July 30, 2017

‘Detroit’ Tops Limited Openers, Along With ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ and ‘Menashe’

It’s a strong group of limited releases for a July weekend: Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit,” “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” and the Yiddish-language “Menashe” all performed well, as did Sony Pictures Classics’ “Bigsby Bear.”


Detroit (Annapurna) – Metacritic: 86

$365,455 in 20 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $18,273

Kathryn Bigelow’s first film since “Zero Dark Thirty” is the first released by Megan Ellison’s production company through its own distributor. With reviews nearly as strong as “Zero” and “The Hurt Locker” but shifting to the home front in this recounting of the Detroit riots exactly 50 years ago, this opened in 10 markets ahead of its wide release this Friday. This is a tough subject, however well received, and Annapurna and its team has a challenge opening this outside of the festival/awards season and finding a wide swath of African-American and other upscale audiences.

Figures at the four core New York/Los Angeles theaters that normally play platform runs came in with a per-theater average of around $30,000, though that’s far below “Zero” and somewhat less than the summer time release of “Locker.” What is notable initially is that two of its three best grosses were Detroit theaters that otherwise would never be part of a limited opening, and that these and similar African-American oriented locations had decent Saturday increases over Friday. (Taking out the Thursday preview showings, Saturday was a credible 28 percent over Friday).

This remains a risky release, more so without the awards-environment trappings to propel it. Next weekend will tell the real story of its potential.

What comes next: Around 2,800 theaters will show this starting Friday.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Al Go

“An Inconvenient Sequel”

Courtesy of Sundance

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount) – Metacritic: 67; Festivals include: Sundance, Cannes 2017

$130,000 in 4 theaters; PTA: $32,500

Davis Guggenheim’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006 opened also in four theaters, to an adjusted initial PTA of around $95,000. The sequel, again with Al Gore placing the climate crisis front and center, had diminished returns, but strong enough to be way ahead of nearly all documentaries this year. Paramount along with Participant Media again are giving this the full weight of their support, which will be seen even more as it heads toward nationwide expansion this Friday.

What comes next: The 2006 initial effort got to over $30 million adjusted, one of the top documentaries ever along with two Oscar wins (including Best Song). This won’t have the same response, but it still should have a presence above most similar films ahead.


Menashe (A24) Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Sundance, Berlin, New Directors/New Films 2017

$61,409 in 3 theaters; PTA: $20,470

One of the top grosses for a subtitled film in recent months, here it’s an American independent film in Yiddish and shot in Brooklyn. A custody battle dictated by orthodox religious norms is the story here, and though the audience initially looks niche, strong reviews and A24’s backing could propel this to higher results.

What comes next: National expansion starts Friday.

"Brigsby Bear"

Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 68; Festivals include: Sundance, Cannes, Seattle 2017

$45,060 in 3 theaters; PTA: $15,020

A 20-something man obsessed by a TV show from his youth and his re-entry into the world is the story for this Sundance-premiere film, which received favorable though not rave reviews in its prime theater openings in New York and Los Angeles. It will need word of mouth to sustain these runs, though it could be one of those specialized films that works better as it expands beyond coast cities.

What comes next: SPC will get this out to any possible theater that might be right for this.


Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Sundance, Hot Docs, Seattle 2017

$10,500 in 2 theaters; PTA: $5,250

One of two rock-related documentaries to open this week, this one focuses on the surprisingly strong presence of Native Americans (both from the U.S. and Canada) including Jimi Hendrix and Robbie Robertson.

What comes next: Dates in at least 40 markets are planned around the country ahead.


Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk (Abramorama) – Metacritic: 65

$6,480 in 1 theater; PTA: $6,480

This Green Day-produced documentary about the niche San Francisco area punk scene played very limited shows at New York’s IFC Center, which makes this number stand out above the raw numbers.

What comes next: Similar event showings around the country begin this week.


Also available on Video on Demand:

Person to Person (Magnolia/Sundance 17) – $(est.) 18,000 in 3 theaters

Jenny Slate in Landline


Week Two

Landline (Magnolia)

$140,000 in 38 theaters (+34); PTA: $3,684; Cumulative: $140,000

The impact of an affair on a 1990s New York City family is the center of this Amazon-acquired Sundance film, which quickly expanded to adequate results in top markets.

The Midwife (Music Box)

$78,896 in 27 theaters (+24); PTA: $2,992; Cumulative: $112,571

Catherine Deneuve’s co-lead role in this French drama is propelling this to a credible showing for a subtitle film these days in its second weekend.

"A Ghost Story"

“A Ghost Story”

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

A Ghost Story (A24) Week 4

$382,128 in 329 theaters (+286); Cumulative: $941,347

A major jump for David Lowery’s return to indie films with two big stars in Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Despite its pedigree and good reviews, this appears limited to niche interest.

Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 16

$350,934 in 228 theaters (-5); Cumulative: $4,670,000

U.S. gross nears $2 million for this Canadian/Irish co-production with Sally Hawkins as an oddball artist in a remote village.

Lady Macbeth (Roadside Attractions) Week 3

$179,307 in 104 theaters (+64); Cumulative: $467,273

A mediocre expansion for this drama of aristocratic 19th-century adultery.

The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 5

$125,334 in 96 theaters (-18); Cumulative: $1,201,000

The nuns continue their mixed-result run, with a drop from their gross last weekend.

The Beguiled (Focus) Week 6

$(est.) 100,000 in 144 theaters (-187); Cumulative: $(est.) 10,429,000

Sofia Coppola’s Southern Gothic remake is winding down, with  $11 million looking like its total.

Lost in Paris (Oscilloscope) Week 7

$57,000 in 41 theaters (-2); Cumulative: $329,348

Canadians out of their elements and the comic effects continue steady play in niche theaters.

The Hero (The Orchard) Week 8

$68,091 in 85 theaters (-106); Cumulative: $3,855,000

Also late in its run, Sam Elliott’s lead role as an actor facing mortality will end up at a credible $4 million.

Beatriz at Dinner (Roadside Attractions) Week 8

$59,840 in 68 theaters (-48); Cumulative: $6,833,000

Miguel Artesta’s cutting-edge drama with Salma Hayek and John Lithgow keeps playing after two months and nearly $7 million total.

Also noted:

Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) – $32,613 in 44 theaters; Cumulative: $5,524,000

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha) – $31,545 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $1,032,000

City of Ghosts (IFC) – $14,520 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $104,263

The B-Side (Neon) –  $7,270 in 7 theaters; Cumulative: $129,670

Source: IndieWire film