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Arthouse Audit: 'Lore' and 'Charles Swan' Modest Openers, Holdovers Stay Strong

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood February 10, 2013 at 4:09PM

With few significant new openings these days and competition for multiple adult-appealing Oscar contenders still significant, "Lore" and "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" both posted just average opening grosses. The snow in New York likely had some impact on box office there (both films opened only in NYC and Los Angeles), but the reality is 2013 is starting off slowly in terms of debuting releases.
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Ed Koch at the Hamptons International Film Festival
Ed Koch at the Hamptons International Film Festival

Koch" (Zeitgeist) - Week 2

$27,988 in 3 theaters (+1); PSA: $9,330; Cumulative: $79,724

Still playing only in New York, and thus weather-impacted (one of the two outlying theaters wasn't able to open), this maintained a decent level as enough locals braved the weather with an attitude not unlike the ex-Mayor who is the subject of this documentary.

What comes next: The next opening, Los Angeles, comes on March 1. The interest there likely will be greater than what would exist for a mayor from that city in New York theaters.

"Quartet" (Weinstein) - Week 5

$951,000 in 244 theaters (+42); PSA: $3,898; Cumulative: $5,010,000

The PSA fell by more than a third with a small uptick in theaters, but this remains a decent performance for this English retirement home comedy/drama that continues to draw the "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" audience, although at much smaller levels.

What is significant though about this film is that, though timed to take advantage of awards attention, it is giving a decent accounting for itself without having any itself right in the heart of the voting.

What comes next: This should easily outdo Weinstein's best limited release last year ("Intouchables") and continue to expand over the following weeks.

"Amour" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 8

$381,000 in 125 theaters (+31); PSA: $3,048; Cumulative: $3,024,000

Slowly expanding in advance of its planned most significant widening this Friday, this has so grossed about $1 million more than last year's "A Separation" at the same point, although this has played in more theaters earlier than last year's Foreign Language Oscar winner. The PSA fell about a third, and it continues to perform as a high-end limited-appeal film more than a potential crossover success (such as "Quartet" potentially).

What comes next: Between the expansion and one or more likely Oscars ahead, this should easily surpass "A Separation" (which grossed $7 million).

"The Impossible" (Lionsgate) - Week 8

$915,000 in 739 theaters (-26); PSA: $1,268; Cumulative: $16,626,000

A decent hold at modest levels, with grosses just a drop in the bucket compared to the $138 million (so far) this Spanish film has done in the rest of the world.

What comes next: The PSA is miniscule, but with this volume of theaters the gross keeps adding up to its likely (without an upset Best Actress win) $20 million + domestic total.

Also playing (+ totals)

"Hyde Park on Hudson" (Focus Features) Week 10 - $131,000/$5,816,000

"Anna Karenina" (Focus Features) Week 13             -  $55,700/$12,653,000

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Independents


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.