A24’s ’The Lobster’ Red Hot In 2016’s Top Specialty Bow; Amazon/Roadside’s ’Love & Friendship’ Robust: Specialty Box Office
by Brian Brooks
The Lobster pinched the year’s best opening for a Specialty release with a more than $47K per theater average. A24, which picked up the title in February, platformed the title starring starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in four theaters. Still, The Lobster was not the only Specialty to find enthusiastic audiences. Amazon/Roadside Attractions’ joint release of Jane Austen period drama Love & Friendship also scored in several locations Friday to Sunday with a $33,187 PTA, also one of the year’s highest. Last week’s PTA winner, A Bigger Splash from Searchlight held its own in its second frame, while fellow holdovers The Man Who Knew Infinity from IFC Films and Sony Classics’ The Meddler showed zest in their expansions.
Only a few months ago The Lobster’s U.S. release plan seemed to hang in purgatory with the demise of distributor Alchemy, which picked up the title last year in Cannes. But the feature by Greek-born filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos found new life with A24, which opened the film this weekend in four New York and L.A. theaters to a savory start. The Lobster grossed $188,195, averaging $47,049, the best PTA for a Specialty release this year. The Lobster also handily won the weekend’s best PTA overall.
Pre-Lobster, the year’s best PTAs were Warner Bros. mid-March Midnight Specialwith a platform release in five theaters, averaging just over $38K, and A24’s own Green Room, which bowed mid April in 3 theaters, averaging $29,328 its first weekend.
Noted A24 when reporting its numbers Sunday: “The visionary comedy and former Cannes Jury Prize Winner, anchored by strong reviews, excellent performances from an ensemble cast, and featuring Colin Farrell in a one-of-a-kind role sold out shows in both New York and LA throughout the weekend.” A24 will take The Lobster to the top markets this coming week ahead of a nationwide expansion on May 27.
Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendshipwould have been the PTA victor had it opened most any other weekend this year; it packed punch with its start in four theaters. Starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny, the Jane Austen-inspired drama grossed $132,750, averaging $33,187. That places the title below The Lobster and Midnight Specialin terms of Specialty averages this year. Amazon and Roadside Attractions, which teamed up for the title’s theatrical release, said the film had a 78% uptick Friday to Saturday. The film also had bragging rights with a rare 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics going into the weekend.
‘Whit, Kate and the filmmaking team have delivered that wonderful mix of fantastic reviews and strong opening numbers,” commented Amazon’s Bob Berney, Head of Theatrical Marketing & Distribution for Amazon Studios in a statement Sunday. “We acquired Love & Friendship a year ago during Cannes and it’s great to see it do so well. This early summer slot is perfect counter-programming for independent film fans.”
This is the first film from Stillman since his 2011 release Damsels In Distress ($1 million, Sony Classics) and only his fifth feature film ever. Gramercy released his 1998 film The Last Days Of Disco, which grossed over $3 million, while Fine Line distributed ’94 feature Barcelona ($7.26 million) and New Line bowed his debut Metropolitan (over $2.9 million) in 1990. “I think Stillman has been waiting to see what he wanted to do next,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen this past week. “He’s careful about his material. He had been thinking about this project for awhile.”
Love & Friendship will expand to top 10 markets next weekend in advance of nationwide expansion during the two weeks after that.
Among other releases, distributor Forewarned opened its pro-Second Amendment feature Amerigeddon in 30 theaters grossing $131K for a $3,930 average. And IFC Films bowed Tribeca premiere Pelé: Birth of a Legend in three locations as part of a multi-platform release grossing $7,875 in theaters ($2,625 average).
Fox Searchlight added 21 theaters for A Bigger Splash’s second weekend. In 26 theaters, the film by Italian-born filmmaker Luca Guadagnino and starring Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Ralph Fiennes grossed $185K, averaging $7,115 for a $367,429 cume. In its debut the film grossed $110K from 5 runs, averaging $22K. Splash will be in between 250 – 300 theaters by Memorial Day Weekend.
Sony Classics added seven locations for Dark Horse in its second weekend. It grossed $25,362, averaging $2,536, down about 48% from its $4,891 average in 3 theaters its opening weekend. Dark Horse has cumed just over $45K.
Heading into its third weekend, IFC Films added 154 locations for The Man Who Knew Infinity, starring Dev Patel as the Indian-born self-taught mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who began an unlikely friendship with an eccentric professor (played by Jeremy Irons) at Cambridge University in 1913. The title grossed nearly $536K in 194 theaters, averaging $2,762 — a 50% decline. Infinity grossed nearly $221K last week in 40 locations, averaging $5,520. Its three-week cume is now $944,203.
In its fourth weekend, Sony Classics added 74 runs for The Meddler starring Susan Sarandon. The film continues to hold nicely, grossing $393,128, averaging $3,095. Last weekend, The Meddler grossed over $294K, averaging $5,553. The film also crossed the seven-figure mark with a $1,126,301 cume as of Sunday.
And TWC added 372 runs for Sing Street in its 5th frame. The title grossed $636K, averaging $1,211. In its fourth weekend, Sing Street grossed $422K ($2,758 average). Its five-week cume is now just over $1.9 million.
Amerigeddon (Forewarned) NEW [30 Theaters] Weekend $131K, Average $3,930
The Lobster (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $188,195, Average $47,049
Love & Friendship (Amazon/Roadside Attractions) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $132,750, Average $33,187
Pelé: Birth Of a Legend (IFC Films) Weekend $7,875, Average $2,625
A Bigger Splash (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [26 Theaters] Weekend $185K, Average $7,115, Cume $367,429
Dark Horse (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [10 Theaters] Weekend $25,362, Average $2,536, Cume $45,029
Dheepan (Sundance Selects) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $19,700, Average $3,940, Cume $50,367
Elstree 1976 (FilmRise) Week 2 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1K, Average $333, Cume $7,093
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
L’Attesa (Oscilloscope) Week 3 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $, Cume $
Dough (Menemsha Films) Week 3 [55 Theaters] Weekend $90K, Average $1,637, Cume $793,883
The Family Fang (Starz Digital) Week 3 [49 Theater] Weekend $56,605, Average $1,155, Cume $208,557
The Man Who Knew Infinity (IFC Films) Week 3 [194 Theaters] Weekend $535,828, Average $2,762, Cume $944,203
Compadres (Pantelion/Lionsgate) Week 4 [127 Theaters] Weekend $125K, Average $984, Cume $2,970,210
The Meddler (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [127 Theaters] Weekend $393,128, Average $3,095, Cume $1,126,301
Sing Street (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [525 Theaters] Weekend $636K, Average $1,211, Cume $1,909,135
Louder Than Bombs (The Orchard) Week 6 [25 Theaters] Weekend $5,650, Average $246, Cume $156,952
Everybody Wants Some!!(Paramount) Week 7 [72 Theaters] Weekend $60K, Average $833, Cume $3,369,000
Miles Ahead (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [84 Theaters] Weekend $86,304, Average $1,027, Cume $2,403,445
Hello, My Name Is Doris (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6 Films) Week 10 [257 Theaters] Weekend $248,944, Average $969, Cume $13,780,424
Marguerite (Cohen Media Group) Week 10 [11 Theaters] Weekend $6,597, Average $600, Cume $485,923
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