April 8, 2018

‘You Were Never Really Here’ Opens Strong, Bringing More Good News to Specialty Box Office

Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” continues the welcome trend of limited crossovers that includes “Isle of Dogs” and “The Death of Stalin.” This tough New York-set crime film is the best initial performer in the acclaimed Scottish director’s career, with a Joaquin Phoenix performance that’s viewed as some of his best work.

Lean on Pete” from Andrew Haigh, another established British director working in an American setting, had a more modest but credible opening. The business needs a consistent supply of films like these, which can fill top specialized theaters.


You Were Never Really Here (Amazon) – Metacritic: 87; Festivals include: Cannes 2017, Sundance 2018

$129,911 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $43,304

Ramsay’s acclaimed drama stars Phoenix as a tortured soul rescuing young girls from sex slavery. Similar to her earlier “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” this is tough material, told in unflinching form centered on stark, gripping performances.

This opened better than “Kevin,” which opened in a single theater in 2011 to a little less than $30,000. “You Were Never Really Here” opened in three New York/Los Angeles theaters, with a star/director appearance in LA’s Cinerama Dome Friday, its best day. Beyond that, totals are impressive in for material that’s hard to market.

What comes next: Ten more cities in expansion next week, with a wider release the following week.

“Lean on Pete”

Lean on Pete (A24) – Metacritic: 78; Festivals include: Venice, Telluride, Toronto 2017

$50,118 in 4 theaters; PTA: $12,530

Haigh moves from his acclaimed gay romance “Weekend” and late-crisis marriage “45 Years” to an American setting with “Lean on Pete.” A working-class teen bonds with a quarter horse in Oregon, with an unconventional telling.

This is A24’s first platform release since their company-best result with “Lady Bird.” As usual, it played at top theaters in the first two cities, with an average result for their top releases.

What comes next:  Next week sees other top cities opening as the start of a gradual specialized expansion.


Where Is Kyra? Michelle Pfeiffer
“Where Is Kyra”

Where Is Kyra? (Great Point/Paladin) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Sundance 2017

$7,000 in theaters; PTA: $7,000

A Sundance 2017 premiere, this intense drama stars Michelle Pfeiffer living out a grim life that gains some solace when she meets Kiefer Sutherland. It opened in a single Manhattan location to a modest initial result.

What comes next: 20 more theaters open this Friday.

Imelda Staunton in "Finding Your Feet"

“Finding Your Feet”

Roadside Attractions

Week Two

Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions)

$127,265 in 57 theaters (+43); PTA: $2,233; Cumulative: $229,947

The second weekend for this English comedy about middle-age couples is performing somewhat below the currently expanding “The Leisure Seeker.” It’s finding an interested older audience, with some potential to continue with word of mouth and further additional theaters.

Gemini (Neon)

$73,071 in 56 theaters (+52); PTA: $1,305; Cumulative: $120,624

This murder thriller, set in the LA movie world, got a major boost in its national exposure. Though most reviews have been favorable, negative ones in Washington and San Francisco might have hurt those areas.

“Outside In”

Outside In (The Orchard) – also streaming

$23,393 in 14 theaters (+5); PTA: $1,671; Cumulative: $47,203

Edie Falco stars as a high school teacher involved with a former student after his release from prison. Lynn Shelton’s film added more dates this week, along with streaming. It is getting strong reviews, which likely helps its at-home viewing more than theaters.

Love After Love (IFC) – also streaming on ITunes

$14,054 in 3 theaters (+2); PTA: $4,685; Cumulative: $31,417

Andie MacDowell and Chris Dowd  star in this drama about a family dealing with loss opened in Los Angeles after its initial New York start last week. It continues to get top theater and review attention, with mixed results that parallel its initial high-price ITunes availability.

“Isle of Dogs”

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)’

Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 3

$4,600,000 in 554 theaters (+389); Cumulative: $12,049,000

Wes Anderson’s animated film continues to succeed in expansion. Through three weekends, it is already at the $12 million. That’s where his earlier cartoon feature “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was (in adjusted numbers) at the same point. What makes the current number impressive is at that point, “Fox” was playing in over 2,000 theaters on Thanksgiving weekend.

This will pass the earlier film’s adjusted $25 million for some margin. It lags beyond his breakout “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” but could near “Moonrise Kingdom.” This jumps to over 1,500 theaters next week, which will test its wider appeal.

The Death of Stalin (IFC) Week 5

$1,109,000 in 557 theaters (+73); Cumulative: $5,596,000

Armando Iannucci’s dark comedy about Kremlin intrigue continues to find appeal above all post-Oscar specialized releases other than “Isle of Dogs.” It is certain to end up as IFC’s second biggest release in the last 15 years (after “Boyhood”) as well as a standalone success in the tricky genre of political satire.

The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 11

$577,912 in 353 theaters (+198); Cumulative: $1,820,000

A big jump in theaters kept the per-theater performance steady. That’s a positive sign for this mid-level success aimed at older audiences with its road trip story with retirees Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren.

Final Portrait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3

$59,600 in 21 theaters (+12); Cumulative: $145,756

Stanley Tucci’s film set in the art world with Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer is showing, at best, modest results as it continues to expand in large markets.

Foxtrot (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$58,093 in 45 theaters (+10); Cumulative: $414,117

Similar to other Israeli films, this military-set drama continues to do minor business, though better than many other recent subtitled releases.

Itzhak (Greenwich) Week 5

$51,243 in 29 theaters; Cumulative: $234,487

This documentary on the iconic violinist continues to do niche business in select markets.

Also noted:

1945 (Menemsha) – $45,065 in 11 theaters; Cumulative: $496,892

A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) – $35,419 in 38 theaters; Cumulative: $1,885,000

Call Me  By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) – $28,650 in theaters; Cumulative: $18,037,000

Back to Burgundy (Music Box) – $24,864 in 14 theaters; Cumulative: $104,873

Journey’s End (Good Deed) – $23,000 in 28 theaters; Cumulative: $134,544

Flower (The Orchard) – $10,921 in 36 theaters; Cumulative: $321,195

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Source: IndieWire film