Specialty Box Office: Whedon’s ‘Much Ado’ Soars; ‘Dirty Wars’ Opens Decent

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Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing clearly ruled the Specialty Box Office this weekend. Opening in 5 theaters, the Roadside/Lionsgate release gave the 4-century-old play some 21st century adulation, grossing over $183K in 5 theaters for a $36,680 average. Whedon broke box office records last year with The Avengers and will likely do so again with his second round with the franchise, but the versatile filmmaker has clearly shown his filmmaking chops outside the big summer tentpole. Sundance Selects debuted its timely Dirty Wars in 4 runs, also opening solid. The distributor said it played sold out shows in all venues and called the launch a “promising start.” This weekend’s limited release newcomers were plentiful, though most others opened soft at best. Oz pic Wish You Were Here bowed in 11 theaters, averaging $2,338, while Kino Lorber’s You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet opened in two locations, averaging $3,500. Cinedigm’s Violet & Daisy, meanwhile, debuted in 17 locations, with a very slight $602 average, taking in over $10K. The film will move into the top ten markets next weekend.

Roadside touted its Ado launch, noting that the film broke a record at New York’s Lincoln Center venue, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, with its latest release: “The film broke the house record last night at the [Film Society of Lincoln Center] with a $15,027 gross for Saturday there. Reviews were terrific and anecdotally we’re getting a great mixture of the Joss Whedon fans and the classic arthouse and Shakespeare fans. The film had a great festival run starting at last year’s TIFF, and then a fantastic 2013 festival run including SXSW and a huge sellout screening as the opening film of Seattle Film Festival. Joss and his ensemble cast did a mammoth amount of PR including festival appearances, an appearance at WonderCon, the talk show circuit and a plethora of screenings and online interviews. We are expanding within the three markets on June 14, and then opening nationwide on a moderate pattern in the 200-300 screen range on June 21.”

Among holdovers, Zeitgeist’s Hannah Arendt held decently, adding four runs for week two, grossing $30K, while Fox Searchlight’s The East expanded into 41 theaters in its second weekend from four location last weekend. The film grossed $247K, averaging just over $6K. Noted Searchlight Sunday: “Next week we will expand into 18 new markets as well as continuing to expand in cities already opened. The film is playing best in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Francisco where fans of this relevant and articulate thriller are spreading the word about the fine work from this ensemble cast.”

Sundance debut The Kings Of Summer also added a good number of screens in its second frame, grossing over $220K in 44 theaters for a $5K average. CBS Films touted figures for the film, which will add more runs in the coming weeks: “The film held in well at its week 1 theaters including Lincoln Square (-29%), The Landmark (-36%, skewed by a filmmaker/cast Q&A the previous weekend) and the Sunshine (-30%). But perhaps more importantly, given the very positive word of mouth (A- CinemaScore) surrounding the film, Kings is playing incredibly well in middle America markets such as Dallas, St. Louis, DC, Cleveland, Atlanta, Portland, San Diego and Austin. In fact the top gross in the country last night came from Scottsdale… This bodes well for the KINGS as we continue the rollout next weekend.”

NEW

Dirty Wars (Sundance Selects) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $66K, Average $16,500
Much Ado About Nothing (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) NEW [5 Theaters], Weekend $183,400, Average $36,680
The Prey (Cohen Media) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $6,310, Average $1,262
Violet & Daisy (Cinedigm) NEW [17 Theaters], Weekend $10,250, Average $602
Wish You Were Here (Entertainment One) NEW [11 Theaters] Weekend $25,723, Average $2,338
You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Kino Lorber) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $7K, Average $3,500

Returning / 2nd Weekend

The East (Fox Searchlight) Week 2 [41 Theaters] Weekend $247K, Average $6,024, Cume $354K
Hannah Arendt (Zeitgeist Films) Week 2 [5 Theater] Weekend $30K, Average $6K Cume $97,627
The Kings Of Summer (CBS Films) Week 2 [44 Theaters] Weekend $220K, Average $5K, Cume $301,608

Holdovers / 3RD+ Weekends

Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [52 Theaters] Weekend $584,648, Average $11,243, Cume $1,518,332
Fill The Void (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 [13 Theaters] Weekend $78,048, Average $6,004, Cume $259,759
We Steal Secrets (FocusWorld) Week 3 [24 Theaters] Weekend $35,350, Average $1,473, Cume $127,913
Frances Ha (IFC Films) Week 4 [234 Theaters] Weekend $589,680, Average $2,520, Cume $2,376,860
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions) Week 5 [70 Theaters] Weekend $156,520 Average $2,236, Cume $1,105,923
The Iceman (Millennium Entertainment) Week 6 [67 Theaters] Weekend $67,848, Average $1,013, Cume $1,852,909
Love Is All You Need (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [101 Theaters] Weekend $221,877, Average $2,197, Cume $998,080
Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s (Entertainment One) Week 6 [29 Theaters] Weekend $25,516, Average $880, Cume $442,144
What Maisie Knew (Millennium Entertainment) Week 6 [122 Theaters] Weekend $161,369, Average $1,323, Cume $783,454
Kon-Tiki (The Weinstein Company) Week 7 [75 Theaters] Weekend $113K, Average $1,507, Cume $1,076,483
Mud (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) Week 7 [581 Theaters] Weekend $1,209,400, Average $2,078, Cume $18,600,987
In The House (Cohen Media Group) Week 8 [8 Theaters] Weekend $3,129, Average $391, Cume $386,689
Disconnect (LD Entertainment) Week 9 [7 Theaters] Weekend $6,185, Average $884, Cume $1,528,944
The Place Beyond The Pines (Focus Features) Week 11 [134 Theaters] Weekend $73,255, Average $546, Cume $21,236,984
The Sapphires (The Weinstein Company) Week 12 [55 Theaters] Weekend $39,500, Average $718, Cume $2,275,710

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