‘The Favourite’ Seductive in Expansion; ‘Shoplifters’ Has Solid 2nd: Specialty Box Office

For specialties, the weekend was all about the second weekend holdovers, as regular release specialty newcomers tread lightly. Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, reigned again as the weekend’s highest per-theater average.

The Venice and Telluride debut by Yorgos Lanthimos is coming in at $1,105,000 in the three-day estimate, averaging $32,500. The Favourite bowed with the year’s highest opening weekend PTA at $105K. 

Magnolia Pictures Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters added runs in its second frame, grossing a solid $106K in 14 locations, averaging $7,571. Other second weekend holdovers also had added runs. Music Box Films’ Becoming Astrid jumped to 15 theaters from three in its opening frame. The bio-drama grossed $18,934, averaging $1,262. And Greenwich Entertainment doc The World Before Your Feet played several more locations in its second weekend, grossing $15,655 in six theaters, averaging $2,609.

Orion Pictures debuted genre-bending, zombie apocalypse feature Anna And the Apocalypse. It opened in five locations Friday in New York, Los Angeles and Austin. The label said Sunday it is estimating a gross between $50K and $51K, giving it a $10K-$11K per-theater average. comScore reported the title at $50K this morning. Orion said earlier in the week that it expects the title, directed by John McPhail, to expand to the top 10 markets to between 25-30 locations on December 7.

GKIDS had event screenings through Fathom Events of Japanese animated film, Mirai, across the country Thursday in 780 theaters, the company reported Sunday. The feature by writer-director Mamoru Hosada then played 71 and 20 runs Friday and Saturday in a mixture of events and regular runs, giving the title an opening frame gross of $272,758. GKIDS noted Sunday that over $210K of its gross came from the Thursday night showings. Mirai will have additional event shows this coming week and it will play select engagements throughout December and January.

GKIDS said in an email Sunday: “We’re very pleased to have brought a film as unique and personal as Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai to theaters across the country. The response from fans and critics has been overwhelmingly positive, so we expect the timing of the event screenings to allow good word of mouth to spread ahead of subsequent events and full run engagements.”

Among limited releases, it was again all about The Favourite, which was the clear favorite for specialty audiences. With its $1,105,000 three day estimate, it handily out-grossed all limited releases playing in under a thousand theaters. Its weekend PTA of $32,500 was again the weekend’s best showing. Universal’s Green Book opened limited, but has since expanded to just over one thousand locations. It grossed $3.9M this weekend.

Last weekend, The Favourite averaged $105K, topping last year’s highest opening-weekend PTA, Call Me By Your Name from SPC, at $103K. 

Noted Searchlight Sunday: “This is an outstanding result for the film as we set up our planned launch into 12 more new markets next week, as well as calibrated expansions in already opened cities when we are expecting to raise our theater total to between 80 -100 [locations]…Reviews continue to be stellar, positive word-of-mouth appears to be growing, and there is a sense that the film is capturing the attention of moviegoers young and old, male and female, across the country.”

The company said that the film is “registering” with a mixture of art house, cinephile crowds along with “hipper, younger constituencies.” Added Searchlight: “But the results in mainstream houses like the River East in Chicago and the Boston Commons are even more gratifying, as they show us that the film may have the ability to crossover and broaden its base.”

Cannes ’18 Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters from Hirokazu Kore-eda jumped its theater count by nine in its second frame, taking $106K in 14 theaters, averaging $7,571. The awards hopeful from Magnolia Pictures had one of the best opening weekend PTA outings for a foreign-language title this year, averaging $17,853 from five locations ($89,264 three-day gross).

Free Solo had momentum from the start to join this year’s trio of non-fiction films grossing eight figures. Free Solo achieved its feat over the weekend, making 2018 the year of a quartet of documentary superstars. The National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment release by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi grossed over $305K in 158 theaters in its tenth weekend of release, averaging $1,932 placing the film at over $10.13M. 

Free Solo’s cume places it with the year’s documentary box office standard bearers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? from Focus ($22.6M), Magnolia’s RBG ($14M) and Three Identical Strangers from Neon ($12.32M). Free Solo’s weekend gross and theater count suggests it may continue its journey to new heights.

In its third weekend, CBS Films’ At Eternity’s Gate by Julian Schnabel took in an estimated $180K in the three-day estimate, averaging $3,750 from 48 locations. Starring Oscar-nominee Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh, the Venice and New York Film Festival title has cumed in $670K.

Focus Features’ Boy Erased by Joel Edgerton crossed $5.5M in its fifth weekend outing. In 660 theaters, the feature starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as well as Edgerton grossed $590K ($893 average) giving it a $5,582,000 cume as of Sunday.

And Sony Classics doc Maria By Callas is moving closer to seven figures. Friday to Sunday, the film came in at $116,803, averaging $1,693 bringing its cume to $873,836.

Anna And The Apocalypse (Orion Pictures) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $50,000 to $51,000, Average $10,000 – $11,000

Mirai (GKIDS) NEW [780 Theaters Thursday; 71 Theaters Friday; 20 Theaters Saturday] Weekend $272,758 (4-day)

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

Becoming Astrid (Music Box Films) Week 2 [15 Theaters] Weekend $18,934, Average $1,262, Cume $26,955

The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [34 Theaters] Weekend $1,105,000, Average $32,500, Cume $1,679,310

Shoplifters (Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [14 Theaters] Weekend $106,000, Average $7,571, Cume $238,260

The World Before Your Feet (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 2 [6 Theaters] Weekend $15,655, Average $2,609, Cume $54,630

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

A Cool Fish (China Lion) Week 3 [35 Theaters] Weekend $95,000, Average $2,714, Cume $364,329

Green Book (Universal) Week 3 [1,065 Theaters] Weekend $3,900,000, Average $3,662, Cume $13,014,491

At Eternity’s Gate (CBS Films) Week 3 [48 Theaters] Weekend $180,000, Average $3,750, Cume $670,000

El Angel (The Orchard) Week 4 [4 Theaters] Weekend $7,901, Average $1,975, Cume $89,212

Last Letter (China Lion) Week 4 [1 Theater] Weekend $1,100, Cume $179,732

Boy Erased (Focus Features) Week 5 [660 Theaters] Weekend $590,000, Average $893, Cume $5,582,000

Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 5 [69 Theaters] Weekend $116,803, Average $1,693, Cume $873,836

A Private War (Aviron Pictures) Week 5 [66 Theaters] Weekend $50,000, Average $758, Cume $1,518,107

Border (Neon) Week 6 [73 Theaters] Weekend $76,920, Average $1,054, Cume $569,337

Suspiria (Amazon Studios) Week 6 [33 Theaters] Weekend $27,123, Average $822, Cume $2,393,218

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 7 [272 Theaters] Weekend $350,000, Average $1,287, Cume $6,591,770

Wildlife (IFC Films) Week 7 [66 Theaters] Weekend $55,487, Average $840, Cume $931,937

Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) Week 8 [207 Theaters] Weekend $160,042, Average $773, Cume $7,248,208

The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen Media Group) Week 9 [4 Theaters] Weekend $2,721, Average $680, Cume $96,747

Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 10 [158 Theaters] Weekend $305,294, Average $1,932, Cume $10,132,787

The Old Man & The Gun (Fox Searchlight) Week 10 [114 Theaters] Weekend $78,000, Average $684, Cume $10,919,749

Tea With The Dames (Sundance Selects) Week 11 [17 Theaters] Weekend $8,762, Average $515, Cume $847,086

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16 [6 Theaters] Weekend $846, Average $141, Cume $7,788,275

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