Art House Box Office: “Zero Dark Thirty” Opens Big, “Amour” Also Strong

By Kirsten Anderson Box Office

Five theaters are happy to have prints of "Zero Dark Thirty" in their Christmas stockings.

(We’re holding the studio box office until later in the week, since Christmas Day is usually such a big moviegoing day.)

Here are some numbers from the specialty circuit (courtesy of Deadline):

NEW

Amour (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $70,662, Average $23,554, Cume $100,213 (Wed. Open)

The Impossible (Lionsgate-Summit) NEW [15 Theaters] Weekend $138,750, Average $9,250

Not Fade Away (Paramount Vantage) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $19K, Average $6,333

On The Road (IFC Films) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $43,200, Average $10,800

Zero Dark Thirty (Sony) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $410K, Average $82K, Cume $639K

So as you can see, “Zero Dark Thirty” had a huge per screen average. There’s certainly a lot of buzz around the move, both from the film critics and the reality critics (as you are no doubt aware, questions about the validity of some of the film’s elements have been questioned). I can’t wait to see how it does when it gets a nationwide release in January.

“Amour” has depressing subject matter, but the kind of critical acclaim that the “Oh yes, I saw the ‘best film of the year’ already’”" crowd can’t resist. It’s going to need to ride that cachet and niche audience, though, because I can’t see mainstream audiences, even older ones going for it (my parents are old and doing fine; they don’t want to watch a couple their age struggling with the effects of dementia. It will scare them.). Kristen Stewart did actually work hard to promote “On the Road,” but it didn’t do well. I guess all those teen boys who think they’ve found the truth in the book are too busy discovering themselves in their odysseys through the suburbs to go to movies. Well, we’ll see if it expands and if that helps, especially once they get out from under the thumb of the studio box office heavy hitters.

Next week? We have “Promised Land” and the doc “West of Memphis” daring to show up versus the studio big hitters. Good luck.

 

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