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‘Boundaries’ Has Tepid Indie Box Office Launch After Peter Fonda Tweets

Sony Pictures Classics film made headlines after Fonda’s Twitter rant aimed at Melania and Barron Trump

After it made headlines in Hollywood for the wrong reasons, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Boundaries” is off to a tepid start at the indie box office, as it opened on five screens this weekend. Directed by Shana Feste and starring Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, the film has made $30,395 for a per screen average of $6,079.

This past week, Peter Fonda, who has a minor role in the film, posted an angry Twitter rant aimed towards President Donald Trump and his wife and son, Melania and Barron, that was a knee-jerk response to the White House’s family separation policy towards undocumented migrants and asylum seekers.

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” the actor wrote in a tweet that he later deleted. “And see if mother will stand up against the giant a-hole she is married to.”

Fonda later apologized for the tweet, but it still drew an angry response from Donald Trump Jr., who pointed out Fonda’s role in “Boundaries.”

“I wonder if they will apply the same rules to [Fonda] that they did to Roseanne,” Trump Jr. tweeted, referring to the cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s ABC show following a racially charged tweet. “I have a strange suspicion that they wont [sic] do anything.”

Trump Jr.’s tweet and the subsequent furor from conservatives prompted a statement from Sony Pictures Classics saying they condemned Fonda’s remarks as “abhorrent, reckless and dangerous,” but adding that removing his small role from the film days before release “would unfairly penalize the filmmaker Shana Feste’s accomplishment, the many actors, crew members and other creative talent that worked hard on the project.”

“Boundaries” stars Farmiga as Laura,  a single mother whose estranged, pot-selling father Jack (Plummer) comes back into her life after he’s kicked out of his retirement home. Laura agrees to drive him south to live with her sister in Los Angeles but, along the way, Jack convinces his grandson, Henry, to help him sell off the rest of his marijuana stash to some old friends, including one played by Fonda. The film had a mixed reception from critics with a 58 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Elsewhere, Magnolia’s “Damsel” performed only slightly better than “Boundaries,” grossing $21,000 from three screens for a $7,000 average. Directed by David and Nathan Zellner, the subversive western stars Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska as a rich pioneer and his wife-to-be on a voyage that becomes treacherous and blurs the line between hero and damsel. The film has an 80 percent RT score.

Magnolia’s big summer hit, “RBG,” continues to perform well-above its weight. After crossing the $10 million mark last weekend, the film added $425,000 from 203 screens in its eighth weekend to bring its total to $10.8 million. The other big documentary in theaters, Focus’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” added $1.875 million in its third weekend from 348 screens, keeping it in the top 10 and bringing its total to $4.1 million.

On the MoviePass front, The Orchard’s “American Animals” passed the $1 million mark in its third weekend, adding $576,000 as it expanded to 336 screens to bring its total to $1.4 million. But Vertical Entertainment’s “Gotti” continues to crash, making $812,000 from 466 screens in its second weekend. That leaves it with a per screen average of $1,742 and a 10-day total of $3.2 million.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story erroneously attributed Magnolia Pictures’ “Damsel” as a Focus Features release. This has been corrected.