CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Box Office, Cinematical Indie, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeWith many taking full advantage of the long holiday weekend, myself included, the box office numbers tumbled in a bit later than usual, but it appears that Spanish-language thriller Ladrón Que Roba a Ladrón won on a per-screen basis with an average of $6,090 at 340 locations, based on estimates by Leonard Klady of Movie City News. That put it #2 overall in per-screen averages behind Rob Zombie's Halloween. In Ladrón, two thieves resolve to steal the fortune of an man who's built his empire by selling useless health aids to poor people via infomercials. The official site has the fake infomercials plus Spanish and English language versions of the trailer.
Death at a Funeral is holding up nicely, averaging $5,260 on 264 screens for distributor MGM. Directed by Frank Oz, the dark ensemble comedy declined just 2% while adding three screens in its third week of release. Also in its third week out, the superb doc The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters increased its take by 27.3%, according to Box Office Mojo, adding seven screens and averaging $4,571. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg gave each film a positive review, and word of mouth must be good.
Other debuting specialty titles included John August's The Nines, which drew an extremely healthy $14,650 each at the two screens where it was booked. (Our own Ryan Stewart really liked it too.) On its sole screen, Indian drama Vanaja made $10,500, which should be considered a triumph in view of it subject matter and lack of stars. (Read Christopher Campbell's positive review to see why: I've seen it and I agree completely.) Johnny To's Exiled finally made its theatrical premiere. I loved this terrific, tangy, self-aware, modern Hong Kong Western -- Scott Weinberg liked it, though not as much as me -- so I wish it made more than $9,550 in two engagements so far.
Joe Swanberg's Hannah Takes the Stairs dropped an astounding 81.4% in its second week, taking in just $1,100 for a total of $14,200 so far. Good thing the budget was low. You'd have to think that all the press on so-called "mumblecore" films in general would help, but perhaps the audience is more limited than expected or hoped.