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Arthouse Audit: Pattinson Fans Fuel 'Cosmopolis' Launch

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 19, 2012 at 4:24PM

This year has seen an astonishing three films outperform the $10,000 per screen average benchmark on a platform release. That includes this weekend's specialty box office leader, David Cronenberg's exercise in brainy style, "Cosmopolis," boosted by "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson.

"The Imposter"
"The Imposter"
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" (IFC) - Week 4

$46,500 in 31 theaters (+6); PSA: $1,500 ; Cumulative: $320,200

This well-received documentary about the Chinese artist/dissident continues to show lackluster grosses.

What it means: Likely to struggle to get much further.

"The Queen of Versailles" (Magnolia) - Week 5

$190,000 in 77 theaters (-12); PSA: $2,468; Cumulative: $1,228,000

Small falloff in theaters with the PSA going up, so this perfectly timed super-rich documentary continues to climb to a likely $2 million + gross.

What it means: Good word of mouth is propelling the consistent gross.

"The Imposter" (Indomina) - Week 6

$82,641 in 19 theaters (+6); PSA: $4,350 ; Cumulative: $272,255

A sign of very good word of mouth this week is the PSA up a third with more theaters being added.

What it means: Though this did not have the same level of anticipation as some of the other recent documentaries, this film is going to outgross several of them as it holds on much better.

"Farewell My Queen" (Cohen Media) - Week 6

$100,000 in 60 theaters (+2); PSA: $1,667; Cumulative: $969,000

Though there isn't a lot of competition among current subtitled films, this French period drama is not taking in much at this point.

What it means: It will easily pass $1 million, but still fall short of what its initial grosses indicated.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 8

$555,000 in 236 theaters (-50); PSA: $2,353; Cumulative: $8,103,000

Still grossing passably in its later weeks, this has maximized its audience.

What it means: This has grossed less than it likely would have as a year-end film (and possibly lessened its awards presence) but Fox Searchlight also spent much less in a less competitive time frame than they would have later on. On a dollars and cents level, for an unconventional specialized film, this is a real success.

"To Rome With Love" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 9

$252,373 in 160 theaters (-104); PSA: $1,577; Cumulative: $15,562,045

End of the run time, but the stragglers keep it going, though not remotely at the pace of "Midnight in Paris."

What it means: Woody Allen's actual base is small; "Midnight in Paris" broke out to a broader audience.

"Intouchables" (Weinstein) - Week 13

$375,000 in 194 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $1,933; Cumulative: $9,893,000

The most steadily-grossing specialized film of the year is unchanged from last week, and might stay similar for a while.

What it means: The success of this makes a strong case for the French to submit this as their Oscar Foreign Language film (It opened in November 2011, within the eligibility frame) over Sony Classics' provocative "Rust and Bone," which was overlooked for Cannes prizes and was not booked at the New York Film Festival. 

"Moonrise Kingdom" (Focus) - Week 13

$493,997 in 282 theaters (-165); PSA: $1,752; Cumulative: $42,940,000

Another film that just won't quit.

What it means: It wasn't just the critics - audiences responded to this strongly as well.

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 16

$104,000 in 128 theaters (-56); PSA: $813; Cumulative: $45,586,000

Ditto (with audiences at least).

What it means: Finally nearing checkout time after a prolonged stay.

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.