‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Opens Solid as Others Bow Slowly; ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ Expands with Fine: Specialty Box Office

Ahead of the weekend roll-out of The House That Jack Built, IFC Films gave a one-day slate of screenings of the director’s cut of the film November 28, prompting a verbal tussle with the MPAA over ratings, though it’s hard to believe parents might blindly take their kids to see a von Trier film.
The feature will then go wide January 18. The feature will then be in the top 75 markets January 4, followed by the top 150 by January 11. Annapurna will expand If Beale Street Could Talk to the top 25 markets in between 65 and 70 theaters next weekend going into Christmas.
“We had great exits and a diverse audience that loved the performances and really responded to the love story, which is both timeless and timely. "We always knew how incredibly special and wonderful Barry Jenkins' Beale Street is, and are happy that audiences feel the same way,” commented Annapurna’s president of Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. We are thrilled."
RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND
Next week, December 21, the film will go into its national release, as we expect to be playing the film in 750-800 theaters.” Last weekend, the feature grossed $1.5M in 91 theaters, averaging $16,523. The Favourite by Yorgos Lanthimos continues to be a specialty box office bright spot. Said Searchlight Sunday: “With great reviews and more and more awards recognition, the film is gathering strong momentum as we head into the holiday playtime. Fox Searchlight added 348 runs for its fourth outing, grossing $2.57M in 439 locations, averaging $5,854.
Anna And The Apocalypse (Orion Pictures) Week 3 [138 Theaters] Weekend $135,988, Average $985, Cume $413,683
Wildlife (IFC Films) Week 9 [24 Theaters] Weekend $7,641, Average $318, Cume $993,744
Lars von Trier’s latest, The House That Jack Built from IFC Films, had an even slower start in theaters, though the title is also available on-demand and it played more runs compared to other weekend debuts. Starring Matt Dillon, the title grossed $40,436 in 33 locations, averaging $1,225.
A Private War (Aviron Pictures) Week 7 [50 Theaters] Weekend $14,000, Average $280, Cume $1,597,875
NEW RELEASES
Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) Week 10 [88 Theaters] Weekend $32,896, Average $374, Cume $7,520,100
Mirai (GKIDS) Week 3 [6 Theaters] Weekend $3,207, Average $534, Cume $683,210″ />
The House That Jack Built (IFC Films) NEW [33 Theaters] Weekend $40,436, Average $1,225, Cume $210,549
IFC Films’ previous von Trier release, Antichrist with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, grossed over $71K in its first outing in six theaters, averaging $11,900. It went on to cume $404K in theaters, though again, it presumably did much better on demand.
Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features) Week 2 [66 Theaters] Weekend $700,000, Average $10,607, Cume $963,000
Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki (GKids) NEW [377 Theaters on Thursday; 4 Theaters Friday – Sunday] Weekend $67,416, Average $179 (This includes Thursday showings)
Ben Is Back (LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 2 [29 Theaters] Weekend $145,543, Average $5,018, Cume $246,867
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
The PTA is a bit more than half that of the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Shoplifters’ opening average. That film, by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, grossed over $89K when Magnolia opened it stateside in November, averaging $17,853 in five theaters. Lebanon-born filmmaker Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum bowed in three theaters over the weekend, grossing $27,588, giving the Cannes Jury prize winner a $9,196 average.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight) Week 9 [166 Theaters] Weekend $140,000, Average $843, Cume $7,264,860
Searchlight’s The Favourite, meanwhile, continues to be a standout. Starring Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, as well as Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as her aristocratic suitors, the title played 439 theaters Friday to Sunday, grossing $2.57M, averaging $5,854 in its fourth outing. The weekend total placed it 12th in the overall box office as of Sunday morning, though all of the titles above it were in far more theaters.
Becoming Astrid (Music Box Films) Week 4 [12 Theaters] Weekend $3,900, Average $325, Cume $64,793
At Eternity’s Gate (CBS Films) Week 5 [178 Theaters] Weekend $188,000, Average $1,056, Cume $1,446,358
Tag Along: The Devil Fish (China Lion) Week 2 [ Theaters] Weekend $, Average $
“It is more difficult than ever theatrically and also difficult on the small screen as well,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker earlier in the week ahead of Capernaum’s theatrical launch. “You just hope that a film like Capernaum has the ability to cross over. Still, given the challenge non-English films currently face in the US, Capernaum’s numbers did show some silver lining. That does happen two or three times a year.”
Green Book (Universal) Week 5 [1,215 Theaters] Weekend $2,780,000, Average $2,288, Cume $24,660,366
Suspiria (Amazon Studios) Week 8 [19 Theaters] Weekend $7,650, Average $403, Cume $2,471,771
Amazon Studios’ Beautiful Boy crossed $7.5M in its tenth weekend of release. The title, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, grossed nearly $33K, averaging $374.
Boy Erased (Focus Features) Week 7 [173 Theaters] Weekend $85,000, Average $491, Cume $6,600,000
Capernaum (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $27,588, Average $9,196
Vox Lux (Neon) Week 2 [325 Theaters] Weekend $244,000, Average $751, Cume $433,211
With its eight-figure cume of $10.79M, the title is firmly part of a quadrant of docs from the year to gross over $10M in theaters, though it still has some distance to climb before reaching the $12.32M cume of Neon’s Three Identical Strangers. ($22.6M). Marking its third month in theaters, the National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment release by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi grossed $132K in 100 theaters, averaging $1,320. Doc Free Solo is closing in on $11M. The other big docs of the year, of course, include Magnolia’s RBG ($14M) and Focus’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Border (Neon) Week 8 [31 Theaters] Weekend $16,358, Average $528, Cume $723,961
But Beale Street nevertheless showed solid zeal. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the film, which is his follow- up to the 2016 Oscar Best Picture winner Moonlight, did not roll out with the apex numbers of the latter’s opening frame. The weekend opening of Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk provided some box office zest in an awards season that has had its share of doldrums. If Beale Street Could Talk had a $219,173 take in four locations Friday to Sunday, averaging $54,793.
It has cumed $246,867. Directed by Peter Hedges, Ben Is Back played 25 additional theaters from its opening bow, taking in $145,543, averaging $5,018. The Neon release grossed $244K in a total of 325 theaters, bringing its cume to $433,211. Ben Is Back and Vox Lux were lackluster, though Ben Is Back definitely had the better second frame of the two. Vox Lux from Brady Corbet slid down to a $751 PTA, though it played 319 additional theaters vs its opening frame. The title opened in four locations last weekend, grossing nearly $81K, averaging $20,184.
If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $219,173, Average $54,793
“We did special Dolby ATMOS screenings with AMC last week, along with our regular sneak previews in new markets on Thursday, which bumped up our Friday number,” noted Focus Sunday when reporting its weekend numbers. “If you take those ATMOS shows out of Friday, we are up 51% from Friday to Saturday.” Focus added that it will expand Mary Queen of Scots to about 700 runs next weekend.
Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 12 [100 Theaters] Weekend $132,020, Average $1,320, Cume $10,793,548
Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7 [62 Theaters] Weekend $28,354, Average $457, Cume $1,139,545
Also opening this weekend was GKIDS bio-doc Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki , which had a one night event showing in 377 locations Thursday while playing several regular runs Friday to Sunday. In all, the title grossed $67,416, with Thursday representing $59,371 of that total.
Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk opened to good numbers Friday, which was actually its strongest day. Overall, the title, based on the book by James Baldwin, grossed an estimated $145,543 in the three-day, averaging $54,793, the eighth-best PTA of the year, just above Amazon Studios’ Beautiful Boy, which averaged $54,722 in its opening frame.
Starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, the company reported a $700K estimated three-day gross, averaging $10,607. Focus Features added 62 runs for Mary Queen of Scots in its second weekend. Mary Queen of Scots bowed in four locations the previous weekend, grossing nearly $195K, averaging $48,694.
The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [439 Theaters] Weekend $2,570,000, Average $5,854, Cume $6,739,903
Beale Street’s launch gives the the film momentum as it expands in the coming weeks, though it’s tempered compared to the filmmaker’s previous film, Moonlight, which set a bar that’s a challenge to replicate. Searchlight’s The Favourite is the only title to have a six-figure opening frame PTA this year. Released via A24, Moonlight grossed $402K in four theaters in its launch in four theaters, giving it a $100,519 PTA. Annapurna’s estimates had Beale Street grossing $81,575 Friday, while it fell 6% Saturday to $76,444. It went on to cume $27.85M.
The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen Media Group) Week 11 [3 Theaters] Weekend $1,759, Average $586, Cume $144,199
Neon’s Vox Lux with Natalie Portman fared dismally in its second weekend, bringing its location count to 325, taking in $244K for a $751 PTA. Starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, the historical drama grossed $700K, averaging $10,607, bringing its cume to $963K. It has cumed $433,211. Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges from LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate, expanded to 29 runs, grossing an estimated three-day $145,543, averaging $5,018. The film’s second outing was a bright spot among the weekend’s small group of holdovers. Focus Features jumped Mary Queen of Scots to 66 theaters in its second frame to a solid expansion.
The House of Jack Built grossed $40,436, averaging $1,225. The House That Jack Built by Danish director Lars von Trier was slower in the box office, though the title, which stars Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman and Riley Keough, was also available via digital/VOD. The dramedy/horror was also in 33 theaters in its opening frame.
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 18 [67 Theaters] Weekend $21,928, Average $327, Cume $8,152,924
Other openers were comparatively modest. The numbers gave the title an estimated $9,196 per-theater average, which, given the fact it’s an Arabic language film and a title some have had difficulty pronouncing, may not be bad, given the difficulty of releasing non-English language films stateside, save for something like Roma, though, of course, those numbers are not fully known. Sony Classics opened Cannes Jury Prize winner Capernaum in three locations, grossing $27,588.

‘The Favourite’ Reigns With Year’s Highest Opening Average; Palme d’Or Winner ‘Shoplifters’ Solid: Specialty Box Office

Mid90s (A24) Week 6 [38 Theaters] Weekend $60,000, Average $1,579, Cume $7,269,810
I think we’re poised to do very well next week.” “The two highest grossers were the Arclight and Union Square in New York, which tend to have younger [crowds]. We could see the passion and interest from the [pre-release] screenings at Telluride and New York Film Festival. “There was a good range of [demos] in the audiences at the Q&As,” added Rodriguez. It also did very well at The Landmark in L.A.
The Favourite (Fox Searchlight) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $420,000, Average $105,000
Last year, Call Me By Your Name [which also opened Thanksgiving weekend last year] was $103K. “We thought the film would open well. “We obviously had a more than satisfying weekend, and it was more than expected,” said Fox Searchlight exec Frank Rodriguez Sunday. It is the highest [opening] PTA in two years if [final numbers] are an average of $105K. We can end up a bit above or below that.” 
The period drama, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, and set against the whimsical court of Queen Anne in 18th century England, ascended atop the year’s list of best opening weekend per theater averages. Thanksgiving weekend was bountiful for Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite.
And doc Free Solo from National Geographic Documentary Film and Greenwich Entertainment is climbing ever closer to the eight-figure mark. The title grossed just over $496K in the three-day estimate, averaging $3,397 putting it at $9,693,201 as of Sunday.
Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film/Greenwich Entertainment) Week 9 [146 Theaters] Weekend $496,066, Average $3,397, Cume $9,693,201
Universal’s Green Book appears to have found better footing in fairly wide release. Also directed by Edgerton, the title has a three-day estimate of $1,158,000 from 672 theaters, averaging $1,723. Green Book’s cume is estimated at $7.8M. The feature, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, took in over $5.44M from 1,063 theaters in the three-day, averaging $5,120. Universal opened the title in just 25 locations last weekend, taking in $320K for a $12,817 average.
The Telluride/Toronto film has cumed $4.54M. Boy Erased jumped to 409 locations last weekend, grossing over $1.32M ($3,237 average).
NEW RELEASES
Green Book (Universal) Week 2 [1,063 Theaters] Weekend $5,443,000, Average $5,120, Cume $7,801,401
Last Letter (China Lion) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $4,150, Average $1,038, Cume $176,040
Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? crossed $6M in its sixth frame. Starring Melissa McCarthy and directed by Marielle Heller, the title grossed $593K in 441 theaters in the three-day, averaging $1,392 bringing its cume as of Sunday to $6,026,746.
HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS
“It was evident after the first screening in Cannes that this was the one – it’s a pinnacle in a career of pinnacles. "We’ve been fans of Kore-eda’s for many years and have wanted to work on another film of his since 2012 when we released I Wish,” commented Magnolia’s Neal Block earlier this week. Our intrepid acquisitions team closed on it hours before it won the Palme d’Or.”
and San Francisco to a good start, taking in $88K in the three-day weekend estimate, averaging $17,600. 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Shoplifters rolled out to five theaters in New York, L.A.
Amazon Studios’ Beautiful Boy, meanwhile, went over $7M in its seventh outing. Starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, the title took in $350,520 Friday to Sunday from 254 runs, averaging $1,380 putting its theatrical total at $7,019,669.
A Private War (Aviron Pictures) Week 4 [226 Theaters] Weekend $135,000, Average $597, Cume $1,402,868
Focus Features’ Boy Erased starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton played an additional 263 theaters marking its first full month in
(Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [441 Theaters] Weekend $593,000; 5-day: $760,000, Average $1,392; 5-day: $1,723, Cume $6,026,746 Can You Ever Forgive Me?
El Angel (The Orchard) Week 3 [8 Theaters] Weekend $8,384, Average $762, Cume $74,163
One non-Netflix exec noted over the weekend having seen what looks like sold-out showings of the title, which is getting its theatrical awards-play in order. Alfonso Cuarón’s anticipated Roma began its limited theatrical runs ahead of its Netflix bow. The company is not reporting numbers, as usual, but anecdotally it looks like it is a hit with audiences, with crowds packing theaters where the film is playing.
Border (Neon) Week 5 [37Theaters] Weekend $76,984; 5-day: $92,349, Average $2,081; 5-day: $2,496, Cume $456,037
Suspiria (Amazon Studios) Week 5 [34 Theaters] Weekend $49,300, Average $1,450, Cume $2,341,420
Searchlight said Sunday that its three-day estimates are “conservative,” so it could either end up being the second or third-best opening frame per-theater average in the company’s history. The Favourite was just that for specialty audiences looking to catch a clear awards contender, opening with a three-day $420K gross from four theaters, averaging a year’s best $105K, the first film of 2018 to cross a six figure-PTA.
Becoming Astrid (Music Box Films) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $5,121, Average $1,707
It has cumed $682,291. The film took in an estimated $158,893 Friday to Sunday, averaging $2,889, only a 13% drop from last weekend’s $3,333 average in 29 theaters ($96,651 gross). Sony Pictures Classics added 26 theaters for doc Maria By Callas also hitting its one month threshold.
In the three-day, the title – starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh – grossed $211,728, averaging $6,830. Distributor CBS Films reported five-day numbers which can be found below. Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate played an additional 27 runs over its opening frame. At Eternity’s Gate opened in four locations the prior weekend, taking in nearly $93K for a $23,214 average. The film has cumed $398,549.
The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [5 Theaters] Weekend $3,115, Average $623, Cume $87,146
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 15 [16 Theaters] Weekend $8,964, Average $560, Cume $7,784,170″ />
Wildlife (IFC Films) Week 6 [73 Theaters] Weekend $67,864, Average $930, Cume $839,058
The Favourite is one of the top two or three openers for Searchlight (depending on how the box office settles after the weekend), and tops the previous 2018 best PTA opener, Suspiria, with a $92K average when it bowed in late October. Opening Friday, the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film grossed $420,000 in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, averaging $105K.
The World Before Your Feet (Greenwich Entertainment) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $22,000, Average $11,000, Cume $27,626
as well as the Arclight, selling out the Dome which pushed the title’s numbers. “It’s very crowded these days at Thanksgiving, it’s hard to get seats now,” said Rodriguez. “We were expecting good numbers [on par] with last year’s The Shape of Water ($166,564 opening gross, $83,282 PTA) or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ($322,168 opening gross, $80,542 PTA).” Rodriguez added that director Yorgos Lanthimos took part in Q&As at the Landmark in L.A.
Boy Erased (Focus Features) Week 4 [672 Theaters] Weekend $1,158,000; 5-day: $1,509,000, Average $1,723; 5-day: $2,258, Cume $4,540,000
At Eternity’s Gate (CBS Films) Week 2 [31 Theaters] Weekend $211,728; 5-day: $286,000, Average $6,830 ;5-day: $9,225, Cume $398,549
for $5,121 ($1,707 average). And Music Box Films opened bio-drama Becoming Astrid at Film Forum in New York and the Laemmle Royal in L.A. Among other openers, Greenwich Entertainment bowed doc The World Before Your Feet on Wednesday in New York and Friday in Los Angeles to a solid start. Executive produced by Jesse Eisenberg and directed by Jeremy Workman, the title grossed $22,000 in the three-day, averaging $11K, with a cume of $27,626 through the holiday weekend.
Colette (Bleecker Street) Week 10 [34 Theaters] Weekend $16,074; 4-day: $20,431, Average $473; 4-day: $601, Cume $5,121,722
Shoplifters (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $88,000, Average $17,600
Shoah: Four Sisters (Cohen Media Group) Week 2 [3 Theater] Weekend $1,683, Average $561, Cume $6,613
Searchlight will add seven more markets, including San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Washington, D.C, Boston, Chicago, and Phoenix next weekend, jumping its location count to between 25 and 30 runs.
Maria By Callas (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [55 Theaters] Weekend $158,893, Average $2,889, Cume $682,291
A Cool Fish (China Lion) Week 2 [18 Theaters] Weekend $80,000, Average $4,444, Cume $221,872
RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel quite comfortably remains the company’s highest PTA debut at $202,792 from an $811,166 opening weekend gross also in 2014. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman took in just over $474K in its opening in October, 2014, averaging $106,099. The title went on to cume $42.34M. That title cumed $59.3M
Lionsgate/Summit’s La La Land had a $176,221 opening PTA in five theaters in December, 2016.
Tea With The Dames (Sundance Selects) Week 10 [21 Theaters] Weekend $13,772, Average $656, Cume $832,142
The Old Man & The Gun (Fox Searchlight) Week 9 [110 Theaters] Weekend $95,000; 5-day: $126,000, Average $1,044; 5-day: $1,145, Cume $10,783,328
Magnolia Pictures rolled out Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters in five theaters this weekend, grossing $88K for a solid $17,600 PTA. That film, which featured Elisabeth Moss, came in just a bit higher in its opening frame in late October, 2017, grossing $74,233 in four locations, averaging $18,558. The feature is the second Palme d’Or winner in a row for Magnolia Pictures, which also opened the 2017 winner of the top Cannes Film Festival prize, The Square by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund.
Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) Week 7 [254 Theaters] Weekend $350,520, Average $1,380, Cume $7,019,669