Specialty Box Office: ‘The Way, Way Back’ Slides Into A Hot Holiday Opening
Specialty Box Office: ‘Philomena’ Debuts Strong; Is It This Year’s ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’?
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back made a splash as the 4th of July holiday weekend rolled on, opening in 19 theaters Friday and grossing an estimated $572K for hot $30K PSA. Not bad going up against the huge debut of Despicable Me 2 and the left-over blockbusters crowding the multiplexes. As one industry insider said to me Sunday, “Fox Searchlight just knows how to open movies.” Magnolia Pictures bowed doc Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me in a pair of showings. The film rallied a good number of fans of the ’70s-era band it spotlights to come out, grossing $21K. Millennium‘s Stuck In Love, however, debuted with less traction though in a fairly hefty 21 theaters. The feature grossed just over $38K for a $1,816 average. And in expansion RADiUS-TWC‘s doc 20 Feet From Stardom shot well past the 7-figure threshold. The crowd pleaser will likely be the highest-grossing doc of 2013 in the next week as it continues its momentum. CBS Films‘ The Kings Of Summer also hit the $1 million mark in its sixth frame.
On the specialty front, The Way, Way Back ruled the newcomers at the box office. Noted Searchlight’s Frank Rodriguez Sunday: “We are pleased with the opening numbers for the film and it appears that we may be appealing to a wide spectrum of moviegoers. Attendance in general is up in theaters and a heartfelt film like The Way Way Back can only help bring more filmgoers to the movies. This is a film that will have you laughing but could also make you shed a tear or two, and there is no doubt that you will appreciate the fine acting by this ensemble, and the great writing by Nat and Jim.” The summer vacation film centered on an introverted teen at a water-park is directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won the screenwriting Oscar for The Descendants. Steve Carell, Allison Janney, Toni Colette and Sam Rockwell star. The film will expand into 13 additional markets next weekend, adding around 75 more theaters as we move towards the national release on July 26 when we expect to be in approximately 650-750 theaters.
Among second weekend holdovers, Cinema Guild‘s Museum Hours added one location, averaging $10,776. The Jem Cohen-directed feature opened last week in two theaters, with a $14,718 PSA. Sony Classics‘ Pedro Almodovar film I’m So Excited added 11 runs for week 2, grossing under $150K and a $9,328 average. The film opened last weekend with a $20,546 PSA. The specialty distributor continues to see strength seven weeks into its Richard Linklater release, Before Midnight. The film dropped 76 runs vs. one week prior, averaging just under $2,400 with a gross just over $513K. The third in Linklater’s Before series has collected over $6.61 million. And A24‘s The Bling Ring passed the $5 million mark, grossing over $300K in its fourth weekend.
RADiUS-TWC’s Sundance ’13 opener 20 Feet From Stardom is closing in on being 2013′s highest grossing documentary. The label doubled the film’s runs, adding 45 locations, grossing $585,982 (4-day estimate) for a $6,584 PSA, easily surpassing the $1.1 million come mark. The film is closing in 2013′s other non-fiction box office heavy-weights. Girl Rising opened in March and stands at over $1.43 million while Roadside Attractions’ Stories We Tell is just under $1.4 million.