Specialty box office: The winner is a biopic on a political theorist!

Barbara Sukowa plays the political philosopher in "Hannah Arendt," which had the highest grossing per screen average of any new film this weekend Credit: Véronique Kolber
Barbara Sukowa plays the political philosopher in “Hannah Arendt,” which had the highest grossing per screen average of any new film this weekend
Credit: Véronique Kolber

According to Indiewire, the new “specialty” film with the highest per-screen average — the best way to judge the financial performance of films released on a limited, often incredibly tiny, number of screens — was “Hannah Arendt.” Released by Zeitgeist Films and directed by New German Cinema legend Margarethe von Trotta (“The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum”), it stars Barbara Sukowa as the German-American philosopher, best known for writing 1951′s “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” It only grossed $31,000, but that’s from a mere one theater (New York City’s Film Forum). If that doesn’t seem like much, consider that the weekend’s overall number one — “Fast & Furious 6″ — averaged “only” $9,370 from 3,686 theaters.

None of the other new limited releases came close. “The East,” the latest from indie “It” girl auteur Brit Marling, had the next highest, with an impressive $18,889 average from four screens, for a $75,555 total. Also doing well, “The Kings of Summer” — a coming-of-age comedy featuring Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally in supporting roles — made $58,000 total from four locations, for a $14,500 average. Meanwhile, Magnolia’s IRA drama “Shadow Dancer” — starring Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen, and directed by “Man on Wire”‘s James Marsh — only did $10,200 from two locations.

As far as expansions go, Richard Linklater’s threequel “Before Midnight” — which reunites “Before Sunrise” lovers Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke yet again — continued to do crazy business, with $430,542 from only 31 locations (up from 5 last weekend). Its total cume now stands at $800,314, without it having yet passed into other major markets like Philadelphia and Boston (where it opens next weekend). In its third weekend, “Frances Ha,” from director Noah Baumbach and co-writer/star Greta Gerwig, also kept doing amazingly well, with another $552,182 taken from 133 theater (up from 60). That now stands at $1,578,314. The Israeli drama “Fill the Void,” a hit last weekend in New York City, also kept on keeping on, with $48,192 from only six venues, for a $8,032 average.

Something called “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan,” starring Joe Estevez and Dan Haggerty, made $770 from two locations.

For more, see Indiewire’s original piece.



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