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Arthouse Audit: Summer Doldrums

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 12, 2012 at 2:49PM

This week's specialized take fell flat. The new openings (mainly NY exclusives) all performed okay, with none breaking out. But the broader market showed signs of weakness as "Ruby Sparks" failed to impress in its wider break, "Celeste and Jesse Forever" didn't repeat its more standout opening weekend performance as it expanded, and other films under-performed in later weeks.
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"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
What it means: LD should be able to nurture this slowly for some weeks to come.

"To Rome With Love" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 8

$455,000 in 264 theaters (-118); PSA: $1,723; Cumulative: $15,126,000

Holding on in the late stages of its release, this Woody Allen film looks like it will end up with less than a third of the total for "Midnight in Paris."

What it means: It still is one of the top indie films of the year.

"Easy Money" (Weinstein) - Week 5

$17,600 in 7 theaters (+1); PSA: $2,514; Cumulative: $142,800

Still playing on fewer than 10 theaters, this Swedish thriller continues its consistent if mediocre performance.

What it means: Weinstein is not spending much on this, and has the English language remake still to come.

"The Imposter" (Indomina) - Week 5

$44.300 in 13 theaters (+5); PSA: $3,408; Cumulative: $168,300

The Sundance 2012 documentary widens more, still performing  at an OK level.

What it means: Expect further expansion over the coming weeks as this continues to attract audiences.

"Intouchables" (Weinstein) - Week 12

$405,000 in 194 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $2,088: Cumulative: $9,348,000

Another week, another steady OK gross to add to the total (which includes $3 million alone from French Canada where the film was a hit on par with the rest of the non-US world).

What it means: This seems to have no end in sight. Whereever the ultimate US gross ends up, this is already a significant subtitled hit - the best since "A Separation" - and likely to top that.

"Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus) - Week 12

$625,000 in 447 theaters (-240); PSA: $1,398; Cumulative: $42,063,000

Not merely hanging around, but still adding solid numbers at the end of three months in release.

What it means: This performed at a level most distributors would have been thrilled with during awards season and the extra bounce that gives acclaimed films.

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 15

$180,000 in 184 theaters (-46); PSA: $978; Cumulative: $45,388,000

They keep coming back to the "Hotel" yet another week.

What it means: "Moonrise" keeps closing the gap, but it looks like this will end up as the year's top indie release so far by a small margin.

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.