Franco As I Lay Dying

"God Loves Uganda" (Variance) - Criticwire: B+; Metacritic: 77; Festivals include: Sundance 2013

$7,300 in 1 theater; PSA: $7,300

Opening at a theater usually not known for specialized limited releases (the Clearview in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood), this is a decent gross for a tough documentary about evangelical Christians joining with local officials to persecute gays in Uganda.

What comes next: Los Angeles this Friday is next, with a slow roll out planned over the next few weeks.

"Broadway Idiot" (FilmBuff) - Metacritic: 48; Festivals include: South by Southwest 2013

$6,500 in 1 theater; PSA: $6,500

Also on a single NY screen, this doc about Green Day singer Billy Joe Armstrong producing a Broadway musical based on the group's hit album "American Idiot" did similarly OK business.

What comes next: Expansion to other cities next week as well as VOD in the near future.

"As I Lay Dying" (Millennium) - Metacritic: 50; Festivals include: Cannes 2013

$6,000 in 1 theater; PSA: $6,000

Opening unusually at AMC's Empire complex on 42nd St. in Manhattan, this is a less impressive gross based on its pedigree (director/star James Franco, from William Faulkner's novel). The Cannes-launched film needed stronger reviews. 

What comes next: This looks like it has limited specialized appeal.


Several other more limited release films hovered just under the top 10 (in a week where any significant performance should have been able to propel them with the low level grosses outside the top three films). Best-grossing was "Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight) in 11th place with $1,935,000 in 606 theaters (+169). The gross was down almost 12% despite the theater increase, with the PSA of $3,193 down just under 40%. At the same point of its run, "The Way, Way Back" jumped to 886 theaters (it ultimately reached 1,001) showing broader strength. "Enough" though has passed the $8 million mark, making it the best of the fall initially limited specialized openings so far.

Lionsgate's two Mexican comedies also placed high. "Pulling Strings" (#12, $1.150,000 in 428 theaters, +41) took a 53% drop even with new runs, now totaling over $4.1 million). The much bigger "Instructions Not Included" took in another $1 million, still at 711 theaters, now up to $42,675,000.

Among films that opened last week, there was not a lot of action. Roadside Attraction's Christian-market "Grace Unplugged" added $524,000 in 502 theaters for a minimal PSA, total now $1,749,000. Exclusive's "Parkland" collapsed, only taking in $88,000 in 133 theaters (it lost nearly half of its count from last week), now up to $524,000. Ketchup Entertainment's "Linsanity" added 16 theaters (+7) to do $51,500, a more respectable PSA of $3,219. "A.C.O.D." from Film Arcade did $36,100 in 18 (+15) for a PSA just over $2,000.

Other recent openers taking in over $50,000 for the weekend include "Metallica Through the Never" (Picturehouse) - $204,000 in 289 theaters (-300), total $3,168,000; Radius/Weinstein's doc "Inequality for All" -  $153,000 in 80 (+39), now $558,000; "Generation Iron" (Vladar), $75,000 in 34 (-36), total $631,400. Sony Pictures Classic's "Wadjda" is holding up best among this group, with another $109,000 in 47 theaters (+3), with its gross down only slightly for a total of $619,000. Best of the year so far "Blue Jasmine" (excluding "Instructions Not Included) from SPC is wrapping up its run, another $221,000 in 190, now at $31,663,000 total.