CATEGORIES Foreign Language, Independent, Box Office, Cinematical Indie, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeSpecialty distributors scrambled to find enough screens to accommodate their titles as a flock of adult dramas expanded into the hinterlands. When the dust settled, Wristcutters: A Love Story emerged victorious among new releases, averaging $12,800 per screen at three locations, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo. When it played at Sundance in 2006, Karina Longworth called it "a bold first effort, with a distinct, swaggering sense of style and humor that's hard – even for a cynical blogger sick to death of indie 'quirk' – to resist."
The much-more heralded Reservation Road, directed by Terry George, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino, came a cropper, averaging just $2,830 per screen at 13 locations. Considering the high-profile talent, that's got to be considered a major disappointment for distributor Focus Features. Nick Schager felt the film "seems determined, whenever possible, to resort to preposterous plot twists at the expense of actually plumbing its grief-stricken characters' anguished psyches."
Earning just a little bit more per screen, but without star wattage and very many advertising dollars behind it, the performance of O Jerusalem, about the birth of the modern state of Israel, can be considered satisfying to distributor IDP. Unfortunately, the reviews so far -- at least as indexed by Metacritic -- are far from enthusiastic, which doesn't bode well for future word of mouth.
Ian Curtis biopic Control added one theater and increased its take to $18,250 per screen, the highest average for the week, while the reissue of Blade Runner: The Final Cut fell 60% yet still made $13,00 at each of its two screens. Lars and the Real Girl added 14 theaters and continued its good performance, taking in $8,809 per screen. The remake of Sleuth added 12 theaters but declined to an average of $1,880.
Among the September holdovers that expanded, The Darjeeling Limited ($6,534 each on 202 screens), Lust, Caution ($4,688 each on 125 screens), Into the Wild ($3,267 each on 658 screens) and Across the Universe ($2,812 each on 960 screens) performed well.