Indiewire is reporting that this weekend, the big winner among the specialty film debuts this weekend is from the guy who's directed the third highest grossing movie of all time. Good for him! Joss Whedon's unexpected adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" — his follow-up to "The Avengers," from last summer — predictably took the top slot among debuts, raking in $183,400 from five theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, for a per-screen average of $36,680. The combination of Whedon, whose pull over his sizable cult audience is near cult-like, and the Bard proved palpable. Indeed, it set a record at the Lincoln Center Film Society Theatre.
To put that into perspective, it opened slightly better than "Frances Ha" did four weeks ago, which is itself a massive art house hit that just became, after "Mud," the second specialty film this summer to cross the $2 million mark. And both "Ado" and "Frances" are in black-and-white, too! ("Frances Ha," incidentally, expanded into 234 screens and took in $589,680, averaging $2,520.)
Also scaring up good debut business was "Dirty Wars," the documentary about the findings of The Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill when it comes to America's covert missions abroad. It grossed $66,000 gross from four theaters, averaging $16,500.
As far as holdovers go, "Before Midnight" continued its success, expanding from 31 to 52 screens and scoring $574,648, for an average of $11,243 — slightly down from $13,042 last weekend. Its total cume stands after three weeks at $1,518,332. "Hannah Arendt," "The East" and "The Kings of Summer" all held up well as they themselves expanded.
As for other debuts, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," the latest from 91 year old legendary filmmaker Alain Resnais, only did $7,000 from two theaters. Come on, people.
For more, including the full numbers, please see the original Indiewire article.