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Arthouse Audit: Record Surprise 'Spring Breakers' Puts New Distrib A24 On Map

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
March 17, 2013 4:23 PM
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Elle Fanning in 'Ginger and Rosa'


“Ginger and Rosa” (A24) – Metacritic score:  69; Festivals include:  Telluride 2012, Toronto 2012, New York 2012

$45,000 in 3 theaters; PSA: $15,000

A24’s second film opening this weekend actually Oscar-qualified off the radar (including no local reviews) late last year in the long-shot hope of qualifying Elle Fanning for best actress (thus ineligible this year). The film had a decent performance for this more conventional art-house, review-driven film.

Opening in the key New York/Los Angeles theaters (a more typical run than either “Spring Breakers” and “Up from Poppy Hill,”), it fell short of recent openings “Stoker” and “No” – both with easier marketing appeals than this story, about two 1960s London teen girls dealing with both personal and external crises. Director Sally Potter has had success in the past – her “Orlando” and “The Tango Lesson” both opened better at much lower ticket prices in the 1990s – but A24 is expecting to expand this fairly broadly in hopes of moving beyond a standard arthouse release.

What comes next: A24’s success with “Spring Breakers” will make a wider range of exhibitors interested in this, even if its young female road trip story is much different in its appeal. This opens in Los Angeles next Friday, and they plan on getting into a much wider release by next month.

“Reality” (Oscilloscope) – Metacritic score 73; Festivals include: Cannes 2012, Karoly Vary 2012

$8,000 in 1 theater; PSA: $8,000

Opening to good reviews in New York’s Angelika Theater, this had a mixed opening despite its pedigree. Director Matteo Gallone’s earlier film “Gomorrah” grossed $1.5 million for IFC in 2008, and “Reality” was the Grand Prize winner at last year’s Cannes (the runner-up jury prize). This story about a Naples fish seller who thinks he’s been picked to be on Italy’s “Big Brother” show should have universal appeal, with the benefit of coming from a country that has been a mainstay for the subtitled market. However, in recent years Italian-language films have fallen way off in U.S. appeal (“I Am Love,” shot in North America in several languages grossed $5 million, but “Gomorrah” remains the best-grossing over the last several years among the rest).

What comes next: Los Angeles comes next week, and Oscilloscope in the past has taken well-reviewed if more limited films out to some success across the country.

“Upside Down” (Millennium) – Metacritic score: 41

$28,300 in 11 theaters; PSA: $2,573

This sci-fi action/romance starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess has already played most of the rest of the world (to a total of $8 milliion), but showed little strength in its multi-city U.S. limited opening.

What comes next: This doesn’t look like it will have much further appeal.

Ongoing/expanding

“Emperor” (Roadside Attractions) – Week 2

$632,000 in 311 theaters (+51); PSA: $2,032; Cumulative: $2,035,000

Adding some theaters this week, this post-World War II Japan-set drama crossed the $2-million mark this weekend while the overall gross fell by more than a third. It seems still to be attracting some older audiences in some areas, but doesn’t look like it has the strength to repeat other recent films appealing to a similar demographic.

What comes next: Enough word of mouth to keep this in play for longer, but this doesn’t appear to have the ability to break out to the degree that previous Roadside Attractions’ releases have.

“Somebody Up There Likes Me” (Tribeca) – Week 2; also available on Video on Demand

$12,200 in 1 theater (unchanged); PSA: $12,000; Cumulative: $47,000

Los Angeles opened this week, repeating the in-person appearances that boosted its Chicago showing. For the non-mainstream theater (Cinefamily) at which this is showing, this is a strong gross, more so with it also being available on VOD.

What comes next: Though most of the future business will be in home viewing, San Francisco opens next week and New York the next.

“Beyond the Hills” (IFC) – Week 2; also available on Video on Demand

$25,200 in 17 theaters (+14); PSA: $1,482; Cumulative: $48,200

IFC added VOD this weekend as well as multiple new markets, for a weak result on the theatrical side. The strong reviews for this Romanian film festival favorite don’t seem to be helping much.

What comes next: This doesn’t seem to have much theatrical life ahead

“Stoker” (Fox Searchlight) – Week 3

$266,000 in 94 theaters (+77); PSA: $2,830; Cumulative: $647,000

Unspectacular expansion for Park Chan-wook’s mystery with Nicole Kidman, with a PSA much below what Searchlight’s underperforming “Hitchcock” came in at with double the theaters.

What comes next: This expands to 250 theaters – likely its widest release – next Friday.

“No” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 5

$191,000 in 48 theaters (+13); PSA: $3,979; Cumulative: $736,000

The PSA only fell slightly despite a sizable theater count increase, indicating continuing success for this Chilean Spanish-language film with Gael Garcia Bernal.

What comes next: This is following the usual (and normally productive) slow rollout of a SPC film, allowing word of mouth to take the place of the higher ad costs that some other distributors provide, with it appearing that this still has substantial gross potential ahead.

“The Gatekeepers” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 7

$293,000 in 86 theaters (+19); PSA: $2,780; Cumulative: $1,345,000

Continuing its solid run, this Israeli documentary keeps finding a steady audience as it reaches new markets and theaters.

What comes next: This continues to have a real shot at an excellent (for a documentary) $3 million eventual total.

Other grosses

“Quartet” (Weinstein – Week 10) - $913,000/$14,810,000

“Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics – Week 13) - $102,000/$6,496,000

“Like Someone in Love” (IFC – Week 5) - $34,300/$151,000


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