The box office news at the multiplex was certainly grim this weekend, but things looked brighter at the art house, where several new releases made solid showings. “Detropia,” the documentary about the city you think it’s about, only played in one theater, but earned $18,350. That puts it up there with the best debuts of the year and top earning doc debuts. “Hello I Must Be Going,” starring (finally) Melanie Lynskey did well in two theaters, averaging with $12,500 per location. “Keep the Lights On,” the well-reviewed gay romance, averaged $10,746 from five theaters. “Bachelorette” averaged $4,064 from 47 theaters. That has been available on iTunes for a while, though, and has been successful there, so it’s doing better than it looks from just the weekend numbers.
“The InBetweeners Movie,” a massive hit in Britain, didn’t show much sign of being a hit here, with an average of $3,595 per theater. The American version of the British TV series just started and I don’t think it’s made much of a dent. “Branded” looks like it had a great debut with $236,00, but that’s from 307 theaters, for a whopping $769 per theater.
From returnees, we had “For a Good Time Call” expand to 56 theaters for a respectable $2,864 per theater. “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” by the way, passed the $10 million mark.
So it definitely is the time of year when the art house takes center stage from the multiplex. With that in mind, let’s see what’s opening this week…well, there are a lot of big names showing up in small movie theaters. We have Channing Tatum heading the cast in the class reunion movie “10 Years,” Richard Gere in the financial meltdown drama “Arbitrage” (good luck topping “Margin Call”), Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen in “Liberal Arts,” and the big, big, big one: “The Master,” playing on just four screens.