The biggest new arrival of the week–literally and figuratively–was “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate,” a 3D action film that debuted in fifteen IMAX theaters for a good $8,333 per screen average. This prompted Indomina exec Rob Williams to say, “The fans came out to see Flying Swords the way it should be seen – on the giant IMAX 3D screen.” They’ll hold steady this week, then expand on the 14th.
The other new entries didn’t make as splashy an arrival (that happens when you don’t have flying swords). “The Bullet Vanishes,” another action movie not benefiting from 3D or IMAX, had a $3,642 per screen average at fourteen locations; the studio behind it, China Lion, is targeting Mandarin-speaking audiences and will expand for that demographic. “Little Birds” opened in one theater, earning $8,314.
The most heavily publicized of the group, “For a Good Time Call…” averaged $8,090 at 23 theaters. The comedy, which premiered at Sundance, did well with young women, and Focus Features is going to see where word of mouth takes it as they plan expansion. A Focus Features spokesperson said, “According to exit polls, rating and recommend scores with females under 25 were above average – a good sign as we continue to expand through September.” I think if they could follow a path like steady earner “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” they’d probably feel pretty good.
“Samsara” expanded to nine theaters in its second weekend, earning an impressive $15,749 per screen. “Sleepwalk With Me” jumped from one theater to 29, taking in an average of $14,103. This put IFC’s Ryan Werner in the mood to brag.
“It was a big weekend for Sleepwalk With Me, which is emerging as one of the most acclaimed comedies of the year. The film got fantastic reviews and was helped by a series of promo screenings, great press and reviews and in-person appearances by Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia. The guys also got to confront Joss Whedon earlier in the week at the WGA in L.A., which brought out stars including Tom Hanks, Danny DeVito and others”.
The dust-up between Whedon and Birbiglia has been entertaining.
What’s up for next week? A bunch of tiny films, but the ones you may know are “Bachelorette,” opening in forty theaters; fellow Sundance entry “Hello, I Must Be Going”; the semi-autobiographical “Keep the Lights On” from Ira Sachs; and hitting the States, “The InBetweeners Movie.”