What's the formula for success? Teens, drugs, Ben Kingsley kisses and 90s nostalgia, evidently. Jonathan Levine's The Wackness scored the best per-screen average of the weekend -- $24,166 -- at six theaters in New York and Los Angeles, according to estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo.
On the other hand, French thriller Tell No One packed them in without any of those elements, earning $20,120 per-screen at eight theaters, according to Leonard Klady's estimates at Movie City News. As somebody once said: C'est la vie.
At the one theater in Los Angeles where it opened, the box office went Kabluey for the film with the same name ($7,900 in receipts) while Alex Gibney's entertaining, if schematic, doc, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, made $7,307 per screen at 26 theaters celebrating independence across the nation.
Not as many were interested in Holding Trevor ($3,400 per-screen at 2 theaters) and audiences declined interest in Diminished Capacity ($2,830 per-screen at 4 theaters). You can read more about all these releases in Indie Spotlight, the new column by Eric D. Snider.
Notable holdovers include Trumbo ($4,233 per-screen average, 6 theaters, 2nd week of release); Mongol ($3,490 per-screen, 253 theaters, 5th week); Brick Lane ($3,451 per-screen, 31 theaters, 3rd week); Roman de Gare ($2,400 per-screen, 37 theaters, 11th week), and The Visitor ($2,017 per-screen, 176 theaters, 13th week).
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl broke into the overall top 10, expanding to more than 1,800 theaters and drawing $1,953 per screen -- but that's a very disappointing figure after the gangbusters box office of its very limited first two weeks of release. The film has grossed more than $6.1 million so far.