Going into this weekend, there was a lot of speculation about how a
wider release foreign language film would do. It turns out one not as
anticipated, the Mexican comedy "Instructions Not Included" (Pantaleon/Lionsgate),
ended up as the big success, hitting #5 and $7.5 million at only 347
theaters reaching a staggering $21,000 per screen average.
The subtitled release that gained far more interest, Weinstein's "The Grandmaster" from director Wong Kar-wai, did a much more modest $2.5 million in 742 theaters (PSA $3,266) after opening decently in three cities last week. Aiming at a martial arts/action audience not normally interested in subtitles ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is the exception that proves the rule), its $2.6 million total is already close to the top gross for any of the Hong Kong director's previous releases in the U.S. (At $58 million worldwide it is already the director's top film overall.)
The other major expansion this week was A24's "The Spectacular Now," which
grossed $1,045,000 in 385 theaters (+231) for a total of just under
$3.4 million. This looks headed toward a potentially substantially
higher gross, with more theaters available in upcoming weeks and some
signs of wider interest.
Cinedigm's "Short Term 12" added 12 theaters to gross $94,000 in 16 (PSA $5,800), not great but continuing to do well enough to ensure holdovers and more expansion. Also in its second week, MPI's "Therese" took in only $20,000 in 8 (+2). Roadside Attractions "In a World" jumped to 97 theaters (+17), adding another $329,000 to near $1.2 million so far.