It was a quiet week at the art house, as the multiplex box office overwhelms the marketplace. The biggest debut went to Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited,” which averaged $20,546 at five screens for $102,730. Okay, sounds fine–until you compare it to Almodovar’s last few openings: Deadline says “The Skin I Live In” opened with a $37,187 average in 6 theaters; “Broken Embraces” averaged $53,556 in 2 theaters; “Volver” averaged $39,540 in 5 theaters. However, those movies featured Antonio Banderas, stars who have had big Hollywood careers, which helped make them an easier sell than “I’m So Excited,” which didn’t have any names other than Almodovar to sell them. “Excited” also didn’t get a Cannes appearance to help create buzz. So all in all, a decent, but hardly exciting debut. Next weekend the movie expands to 100+ markets.
Another group of big names had an even quieter opening–”Byzantium” opened with an average of $3,000 at six locations. That movie had Neil Jordan as director, Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as stars, and vampires as the topic, and still went pretty much nowhere. It even had decent reviews. This should have done better.
“Museum Hours” had a good opening with a total of $29,435 for an average of $14,718 at two theaters. The doc “A Band Called Death,” the doc which has been compared to “Anvil! The Story of Anvil!” averaged $2,193 for a total of 28,511 at 13 theaters.
Next week! Who in the art house world wants to take on “Despicable Me 2″ and “The Lone Ranger?” Well, we have the Sundance favorite and early awards contender “The Way, Way Back,” with Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, “The Look of Love” with Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom, and the doc “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.” Good luck, all.