Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Arthouse Audit: Action Among Wider Release Films as Specialty Box Office Lags, 'Enough Said' Tops Fall Specialty Films

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood October 13, 2013 at 4:29PM

With "Gravity" and now "Captain Phillips" dominating the Top 10, propelled by ticket buyers who often overlap with those who might otherwise pursue more specialized fare, the overall weekend arthouse box office is less than spectacular. Several independent releases outside the normal definition of specialized comprise much of the business.
1
"Escape from Tomorrow."
"Escape from Tomorrow."

With "Gravity" and now "Captain Phillips" dominating the Top 10, propelled by ticket buyers who often overlap with those who might otherwise pursue more specialized fare, the overall weekend arthouse box office is less than spectacular. Several independent releases outside the normal definition of specialized comprise much of the business. Among new openings and ongoing films, non-wide releases did much of the business. 

The new exclusive/limited runs are treading water as three major new releases will launch this week -- "12 Years a Slave" (Fox Searchlight), "All Is Lost" (Roadside Attractions) and "Kill My Darlings" (Sony Pictures Classics). These should kickstart the lagging business at the time of the year when core theaters should be thriving.

Opening

"Romeo and Juliet" (Relativity) - Criticwire B-; Metacritic: 41

$509,000 in 461 theaters; PSA (per screen average): $1,104

A European production financed by an Austrian jeweler, with Relativity hired to handle U.S. distribution, this film has roots in a past specialized release. Director Carlos Carlei made "The Flight of the Innocent" in the early 1990s, which after its Toronto premiere was thought to have a real shot at box office success. It failed, but MGM then produced "Fluke" with him, to modest results. Since then he has been making TV films in his native Italy. This effort, with a cast led by Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet, and with support from such stalwarts Paul Giamatti, "Homeland"'s Damian Lewis and Stellan Skarsgaard gained little traction, doing weak business in a selection of well-placed theaters across the country.

What comes next: This will have a tough time holding on to the many of these theaters its second week, more so with Relativity already pushing hard to hold its much more successful "Insidious Chapter Two."

"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" (Lionsgate) - Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 63; Festivals include: Sundance 2013

$260,000 in 147 theaters; PSA: $1,769

Enterprising Lionsgate, with "Catching Fire" next month likely to exceed "Gravity" as the fall's top grosser, also partners with other companies in more niche markets to usually impressive numbers (as they recently have done in the Latino market with Mexican producer Pantaleon). The formerly stand-alone distributor CodeBlack also collaborates with them ("Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain" enjoyed success with the African-American market, along with long-time in-house star Tyler Perry).

However, this effort from veteran director George Tillman Jr. ("Soul Food," "Men of Honor") failed to connect, playing at nearly all of the top theaters in major cities for the intended audience. This was a Sundance-premiered film, and with Jennifer Hudson leading the adult actors in this story about two young people left to fend for themselves during summer vacation, it looked like it had some potential. But word of mouth alone, even if good, likely won't be enough to sustain this based on results so far.

What comes next: A struggle to hold on to theaters for more than a week.

"Escape from Tomorrow" (PDA) - Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 60; Festivals include: Sundance 2013; also available on Video on Demand

$66,100 in 30 theaters; PSA: $2,203

Shot guerilla-filmmaker style under the normally all-seeing security folks at Disney World, and used the setting to form a context for this story about a typical dad taking his family to the park who finds his world transformed after obsessing over a couple of cute French girls. This had all the makings of a cult film (and possibly unreleasable if Disney tried to protect its corporate image). Instead, they laid low, and future cult status should come from legitimate viewings. With VOD limiting theatrical play and a cross-country release in small markets with limited showings, this isn't a bad result despite the smallish-PSA. The main action will be on VOD, for which long-time indie sales agent John Sloss hopes, against industry norms, to provide actual numbers during the week. This is the kind of offering that might easily have found its way online with only a theatrical release initially because of its outside the box presentation, but with VOD and the publicity surrounding this, and enhanced by reviews and other media, could gain much wider viewing.

What comes next: A likely long availability on VOD and similar outlets.

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


E-Mail Updates








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.