Art House Box Office: “The Way, Way Back” Is Way Solid

"The Way, Way Back" is way ahead of other indies this weekend.

Congratulations to Steve Carell, who stars in both the number one movie at the box office and the number one movie at the art house. Carell voices the character Gru in the mega hit “Despicable Me 2,” and also plays a key supporting character in “The Way, Way Back,” the Sundance hit that sparked a bidding war at the festival. Opening in 19 theaters, the film earned a total of $572,000 for a $30,000 per screen average. The movie was written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won the adaptation screenwriting Oscar for “The Descendants.” Liam James, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, and AnnaSophia Robb also star. They’re planning to expand to 13 more markets next weekend and aim to be in 650-750 theaters nationwide by July 26th.

The weekend’s other major debut was “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.” The doc about the fabled ’70s band Big Star brought out fans to two theaters for a total of $21,000.

Updates on some older releases: “Before Midnight” has now earned $6.61 million in its seventh week; “The Bling Ring” has earned over $5 million in four weeks; the doc “20 Feet From Stardom,” also in its fourth week, is at $1.1 million and on its way to being the top earning documentary of the year. That was another Sundance purchase that proved to be a good investment.

Next week! We have two big festival hits opening: Sundance top prize winner and early contender for every award “Fruitvale Station,” and the well-received “Crystal Fairy,” with Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman. Horror fans are no doubt happy to see the arrival of “V/H/S 2″ among the crop of smaller, lesser-known titles.

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