Award Hopefuls ‘Christine’ & ‘Certain Women’ Open Strong – Specialty B.O.

Brian Brooks
Deadline

A few Specialty newcomers brightened the mood from last weekend’s box office malaise. The Orchard’s Christine, IFC Films’ Certain Women and Gkids’ Miss Hokusai had decently solid starts out of the gate this weekend. STX Entertainment’s Desierto opened in 73 theaters grossing $450K, while Roadside’s Priceless had the widest debut among the Specialties this weekend, grossing over $703K in more than three hundred locations. Second-weekend holdovers were flat at best. Abramorama’s doc Newtown added a location, grossing $2,240 in three theaters, while Film Rise’s The Greasy Strangler lost runs, taking in $6K in only five theaters. A24 added over a hundred runs for Andrea Arnold’s American Honey starring Shia LaBeouf and grossing over $142K, while Bleecker Street opened Denial in over sixty additional locations in its third frame, taking over $398K. Music Box also added theaters for Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, A Man Called Ove, grossing $205K. And The Orchard reported its summer opener Hunt For the Wilderpeople has grossed $1.14 million digitally on top of its seventeen-week $5.16 million theatrical gross.

Christine starring Rebecca Hall edged out the plentiful competition in its debut. The Oscar hopeful, which debuted at Sundance in January, opened exclusively at Film Forum in New York grossing $14,046, giving it bragging rights as the highest per theater average among the weekend’s reporting titles. Distributor The Orchard said it “sold out nearly all its showings” with a “solid” increase on Saturday. “[It’s] a great sign for future performance and word of mouth as the film expands across the country starting next weekend,” the company noted Sunday when reporting numbers. The company said this past week it is in it for the long haul with Rebecca Hall in mind for honors heading into 2017.

“We feel it was one of the best dramas at Sundance. From the first day, we felt that her performance was something we wanted to get behind for Awards,” said The Orchard’s Paul Davidson. “There’s nobody that sees this film and doesn’t react to it, that’s how amazing it is.”

Next weekend Christine will head to additional cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Boston, followed by an expansion to 150-plus cities.

Fellow Sundancer Certain Women was close behind with its per theater average, though it made its bow in five New York and Los Angeles theaters. Directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Michelle Williams, Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart, the feature grossed $65,230, averaging $13,046, the second best PTA of the weekend.

“The timing was great to be opening up out of [the New York Film Festival] and still ahead of a lot of the big Oscar [releases],” said IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring ahead of the title release this week. Sehring added that the company will take Certain Women to about 40 locations by next week.

Roadside Attractions had the weekend’s widest Specialty opener, Priceless, spearheaded by Christian band For King & Country. The title directed by Ben Smallbone grossed $703,200 in 303 locations, averaging $2,320. Roadside said the feature sold out locations where the band has concentrations of fans. The film had sell-outs in markets such as Lynchburg, VA, Albuquerque and Fresno.

“We also had strong performance in markets like Memphis where For King & Country performed in venues near or in theaters to support the opening weekend… We are optimistic that the film will follow the pattern of faith-based films that play for a number of weeks and that we will have a good hold through the fall.”

STX Entertainment’s Desierto also opened with multiple runs this weekend. Directed by Jonás Cuarón and starring Gael García Bernal, the U.S.-Mexican border thriller grossed $450K in 73 theaters, averaging a decent $6,164. STX noted that the Toronto fest ’15 title was acquired for “approximately $1.5 million” and the studio’s “exposure on the title is minimal.” The company said it chose “theater locations that appeal to cinephiles and fans of the thriller genre, along with theaters where audiences respond to quality Spanish language films like Desierto, which is Mexico’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for this year’s Academy Awards.” Expansion will be decided in the coming week.

Among other openers, Vitagraph opened Brazil’s New York Film Festival feature Aquarius starring Sonia Braga in three theaters this weekend. It grossed $28,500, averaging $9,500. The film has inspired opponents of Brazil’s recent decision to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office, which Rousseff’s supporters view as a coup. Fans have brought out posters at festival screenings and at theatrical showings of the title this weekend.

The film has “touched a nerve in Brazilian society,” said writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho speaking at a NYFF discussion this past week. “It appears to get more and more dramatic every week. Whenever we’ve screened it in other cities, including [recently] here in New York it brings out protesters. In Brazil it has captured a certain mood in the country. It’s not an overtly political film, but it is political because it’s about someone who says ‘No’ and in today’s society, saying ‘No’ is a political act.”

Reporting second week holdovers were blasé, while some didn’t report numbers Sunday. FilmRise’s The Greasy Strangler grossed $6K in five theaters, averaging $1,200 and giving it a $37,466 cume. Abramorama’s Sundance doc Newtown grossed just $2,240 ($746 average), though the title’s main outing will be a November 2 screening in over three hundred theaters via Fathom, followed by a ‘town hall’ moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

A24 added 110 runs for Andrea Arnold’s epic American Honey in its third frame. Starring Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Sasha Lane, it grossed $142,263, averaging just north of a thousand dollars. Last weekend the title grossed $88,641 in 25 locations, averaging $3,546. Its cume is now $362,430.

Bleecker Street added 65 theaters for Denial also in its third weekend. It grossed $398,242, averaging $4,148. Last weekend it grossed just under $230K in 31 locations, averaging $7,417. Denial has cumed $839,731.

Music Box Films took Sweden’s foreign language Oscar entry A Man Called Ove to an additional 51 theaters in its third weekend. Ove grossed $205K, averaging $2,628 for a cume of $436,759.

And several weeks into its on-demand release, The Orchard’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople has cumed $1.14 million, according to the company which gave numbers Sunday. The total is on top of the feature’s $5.166M seventeen-week theatrical gross. In theaters, the title grossed $18,150 Friday to Sunday in 23 locations, averaging $789.

For Deadline’s international box office report, check here, and overall domestic b.o. here.

NEW RELEASES

Aquarius (Vitagraph) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $28,500, Average $9,500

Certain Women (IFC Films) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $65,230, Average $13,046

Christine (The Orchard) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $14,046

Coming Through the Rye (Eamonn Films) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4K

Desierto (STX Entertainment) NEW [73 Theaters] Weekend $450K, Average $6,164

Miss Hokusai (GKIDS) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $25,042, Average $12,521

Priceless (Roadside Attractions) NEW [303 Theaters] Weekend $703,200, Average $2,320

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

The Greasy Strangler (FilmRise) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $6K, Average $1,200, Cume $37,466

Newtown (Abramorama) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $2,240, Average $746, Cume $12,840

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

American Honey (A24) Week 3 [135 Theaters] Weekend $142,263, Average $1,054, Cume $362,430

I Belonged to You (China Lion) Week 3 [26 Theaters] Weekend $40K, Average $,1,538 Cume $702K

Denial (Bleecker Street) Week 3 [96 Theaters] Weekend $398,241, Average $4,148, Cume $839,731

Harry & Snowman (FilmRise) Week 3 [16 Theaters] Weekend $34K, Average $2,125, Cume $152,762

A Man Called Ove (Music Box Films) Week 3 [78 Theaters] Weekend $205K, Average $2,628, Cume $436,759

M.S. Dhoni (FIP) Week 3 [70 Theaters] Weekend $80K, Average $1,143, Cume $1,782,611

Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Cinema Libre) Week 4 [1 Theater] Weekend $5,800, Cume $28,452

The Dressmaker (Broad Green Pictures) Week 4 [146 Theaters] Weekend $171,004, Average $1,171, Cume $1,344,727

Girl Asleep (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [15 Theaters] Weekend $9,500, Average $633, Cume $45,650

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Abramorama) Week 5 [102 Theaters] Weekend $123,887, Average $1,361 Cume $2,598,048

Demon (The Orchard) Week 6 [6 Theaters] Weekend $1,692, Average $282, Cume $96,569

No Manches Frida (Lionsgate/Pantelion) Week 7 [86 Theaters] Weekend $110K, Average $1,279, Cume $11,395,151

White Girl (FilmRise) Week 7 [1 Theater] Weekend $2,500, Cume $198,651

The Hollars (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [21 Theaters] Weekend $8,024, Average $382, Cume $980,713

Hell Or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate) Week 10 [188 Theaters] Weekend $156K, Average $830, Cume $26,480,685

Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) Week 14 [30 Theaters] Weekend $38,149, Average $1,272, Cume $4,292,955

Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street) Week 15 [39 Theaters] Weekend $24,575, Average $630, Cume $5,842,470

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (The Orchard) Week 17 [23 Theaters] Weekend $18,150, Average $789, Cume $5,166,279; Digital $1.14M

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