It’s a busy weekend for the indie box office, but not a particularly profitable one, as UA/Orion’s “Till” and Focus Features’ “Tár” have posted tepid numbers in wide release.
“Till” is sixth on the box office charts after expanding to 2,058 theaters, grossing just $2.8 million for a per-theater average of $1,366 and a running total of $3.6 million.
The good news for Chinonye Chukwu’s true-story drama about the murder of Emmett Till is that critical and audience praise has been overwhelming, with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and an A+ on CinemaScore. Danielle Deadwyler has received Oscar buzz for her lead performance as Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, and United Artists is still holding on to hope that the strong word of mouth will attract more audiences despite the film’s challenging themes and imagery.
“Tár” had a smaller expansion to 1,058 theaters, grossing just over $1 million for an underwhelming average of $938 and a $2.5 million running total. Though lead star Cate Blanchett has also received universal acclaim and audience buzz, “Tár” is an arthouse film in the truest sense with thought-provoking explorations of cancel culture and abuse of power, and these numbers show how difficult it has been for such films to gain traction theatrically even with strong momentum from the Venice Film Festival.
In limited release, Focus Features also released “Armageddon Time,” a semi-autobiographical drama from director James Gray that stars Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and Anthony Hopkins alongside young stars Banks Repeta and Jaylin Webb. The film was released in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $72,000 for a $12,000 average.
Also hitting theaters for a one-day-only live event was “Coldplay: Music of the Spheres,” a broadcast of the British rock band’s concert in Buenos Aires. Screening in 833 theaters via Trafalgar Releasing, the concert film earned just over $1 million for a $1,224 average.
While horror films like “Prey for the Devil” and “Smile” filled the Top 5 on this Halloween weekend, the indie slasher film “Terrifier 2” has continued to expand to 1,550 theaters, grossing $1.8 million for an average of $1,174. “Terrifier 2” is the sequel to a cult slasher film known for its extreme gore and was released theatrically by horror site Bloody Disgusting on a production budget of just $250,000. Fueled by gorehound horror lovers, “Terrifier 2” has turned a strong profit with $7.6 million grossed.
Among holdovers, Searchlight’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” has expanded to 58 theaters with $540,000 grossed, giving it an average of $9,310 as it reaches a total of $790,000. This second weekend total is just slightly higher than the $9,166 second weekend average for “Tár” from 36 theaters, as “Inisherin” will expand to approximately 800 theaters next week.