moneyball, also starring Hoffman and Brad Pitt, was a wide release handled by Cony/Columbia. It opened in 2011 in 2,993 theaters with a $6,516 average. It went on to cume over $75.6 million domestically.

“We think the film is deserving in a number of [awards] categories,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker this week. “We’ve been here before with Bennett Miller for Capote. You look at his career going from that film to Moneyball to Foxcatcher. He gets better and better and more ambitious. It feels very good right now.”

SPC will expand Foxcatcher through Thanksgiving, going wider into Christmas and will move the title into more cities and locations into the New Year.


Roadside Attractions and Saban Films opened Jones’ Western drama The Homesman, starring Jones and Hilary Swank, in several locations Friday. The film grossed just over $48K, averaging just over $12K. Roadside noted the title jumped 47% from Friday to Saturday, showing “positive word of mouth.”

The Homesman‘s bow compares well to Jones’ directorial debut The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, which opened in $4,711 in five theaters in 2005, averaging $4,711. That film went on to cume $5 million.

“This film likely will go further as it taps Jones fans and a big female audience,” said Roadside’s Howard Cohen this week. “There’s been very good feedback, especially for Hilary Swank for Best Actress.”

The Homesman will expand in the coming weeks, reaching locations nationwide by Dec. 5.

Rosewater poster
Rosewater poster

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater hit 371 theaters Friday after a wave of media attention heading into the weekend. The title stars Gael García Bernal as a journalist imprisoned and tortured in Iran in 2009. It had a mixed opening, grossing over $1.2 million for a $3,235 PTA.

Considering Stewart’s legion of fans thanks to his long stewardship over The Daily Show, the numbers could have been better, though a story about an unknown journalist who gets embroiled in Iran’s controversial 2009 election would be a challenging sell under the best of circumstances.

“They all took an enormous leap of faith…,” said Stewart at the film’s NYC premiere last week. “Hopefully this film will bring attention to the [many] journalists who are imprisoned.” Open Road will expand the title into the Thanksgiving weekend and beyond.

In other openers, Samuel Goldwyn Films opened faith-based Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, grossing over $1 million in 410 theaters, averaging $2,468, while Viva Pictures’ Gladiators Of Rome opened in 11 theaters grossing $6,732 for a paltry $611 average.

The filmmakers behind Beside Still Waters did not report numbers for their theatrical release, and Gravitas Ventures did not report for Always Woodstock. Both also opened this weekend.

Focus Features added 36 runs for The Theory Of Everything‘s second frame. The Stephen Hawking biopic starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones continued to show robust momentum, grossing $738K for a solid $18K average and passing the $1 million cume mark. The Theory Of Everything grossed $207K, averaging $41,400 last week.

National Gallery, the 39th film from the Emmy- and Peabody-Award-winning documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, added a Washington, D.C. location in its second week. The film grossed $17,435 for a good $8,718 average. The film opened at one NYC location last week, grossing $9,650 Friday to Sunday. Its two-week cume is $37,771.

Michael Keaton Edward Norton
Michael Keaton Edward Norton

Fox Searchlight added 395 runs for Birdman’s fifth weekend. The film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Michael Keaton, continued to bring in lofty numbers, grossing $2.45 million in 857 theaters, averaging $2,859. The feature has cumed over $11.57 million.

“We have reached our national release and are seeing very good numbers in a variety of theaters across North America,” Searchlight said in a release. “It is obvious that good word of mouth is helping to propel these great results.”

SPC added 331 runs for drumming drama Whiplash’s 6th weekend. The title grossed over $800K ($1,911 average), tapping it passed the $2 million mark, with a cume of more than $2.48 million.

RADiUS added 16 locations for doc Oscar-hopeful Citizenfour. The film about NSA leaker Edward Snowden by Laura Poitras grossed over $180K in 75 locations, averaging $2,405. The film is nearing the $1 million mark, with a cume of over $950K Sunday.

Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [6 Theaters] Weekend 288,113, Average $48,019
Gladiators Of Rome (Viva Pictures Distribution) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $6,732, Average $611
The Homesman (Roadside Attractions/Saban Films) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $48,033, Average $12,033
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas (Samuel Goldwyn Films) NEW [410 Theaters] Weekend $1,011,880, Average $2,468
Rosewater (Open Road) NEW [371 Theaters] Weekend 1,200,120, Average $3,235

National Gallery (Zipporah Films) Week 2 [2 Theater] Weekend $17,435, Average $8,718, Cume $36,771
On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (Red Bull Media House) Week 2 [73 Theaters] Weekend $44,968, Average $616, Cume $470,743
The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) Week 2 [41 Theaters] Weekend $738K, Average $18K, Cume $1,033,472

Goodbye To Language 3D (Kino Lorber) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $28K, Average $7K, Cume $123,474
Point And Shoot (The Orchard) Week 3 [2 Theaters] Weekend $5,097, Average $2,548, Cume $16,383
Citizenfour (RADiUS) Week 4 [75 Theaters] Weekend $180,410, Average $2,405, Cume $950,551
Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me (Area23a) Week 4 [16 Theaters] Weekend $32,795, Average $2,050, Cume $233,095
Low Down (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [8 Theater] Weekend $5,568, Average $696, Cume $36,964
Birdman (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [857 Theaters] Weekend $2,450,000, Average $2,859, Cume $11,575,367
Dear White People (Roadside Attractions) Week 5 [106 Theaters] Weekend $205K, Average $1,858, Cume $3,906,439
God The Father (Rocky Mountain Pictures) Week 5 [6 Theaters] Weekend $11,701, Average $1,950, Cume $108,788
Awake: The Life Of Yogananda (Counterpoint) Week 6 [15 Theaters] Weekend $41,614, Average $2,774, Cume $551,819
Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [419 Theaters] Weekend $800,509, Average $1,911, Cume $2,482,257
Keep On Keepin’ On (RADiUS) Week 8 [4 Theaters] Weekend $4,682, Average $1,170, Cume $137,919
Art And Craft (Oscilloscope) Week 9 [6 Theaters] Weekend $3,688, Average $615, Cume $207,349
My Old Lady (Cohen Media Group) Week 10 [42 Theaters] Weekend $47,797, Average $1,138, Cume $3,815,627
The Skeleton Twins (Roadside Attractions) Week 10 [31 Theaters] Weekend $28,050, Average $900, Cume $5,208,030
Boyhood (IFC Films) Week 19 [17 Theaters] Weekend $15,470, Average $910, Cume $23,927,433

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