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Arthouse Audit: 'Life Itself' Leads New Releases While 'Begin Again' and 'Snowpiercer' Show Life

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 6, 2014 at 3:12PM

Independence Day weekend doesn't tend to be a big specialized release date. In the last six years, only "The Way, Way Back" in 2013 stands out as a significant new release over the holiday. So it isn't surprising that the pickings were modest this year.

 "Yves Saint Laurent" (Weinstein) - $38,722 in 10 theaters (+8); PSA: $3,872; Cumulative: $86,110

This failed to live up to its mildly promising New York debut last week with a minor expansion. Because it is Weinstein, expect for this to get dated in big cities eve eventually, but it looks headed for a modest playoff at best.


Others over $50,000 for the weekend:

"Chef" (Open Road) Week 9- $1,678,000 in 686 theaters (-115); Cumulative: $22,040,000
"Obvious Child" (A24) Week 5 - $382,652 in 202 theaters (+6); Cumulative: $1,942,046
"Ida" (Music Box) Week 10 - $220,000 in 100 theaters (-127); Cumulative: $2,852,084
"Belle" (20th Century Fox) Week 10 - $190,000 in 123 theaters (-52); Cumulative: $10,000,196
"Third Person" (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 - $119,859 in 34 theaters (+18); Cumulative: $291,794
"Words and Pictures" (Roadside Attractions) Week 7- $91,300 in 58 theaters (-47); Cumulative: $1,866,400

Of note:
--"Chef" fell out of the top 10, but is still on a trajectory to easily pass $25 million, and push even higher. It now has surpassed other first-half of the year successes like "Mud," "A Place Beyond the Pines," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and also is ahead of some of last summer's crossover successes.
-- "Obvious Child" looks like it will get somewhere in the $3-4 million range, better than most Sundance low-budget successes. It should end up a little under what the somewhat similar New York-based "Frances Ha" attained last year.
-- "Ida," which would have looked like a success at $1 million is now barreling toward $3 million and even has an outside chance of challenging "The Lunchbox" as the top subtitled release so far this year, despite its downbeat Eastern European story and black & white format.

This article is related to: Arthouse Audit, Snowpiercer, Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, Steve James, Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

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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.