Specialty Box Office: ‘The Spectacular Now’ Sparkles; ‘Blue Jasmine’ A Hit In Expansion
Specialty Box Office: ‘Philomena’ Debuts Strong; Is It This Year’s ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’?
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
A24‘s The Spectacular Now brought zest to the Specialty Box Office in the dog days of summer, opening with a $50K-plus average in 4 locations. The film bowed to sell-out crowds and clearly is a hit with audiences in its debut, giving it one of summer’s best opening numbers and trumping the more talked about The Canyons in theaters. That film, which had what amounts to a media blitz for a title almost nobody had even seen, opened at IFC Center, grossing $15,200 theatrically (it also opened on other platforms). The Artist And The Model bowed in two runs, grossing nearly $17K, while Europa Report and Our Children opened to slighter numbers. And Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine moved into 50 theaters its second weekend, grossing over $2 million and a cool $40K-plus average. Sony Classics noted that that it out-performed box office star Midnight In Paris in its second weekend, even though it was on 8 fewer screens. Also hitting a milestone, Roadside/Lionsgate’s Mud is now atop the 2013 Specialty Box Office pecking order edging out The Place Beyond The Pines which sat atop the Specialty b.o. numbers this year. Both films grossed over $21.4 million in theaters.
A24 kept things understated, only keeping to the facts Sunday when it reported the figures: “Since its Sundance premiere, [The Spectacular Now] has been building momentum and gaining both critical and audience acclaim. Most of this weekend’s audience was under 35 and word of mouth (both online and offline) was terrific. We look forward to continuing to propel that word of mouth as we will look to expand nationwide in August and September.”
IFC Films touted The Canyons‘ non-theatrical pedigree, saying all but that the title is meant to be seen digitally. Directed by Paul Schrader, financed by social media and starring a tinder-box of actors a la Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, the feature lured crowds to downtown Manhattan on a nice August weekend. Noted IFC Sunday: “Paul [Schrader] has made an extraordinary film that he has described as post-theatrical cinema, intended to be discovered by a community of film lovers who live and breathe in the online world. Through our extensive social media outreach including a live Twitter event on opening night… marketing efforts which even included Kanye West re-cutting and re-scoring the trailer, and a digital media spend that launched the day the film was available, we believe that the film will do most of its business in the digital realm.” The Canyons is an explicitly erotic thriller about youth, glamour, sex and surveillance. The film, which was made for less than $1 million, was largely financed online at Kickstarter.”
Sundance winner Fruitvale Station added 22 runs in its 4th weekend, playing 1,086 theaters, placing 12th in the overall box office and reaching almost $11M, and very likely to surpass last year’s Sundance winner and multiple Oscar nominee, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which grossed $12.8 million theatrically. Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back also added theaters, holding box office momentum in its fifth weekend. The feature added 115 theaters, grossing $2.85M and averaging a solid $2,847. The film was picked up for nearly $10M after its Sundance premiere earlier this year. The film was directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash who co-wrote 2011 box office star The Descendants with Alexander Payne.