Paul W.S. Anderson conquered the box office at the multiplex with “Resident Evil: Retribution,” but Paul Thomas Anderson destroyed the per screen average record with the debut of “The Master” at the art house box office.
With a total of $729,745 for a per screen average of $145,949 from five screens, “The Master” easily beat the $130,749 per screen average record that Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” set just a few months ago. (I will lose my neutrality here for a minute and gloat as I prefer P.T. Anderson’s work to Wes Anderson’s). The film wasn’t supposed to be released until October, but then suddenly in August The Weinstein Company stunned everyone by announcing that it would be released in September, before the festival season had time to breathe. I guess the Cruise-Holmes divorce gave this movie, which is kind of not sort of maybe about Scientology the kind of publicity you can’t buy. And I swear, I remember writing posts about this movie and how Anderson was having trouble getting financing two or three years ago. I bet the studios who passed on the project feel really good right now. Box office and awards potential, a rare thing.
“The Master” wasn’t the only movie to have a good debut. “Arbitrage,” starring Richard Gere (who plugged the film like a movie star), opened with $2,069,770 on 197 screens for a per screen average $10,505. Those are numbers that would normally dazzle everyone, but it’s hard to compete in “The Master’s” shadow. “Arbitrage” also is available on VOD and iTunes and is the overall number two download there.
Another new movie, “Liberal Arts,” earned $30,000 at four locations for a $7,500 per screen average, a decent showing. It will expand into fifteen more cities next year.
Amongst holdovers, “Detropia” expanded from one to five theaters and had a nice $8,478 per screen average. “Keep the Lights On” stayed in five theaters for an average of $6,400, while “Hello I Must Be Going” stayed in two theaters for $4,740.
Here’s the breakdown:
10 Years(Anchor Bay) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $23,326, Average $7,775
Arbitrage (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [197 Theaters] Weekend $2,069,770, Average $10,505
Bangkok Revenge (China Lion) NEW [22 Theaters] Weekend $25K, Average $1,136
Liberal Arts (IFC Films) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $7,500
The Master (The Weinstein Company) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $729,745, Average $145,949
Somewhere Between (Long Shot Factory) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $8,692
Stolen (Nu Image/Millennium Films) NEW [141 Theaters] Weekend $203,686, Average $1,445, Cume $203,686 (Wed. Open)
RETURNING / 2nd Weekend
Detropia (Loki Films) Week 2 [5 Theater] Weekend $42,390, Average $ 8,478 Cume $68,515
Hello I Must Be Going (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Week 2 [2 Theaters] Weekend $9,480, Average $4,740, Cume $41,019
Keep The Lights On (Music Box Films) Week 2 [5 Theaters] Weekend $32K, Average $6,400, Cume $112,046
[Numbers courtesy of Deadline]
Next week! Not much after the deluge of the past two weeks. A few lower profile docs; the biggest narrative indie opening is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”