Box Office Breakouts ‘RBG’ and ‘First Reformed’ Hold Strong
May 27, 2018
May 27, 2018
Yet another fashion designer documentary, “The Gospel According to Andre” (Magnolia), stood out among new specialized releases. While Memorial Day Weekend will occasionally launch a major platform release like Terence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” a few years ago, this year’s holiday weekend maintained the norm.
Nonetheless specialized audiences are still searching out top films like Magnolia’s Top Ten $5-million breakout “RBG,” about the octogenarian Supreme Court justice, which continues to thrive at over 400 theaters. Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” (A24) found more interest in its second weekend in a top city expansion as it goes full steam ahead.
The Gospel According to Andre (Magnolia) – Metacritic: 68; Festivals include: Toronto 2017, Palm Springs 2018
$(est.) 45,000 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $(est.) 11,250
Without hard numbers from Magnolia, it seems the four-theater, two-city opening for this latest fashion world documentary about the iconic Andre Leon Talley had a decent initial foray. New York performed particularly well in theaters close to runways.
What comes next: This starts its national expansion this Friday.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (A24) – Metacritic: 47; Festivals include: Cannes 2017, San Francisco 2018
$13,179 in 2 theaters; PTA: $6,590
John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Rabbit Hole”) returns to comedy with this aliens-in-London musical. A year after its Cannes debut, it opened in New York and Los Angeles to better results than most other of the week’s releases, but still far below his earlier efforts.
What comes next: Expect A24 to push this to top cities though it looks like it has limited prospects.
Mary Shelley (IFC) – Metacritic: 49; Festivals include: Toronto 2017, Tribeca 2018
$12,016 in 2 theaters; PTA: $6,008
In one of the more interesting recent career trajectories, Saudi Arabia’s pioneer director Haifaa al-Mansour followed up her “Wadjda” with this British-made biopic about the author of “Frankenstein.” With Elle Fanning in the lead, this opened exclusive dates in New York and Los Angeles to little response.
What comes next: Seven more cities come aboard this Friday.
Who Are We Now (FilmRise) – Metacritic: 83; Festivals include: Toronto 2017, South by Southwest 2018
$5,800 in 1 theater; PTA: $5,800
Julianne Nicholson and Emma Roberts costar as an ex-con trying to reunite with her daughter and the crusading lawyer at her side. With strong reviews continuing the acclaim this received at its festival showings, this opened at the Village East in Manhattan to modest results.
What comes next: Los Angeles is next this Friday.
The Misandrists (Cartilage) – Metacritic: 55; Festivals include: Berlin 2017
$3,000 in 1 theater; PTA: $3,000
Veteran indie director Bruce LaBruce’s latest opened exclusively in Manhattan to minor results
What comes next: Landmark’s Los Angeles Nuart opens this Friday.
First Reformed (A24)
$282,507 in 29 theaters (+25); PTA: $9,742; Cumulative: $425,469
Paul Schrader’s crisis of faith drama starring Ethan Hawke continues to resonate with specialized audiences as it expands to new cities in its second week, propelled by the best reviews of the year so far. Its numbers in wider release compare favorably to recent limited openers (“Disobedience,” “The Death of Stalin” among them). “Disobedience” had nearly double an opening weekend per theater average, but only grossed about the same its second weekend in similar theaters. This serious, provocative film could find a significant arthouse audience ahead.
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (Focus)
$290,000 in 385 theaters (+39); PTA: $748; Cumulative: $1,195,000
The pontiff’s popularity has not translated into tickets sold as Wim Wenders’ documentary falls from its mediocre initial reaction.
On Chesil Beach (Bleecker Street)
$91,132 in 25 theaters (+21); PTA: $3,505; Cumulative: $146,079
Saorise Ronan as half of a newlywed early 1960s English couple heads this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel. The result early on is not getting the response as “Atonement” from the same author.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Warner Brothers) (reissue)
$66,000 in 4 theaters (no change); PTA: $16,500; Cumulative: $387,000
Not as sensational as its first weekend, but the 70mm revival of Kubrick’s classic still soars above most reissues.
Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)
RBG (Magnolia) Week 4
$1,120,000 in 415 theaters (+40); Cumulative: $5,637,000
Ruth Ginsberg’s star continues to shine as the documentary on the Supreme Court justice returns to the Top Ten (it ended up #12 last weekend). This shocking success now looks like it will easily better the strong results Magnolia saw from “I Am Not Your Negro” (over $7 million) despite not having an award-parallel release.
Disobedience (Bleecker Street) Week 5
$368,554 in 224 theaters (-23); Cumulative: $2,527,000
Chilean Sebastian Lelio’s English-language debut has now grossed more than his Oscar Foreign Language winner “A Fantastic Woman” by about $500,000. Once again focusing on strong female characters outside societal norms, his London-set romance with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams should end up around $3.5 million.
Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 10
$196,000 in 162 theaters (-126); Cumulative: $31,145,000
Wes Anderson’s latest animated film keeps adding to its year’s best so far specialized total.
The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7
$184,578 in 107 theaters (+17); Cumulative: $1,371,378
The grosses remain modest, but at least the per theater average remains consistent.
Beast (Roadside Attractions) Week 3
$175,120 in 93 theaters (+62); Cumulative: $407,195
This British remote island thriller tripled its theaters to minor impact.
Sony Pictures Classics
The Seagull (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3
$116,605 in 29 theaters (+16); Cumulative: $216,981
This heavyweight ensemble cast Chekhov play adaptation, also starring Ronan, is getting minor sampling as it expands to more top big-city locations.
Let the Sunshine In (IFC) Week 5; also streaming
$104,263 in 69 theaters (+20); Cumulative: $540,506
Claire Denis’ midlife French romantic story continues to do respectable business considering its same time home-viewing availability.
The Death of Stalin (IFC) – $38,742 in 38 theaters; Cumulative: $7,880,000
Always at the Carlyle (Good Deed) – $15,562 in 13 theaters; Cumulative: $52,317
Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions) – $12,200 in 20 theaters; Cumulative: $1,396,000
Source: IndieWire film