Specialty box office: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ goes green

Adele Exarchopoulos stars in "Blue is the Warmest Color," which predictably ruled the specialty box office this weekend. Credit: Sundance Selects
Adele Exarchopoulos stars in “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which predictably ruled the specialty box office this weekend.
Credit: Sundance Selects

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the controversial French coming-of-age/relationship saga “Blue is the Warmest Color” did huge business in the art house/indie market this weekend. This May it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. More important, to ticket buyers, it boasts a pair of lengthy sex scenes featuring attractive young women.

“Blue” — which stars Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, who were also singled out at Cannes for their fearless performances — only opened in four theaters. From these it grossed $101,116, for a $25,279 average, according to Indiewire. That’s less than last week’s big per-screen-average winner, “12 Years a Slave.” But it’s incredibly impressive for an NC-17-rated foreign film that runs about three hours. (Although one of these theaters, New York City’s IFC Center, made waves by saying they’d ignore the rating, allowing teens to buy a ticket.)

The film will expand to more markets next weekend.

Speaking of “12 Years a Slave,” the much-esteemed drama went from 18 to 123 screens this weekend, and walked off with $2,150,000, for a $17,480 average — the best in the top ten, which it cracked with the number eight spot. (In fact, it was only four spots behind “The Counselor,” which also features Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.) That’s over half what it averaged last weekend, but impressive nonetheless. Its cume now stands at $3,409,943. It will grow to over 400 screens next weekend.


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