Continued competition from "Argo" and "Cloud Atlas" (both getting the bulk of their business from older audiences) continues to make it tougher to lure specialized audiences.
"The Loneliest Planet" (IFC) - Metacritic score: 78; Film festivals include: Locarno 11, Toronto 11, NY 11, AFI 11; Video on Demand starts on Tuesday
$20,400 in 2 theaters; PSA (Per screen average): $10,200
A year after the Gotham best feature nominee's festival showings, this story about a young couple hiking in remote Asia in the Georgian mountains starring Gael Garcia Bernal opened in two NY/LA theaters with strong reviews and the best PSA for the weekend.
What comes next: Expansion to other cities, but the usual IFC VOD availability likely will be its main venue.
"The Other Son" (Cohen) - Metacritic score: 62; Film festivals include: Ales 12, San Francisco Jewish 12
$125,000 in 41 theaters; PSA: $3,049
Unusually wide release for a subtitled film, to OK if not spectacular results. This French film tells the story of two adoptees =- one Jewish, one Moslem -= who learn years later they were switched at birth and are not who they think they are.
"Pusher" (Weinstein) - Metacritic score: 52; Film festivals include: Edinburgh 12, Galway 12, Toronto 12; also available on Video on Demand
$5,040 in 14 theaters; PSA: $360
This English-language British remake of a Danish thriller with a Spanish director this time around is the lowest grossing yet of the day and date VOD and theater releases from Weinstein's Radius division.
What comes next: VOD is its home for now.
What comes next: Cohen Releasing continues to remain committed to foreign language film at a time when audience interest in most of them is lagging. Reaching out to a wider audience initially looks like an enterprising decision that, combined with good initial reaction, could push this to a higher gross than most similar releases.
"The Revisionaries" (Kino Lorber) - Metacritic score:; Film festivals include: Tribeca 12, Hot Docs 12
$5,000 in 1 theater; PSA: $5,000
This documentary about the fierce struggle to keep Texas schooltexts (and thus the country's) from being totally slanted to right-wing ideology opened to a modest gross at NY's Elinor Bunin Munroe Center, after actually having a couple of earlier dates in the state in which it takes place.
What comes next: Kino Lorber will expand this to other cities ahead, and otherwise await the announcement of the Oscar doc semifinalists.
"The Sessions" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 2
$231,000 in 20 theaters (+16); PSA: $11,550; Cumulative: $390,000
Falling somewhere between "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" in PSA for a second week widening of a specialized release, these are respectable if not spectacular grosses for this awards hopeful. Reviews remain strong in new cities -- the Metacritic score is now at a very strong 80. Considering external factors this weekend, plus likely initial audience resistance to the handicapped man/sex surrogate story line, it's still an encouraging start, and certainly the strongest new release over the last few weeks.
What comes next: Whether this film can reach the "Beasts" total of over $11 million is going to depend on word of mouth and its award trajectory, although it is weeks until the first kudos are announced.