By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood September 21, 2013 at 3:32PM
Three film festival hits, "Prisoners" (Warner Bros.), "'Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight) and "Rush" (Universal) launched the parade of awards contenders at the fall box office. All three showed solid initial results.
Wide release "Prisoners" easily took the #1 slot on Friday. Among the two limited platform openers Nicole Holofcener's romantic comedy "Enough Said," starring the James Gandolfini and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, scored an upset by having a slightly better per screen average than Ron Howard's Formula One biofilm "Rush" in their New York/Los Angeles debuts.
Though the $7,010,000 gross for "Prisoners" is only a bit over a third as good as "Insidious 2" (FilmDistrict) brought in last Friday, it's a promising initial figure. Last year, Warners opened "Argo" two weeks later and grossed $5.8 million its first day, good for only third place. On the same weekend last year, "End of Watch" did $4.6 million on its way to a $41 million total. With likely adult interest boosting the rest of the weekend, the Denis Villeneuve-directed kidnap drama starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal looks to take in around $20 million for the whole weekend, in line with expectations.
The Friday results for the two platform films were about even. "Rush" grossed slightly more, $66,000 in five theaters (PSA $13,200) while "Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight) did $62,800 in four (PSA $15,700). The latter opened on Wednesday to get a jump on strong word of mouth. "Rush" is the higher profile film, with a 2,200 wider release set for next Friday, while "Enough Said" is expected to roll out to wider than the usual number of second week markets for a specialized film. While this result is a decided upset for Fox Searchlight, it's the more conventional-appeal film for upscale big city audiences. "Rush" will likely boast greater wide appeal both nationally and internationally.
With last week's two openings posting huge drops--"Insidious Chapter 2" is at #2 with $4.7 million and Relativity's "The Family" at #3 with $2.1 million-- Sony's 3-D dance competition film "Battle of the Year" managed only a #4 slot with $1.5 million in just over 2,000 theaters. The other new opening, Warner Bros.' 3-D/IMAX reworking of MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz," grossed $751,000 in 318 theaters.
The top ten combined grossed about $22 million, down slightly from last year's $23.4 million.