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Arthouse Audit: La Dolce Woody

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood June 24, 2012 at 1:31PM

The recent feast-or-famine pattern among top specialized distributors' releases continues, with "To Rome With Love" joining "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and "Moonrise Kingdom" as unusually strong platform openings for any time of the year, let alone the usually quieter late spring/early summer period.
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"Intouchables" (Weinstein) - Week 4

$356,000 in 74 theaters (-3); PSA: $4,811; Cumulative: $2,103,000

Within the wide range of expectations for this massive world-wide hit, a decrease in theaters in the fourth week seemed one of the less likely. It does show that Weinstein is waiting for similar WOM in the US to build from its core theaters before pushing it further out. The estimated PSA actually increased from last weekend, very unusual and a very positive sign.

What it means:  This remains a tricky film to judge. The patience shown by Weinstein seems like one of the smarter distribution moves of late. But how far this has to go remains a big question. The major national expansion is set for July 13.

"Marina Abramovic - The Artist Is Present" (Music Box) - Week 2

$7,500 in 1 theater (-1); PSA: $7,500; Cumulative: $23,787

Holding steady at NY's Film Forum, this documentary ends its run there Tuesday.

What it means:  Having now Oscar-qualified in NY/LA, this will be shown on HBO next month.

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 8

$1,615,000 in 741 theaters (-443); PSA: $2,179; Cumulative: $38,370,000

Now rapidly losing theaters, this major success looks like it is now running out of older moviegoers (not normally a large group) to push this much beyond its already terrific gross total.

What it means:  The two-month run, with this playing nationally from nearly the start, has maximized its potential. The lack of appeal to younger audiences kept this from hitting "Midnight in Paris" levels (another film that held great appeal to seniors), but this looks like it will equal or come close to what "The Artist" did, despite the latter's major Oscar success.

"Bernie" (Millennium) - Week 9

$485,000 in 220 theaters (-80); PSA: $2,205; Cumulative: $6,698,000

Though theater count is falling, this continues to add solid grosses to its already impressive total.

What it means:  Without ever going as wide or with similar advertising expense, this appears primed to approach what "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" did earlier this year.

"Something for Nothing: The Art of Rap" (Indomina) - Week 2

$32,000 in 16 theaters (-141); PSA: $2,000; Cumulative: $261,000

This lost most of its runs after an attempt to play wide in urban situations failed. Those holding over though had a low, but better, PSA this weekend for this Ice-T-directed documentary about the history of rap.

What it means Along with the publicity from its Sundance premiere, this exposure will help guarantee the film a long non-theatrical afterlife.

"Paul WIlliams - Still Alive" (Abramorama) - Week 3

$10,681 in 2 theaters (unchanged); PSA: $5,340; Cumulative: $25,000

Two LA theaters opened this week, to decent results (bolstered by a Williams appearance at the Landmark Nuart).

What it means:  The enterprising Abramorama should get this played off in big cities around the county, building on its OK performance so far.                                                                                        

"Peace, Love and Misunderstanding" (IFC) - Week 3; also available on VOD

$89,600 in 64 theaters (-12); PSA: $1,400; Cumulative: $450,340

Already losing theaters in only the third week, this multi-generational Woodstock redux story never really caught on theatrically, although the audience has been limited by the parallel VOD availability.

What it means: Limited additional theatrical gross ahead, although it will play for months for home viewing.      

"Lola Versus" (Fox Searchlight) - Week 3

$46,400 in 50 theaters (-2); PSA: $928; Cumulative: $203,000

Still dead in the water, and likely to go little further.

What it means:  This film deserved better, particularly with its strong up-and-coming cast. But female-centered romantic films remain a tricky marketing sell, and this seemed to get lost with the focus on the somewhat similar "Girls" on HBO.

"Hysteria" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Week 6

$152,644 in 136 theaters (-82); PSA: $1,122; Cumulative: $1,390,000

Losing theaters rapidly now as this nears the end of its run.

What it means:  Considering the mainly mixed reviews, this is an example of how SPC manages still to maximize a film with sustained playoff throughout the country without spending a huge amount of money.

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


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