Call me a sentimental old softy, but it’s nice when a well-reviewed movie actually draws an audience isn’t it? Especially when it’s a movie like “The Sessions,” which stars John Hawkes, an actor who’s been slogging along for many decades and only has gotten recognition over the last few years. And good for Helen Hunt, too, who’s held out for parts that are better than the mom who just stands there and says, “Oh, honey, you shouldn’t do that.” Anyway, the based on a true story movie overcame a generic title (I liked the original, “The Surrogate,” better) and a disaster of a poster to average $30,100 at four theaters. That’s better than Fox Searchlight expected, and gives the movie legs as it expands into markets like Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, and Toronto.
The kid-chess playing doc “Brooklyn Castle” also had a nice debut, with an average of $11,061 for $22,122 at two theaters. No word on their expansion plans yet. “Holy Motors,” another critic friendly movie, did well with $19,488 at two theaters for a $9,744 average. That’s pretty good considering how esoteric it is. You can get away with that when you’re French. They’re hoping the strong word of mouth will boost the movie as they expand.
Nothing particularly exciting with the holdovers. “Smashed” expanded to 20 theaters and ended up with a $2,443 average; “Simon and the Oaks” went to seven theaters for a nice $7,506 average.
Let’s talk about next week. Whoa, maybe not. We have “In Over My Head,” and “The Loneliest Planet,” neither of which I know anything about. There are two docs, “Orchestra of Exiles” and “The Zen of Bennett,” about yes, Tony Bennett. Finally there’s “Pusher,” which is a Nicolas Winding Refn movie, which means something I suppose. Looks like a good week to catch up on other things.