‘Swiss Army Man’ Explodes in Debut; ‘Hunt For the Wilderpeople’ Sizzles: Specialty Box Office
by Brian Brooks
Sundance Film Festival vet Swiss Army Man handily won the Specialty weekend battle in a crowded weekend of new releases. Released by A24, the film by ‘the Daniels’ grossed $114K in a trio of locations. Also strong in its debut was The Orchard’s Hunt For the Wilderpeople by Kiwi director Taika Waititi, averaging over $17K in 5 theaters. Todd Solondz’s latest, Wiener-Dog from IFC Films, bowed in a pair of locations taking in over $27K. And once again, a doc proved a reasonably popular choice this summer: Sony Classics’ Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words, also a Sundance Film Festival debut, opened with an $18K gross in two theaters. Other openers, Les Cowboys from Cohen Media Group and Threefrom Well Go USA had opening averages in the three thousands, while Broad Green went fairly wide with Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon grossing over $606K in 783 theaters. And in its seventh week, The Lobster crossed $7M.
Swiss Army Man generated a lot of talk when it bowed at Sundance in January. The feature debut of acclaimed music video directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as the Daniels) grossed $114K in three theaters, giving it a $38K PTA, over twice the average of the weekend’s highest overall grosser, Finding Dory.
Said distributor A24 Sunday: “The truly one-of-a-kind comedy that The New York Times raved was ‘stunningly original’ enjoyed sold out shows and terrific exit poll scores all weekend long. Polling also showed that the overwhelmingly under 35 audience are absolutely loving the audacious, entertaining and heartwarming world created by rising stars Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert as well as the touching and hilarious performances from Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano.” Swiss Army Man will head out nationwide July 1.
Swiss army is an simply outstanding — very heartfelt. It will exceed your expectations
The Orchard’s The Hunt for the Wilderpeople edged over Finding Dory with its per theater average over the weekend. The New Zealand-produced title grossed $85,336, averaging $17,067 in five theaters. The film hints at continued success for director Taika Waititi who is currently making Thor: Ragnarok. His previous feature What We Do In The Shadows broke $3.5 million in theaters in addition to over $2M across on-demand platforms.
“We are thrilled by Hunt’s opening weekend performance, which kicked off with amazing reviews, a 100 per cent Rotten Tomatoes score, and encouraging Thursday night advance screenings,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP of Film & TV Sunday when reporting the numbers. “Throughout the weekend the word of mouth has continued to grow at an impressive pace, and our anticipated broad audience across many diverse demos has come out in spades — encouraging as we expand across the country starting next week.”
Sony Pictures Classics opened German-born director Thorsten Schütte’s Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words in two theaters, grossing just over $18K for a $9K PTA. The year’s highest non-fiction debut remains Sundance Selects’ Weiner, which rolled out with a $17K PTA a month and a half ago. SPC will continue to roll out Eat That Question to additional markets in the coming weeks.
IFC Films debuted Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog in a pair of locations, grossing over $27K Friday to Sunday, averaging a decent $13,510. Wiener-Dog’s start is consistent with his previous feature, Dark Horse, which opened in June 2012 in a single location, grossing $13,551. His 2010 release Life During Wartime opened with a $30,507 gross in a single theater. His 1996 feature Welcome To the Dollhouse, an ancestor of sorts to his latest film, remains his highest grosser at over $4.5 million. Wiener-Dog will expand to the top 15 markets this coming holiday weekend and roll out to the top 25 markets throughout the month of July.
Among other debuts, Well Go USA opened Johnnie To’s suspense thriller Threestarring Louis Koo and Wallace Chung in 18 theaters grossing over $65K ($3,611 PTA), while Cohen Media Group’s Les Cowboys bowed in several locations grossing $14,283 ($3,571 average).
And Broad Green opened director Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon in 783 theaters grossing $606,594, averaging $775. Refn’s biggest grosser, of course, remains his 2011 feature Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, which cumed over $35 million.
And A24’s The Lobster crossed $7M, grossing over $436K in 210 theaters, averaging over $2K ($7,414,329 cume). And SPC added 31 runs for the second month of Dark Horse. In 74 locations, the film grossed $92,465 ($1,250 average) for an 8-week cume of $493,122. For Deadline’s domestic weekend box office report, look here, and for international grosses go here.
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words(Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $18,002, Average $9,001
Les Cowboys (Cohen Media Group) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $14,283, Average $3,571
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (The Orchard) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $85,336, Average $17,067
The Neon Demon (Broad Green Pictures) NEW [783 Theaters] Weekend $606,594, Average $775
Swiss Army Man (A24) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $114K, Average $38K
Three (Well Go USA) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $65,500, Average $3,611
Wiener-Dog (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $27,020, Average $13,510
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
Diary Of A Chambermaid (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [8 Theaters] Weekend $4,849, Average $606, Cume $46,675
Genius (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) Week 3 [152 Theaters] Weekend $216,686, Average $1,426, Cume $807,487
The Music Of Strangers (The Orchard) Week 3 [43 Theaters] Weekend $101,717, Average $2,366, Cume $188,333
The Witness (FilmRise Releasing) Week 4 [15 Theaters] Weekend $15,500, Average $1,033, Cume $83,121
Maggie’s Plan (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [203 Theaters] Weekend $297,378, Average $1,465, Cume $2,279,234
Weiner (Sundance Selects) Week 6 [88 Theaters] Weekend $115,280, Average $1,310, Cume $1,226,552
The Darkness (High Top Releasing) Week 7 [79 Theaters] Weekend $43K, Average $544, Cume $10,732,277
The Lobster (A24) Week 7 [210 Theaters] Weekend $436,464, Average $2,078, Cume $7,414,329
Love & Friendship (Amazon/Roadside Attractions) Week 7 [281 Theaters] Weekend $490,160, Average $1,744, Cume $11,886,054
Dark Horse (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [74 Theaters] Weekend $92,465, Average $1,250, Cume $493,122
Dough (Menemsha Films) Week 9 [13 Theaters] Weekend $13,350, Average $1,027, Cume $1,035,430
The Man Who Knew Infinity (IFC Films) Week 9 [68 Theaters] Weekend $88,400, Average $1,300, Cume $3,553,482
The Meddler (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10 [59 Theaters] Weekend $46,781, Average $793, Cume $4,123,166
Eye In The Sky (Bleecker Street) Week 16 [47 Theaters] Weekend $26,264, Average $558, Cume $18,628,545
Hello, My Name Is Doris (Roadside Attractions/Stage 6 Films) Week 16 [29 Theaters] Weekend $16,868, Average $582, Cume $14,409,731
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