The cinema is definitely back with viewers flocking to franchise films that 1) continue to roll out in the first sustained barrage of big new titles since Covid, and 2) continue to do huge business while hanging out at the cinema. They’re sucking up screens, exacerbating a release pattern problem for independent distributors looking for signs that a rising tide is lifting all boats.
The biggest special indie opening this week, Bleecker Street’s Mr Malcom’s list† will gross $851,854 through Sunday and an estimated $1.03 million for the four-day weekend on 1,384 screens — an estimated PSA of $745. The well-reviewed, historic romp with a strong, diverse cast a la Bridgerton and the same Jane Austen-esque antecedents are classic counterprogramming, but there’s a lot to counteract. From Minions: The Rise of Gru at No. 1 with a big opening weekend; until Top Gun: Maverick at no. 2 and strong in week six, plus Elvis, Jurassic World Dominion and light year. Thor: Love and Thunder coming next weekend.
Bleecker had hoped for a stronger opening, at least north of $2 million, for the Emma Holly Jones film that turned out no. 7 at the North American box office. With a 21-day exclusive cinema period for PVOD, it remains to be seen later in the month when the blockbuster train slows down whether moviegoers are back in the habit — including older demos at this point — willing to get into something different. diving, and whether it is this.
Meanwhile, indie distributors are looking for the right way to release movies as the specialty/arthouse market struggles for a broader recovery. Roadside attractions open the forgiven with Jessica Chastain on 124 screens. It reported a three†day debut of $132,565 for a PTA of $1,069.
Documentary from Sony Pictures Classics Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song opened on three screens for $27,384, with an average per screen of $9,116.
And Oscilloscope Laboratories’ Clara Alone grossed $6,120 on one screen.
“It feels like specialty is looking for the right way to get out. Platform, not to platform. It’s really hard to know,” a distribution manager said today, echoing a sentiment expressed by many others in recent months.
A notable specialty holdover is A24’s Marcel the shell with shoes on† which grossed an estimated $258,438 for three days and an estimated $307,739 for four days on 22 screens for a PTA of $13,988. The film will be expanded further in the coming weeks.
The fake documentary based on the hit YouTube series about a lone snail voiced by Jenny Slate debuted last week for $170K on six screens in New York and LA with a PSA of $28,267.