Sony Pictures Classics’ The Lost Leonardo had a notable debut on three screens on a quiet weekend for specialty openings.
The film about da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting opened to $13,209 with a per screen average of $4,403 ahead of a national release. The distributor has been a steadying presence a tough arthouse climate. Its Nine Days ranked 17 in North America for week 3 on 391 screens, and 12 Mighty Orphans was 23 in week 10 on 30 screens.
Directed by Andreas Koefoed (At Home in the World, Ballroom Dancer), the film is the inside story behind the most expensive painting ever sold at $450 million. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June.
Greenwich Entertainment’s 2021 SXSW Audience Award Winning portrait of liberal activist Ady Barkan debuted solidly in NY (Angelika) and LA (Town Center/Encino) with the latter including Thursday night opening numbers in an estimated weekend cume of $12,000, for a $6,000 per screen average. It expands in select markets nationwide in the next several weeks.
Benny Chan’s martial arts actioner Raging Fire from Well Go USA grossed $98,861 in 58 theaters for a per screen average of $1,740. “Though we hoped to report stronger results, we’re clearly seeing positive momentum with hesitancy lifting from within Asian communities toward the theaters,” said Jason Pfardrescher, EVP Digital and Theatrical Distribution. “We’re very optimistic about Q4, particularly the holiday season.”
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Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain from Focus Features – a rare jolt to the arthouse market this summer — ranked 18 in week 5. Summer of Soul from Searchlight is 21 in week 7.
Wide-release independents Stillwater (Focus Features) and The Green Knight (A24) are no. 8 and 9 in North America respectively, both in week 3. The Warren, Oklahoma City theater continues to be the top grosser for Stillwater, where Matt Damon plays an Oklahoma oil worker transplanted to Marseille to help his daughter who’s imprisoned there for murder. (LA remains its top market.)
Some 86% of all North American theaters are currently open according to Comscore. But there are gaps in arthouse, which was hit hard by Covid. Some key theaters are slower reopening or still shuttered. There’s also a more reluctant-than-hoped for return to the big screen by the older demo, a mainstay for specialty.
Music Box Films, which debuted Pablo Larraín’s Ema, with Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael Garcia Bernal, in 11 theaters in nine markets will report grosses Monday.