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Arthouse Audit: 'Sleepwalk With Me' and 'Samsara' Open Huge

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 26, 2012 at 4:28PM

It's been a strong summer for specialized movies, but no weekend has had two major new openings like this one. Two new films, "Sleepwalk With Me" and "Samsara," should better than expected results. Among expanding films, "Robot and Frank" showed the most strength, but several other longer-playing films are also finding modest audiences, helping to sustain robust summer business.

Julie Delpy - Two Days in New York
"Chicken With Plums" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 2

$6,700 in 2 theaters; PSA: $3,350; Cumulative: $85,700

Disastrous second week in NY for this Iranian-set French animated film from the directors of "Persepolis."

What it means: This will expand, including LA this Friday, but it looks like it will end up at the lower end of this year's SPC grosses despite their ability to maximize playoffs.

"Two Days in New York" (Magnolia) - Week 3; also available on Video on Demand

$102,000 in 40 theaters (+20); PSA: $2,550; Cumulative: $291,000

With a PSA closer to "Cosmopolis" than "Robot and Frank," this isn't looking strong.

What it means: With VOD out there, this likely won't get much wider release.

"Celeste and Jesse Forever" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 4

$301,000 in 158 theaters (+48); PSA: $2,617; Cumulative: $1,041,000

For this number of theaters, an OK performance, although nothing sensational for this LA-based divorce comedy.

What it means: This is on track for a $2 million-plus gross, then a solid cable and other venue afterlife.

"Searching for Sugar Man" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 5

$128,00 in 29 theaters (+2); PSA: $4,414; Cumulative: $502,000

Finally, word of mouth (combined with a revised ad campaign) kicked in for this intriguing documentary, with the PSA rising this week, a hopeful sign.

What it means: It has a way to go before reaching the levels of other recent successful docs, but these are encouraging numbers.

"Ruby Sparks" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 5

$168,000 in 135 theaters (-83); PSA: $1,244; Cumulative: $2,110,000

The PSA remained constant, but the loss of theaters brought the gross down for this LA rom-com from the directors of "Little Miss Sunshine."

What it means: Fox Searchlight gave it a strong shot, but audiences just have never responded.

"The Queen of Versailles" (Magnolia) - Week 6

$192,000 in 85 theaters (+8); PSA: $2,259; Cumulative: $1,539,000

Another decent week for this Florida nouveau-riche doc that keeps finding steady audiences.

What it means: This could top out close to $3 million.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (20th Century-Fox) - Week 9

$460,000 in 212 theaters (-24); PSA: $2,170; Cumulative: $8,857,000

Though in its later weeks, this keeps rolling along as more moviegoers discover it.

What it means: Now guaranteed to pass $10 million, amazing for a film like this. Obama and Oprah didn't hurt.

"Intouchables" (Weinstein) - Week 14

$362,000 in 194 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,866; Cumulative:  $10,457,000

This has now surpassed "A Separation" as the biggest subtitled film of the year, and has a way to go yet.

What it means: The steadiness of this week after week is just about unprecedented - no week is ever huge, but the total gross keeps adding up.

"Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus) - Week 14

$419,000 in 332 theaters (+50); PSA: $1,262; Cumulative: $43,534,000

Still in the top 20 in its fourth month.

What it means: What more to add?

"The Imposter" (Indomina) - Week 7

$86,500 in 24 theaters (+5); PSA: $391,600

Another doc with steady PSA as it slowly expands.

What it means: Slow and steady sometimes is best.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office

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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.