New arrival “The Current War,” which was distributed by newcomer 101 Studios after the demise of its original distributor The Weinstein Company, sparked little energy at this weekend’s indie box office compared to its critically acclaimed competitors, grossing just $2.7 million from its targeted release on 1,022 screens.
“The Current War” made plenty of headlines during the Harvey Weinstein scandal, as it took its journey from poor reviews at TIFF 2017 to bankruptcy asset sales to a release this weekend by a studio founded by TWC’s former COO, David Glasser. But the behind-the-scenes turmoil has proven to launch bigger fireworks than the film itself.
That gives the film a per screen average of just $2,677. While the recut of “Current War” did better with critics than the version screened in Toronto two years ago, reception is still mixed with a 59% Rotten Tomatoes score. That won’t be enough to spark the word of mouth needed to keep this film in moviegoers’ minds during Oscar season.
Meanwhile, the films that drove the indie box office last weekend to its best results of the year continue to perform extremely well. NEON’s “Parasite” continues to outperform the usual expectations for foreign language films, expanding to 129 screens this weekend and grossing $1.8 million for the weekend and an average of $14,107. It now has a total of $4.1 million.
Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit” is also doing well in its second weekend, expanding to 55 screens in 10 cities and grossing just over $1 million for an $18,500 average. Searchlight reports that Taika Waititi’s satire was the top seller at several major cinemas, including the Landmark in West L.A., the Arclight Hollywood, Alamo San Francisco, Varsity Toronto, and the AMC Burbank. The film will expand to 50 new markets next weekend with a screen count of around 300-350.
A24 rapidly expanded “The Lighthouse” to 584 screens this weekend with the hopes that Robert Eggers’ horror film would become a Halloween offering for arthouse audiences. That move paid off, as the film outperformed “Current War” with $3 million grossed and an average of $4,790.
Finally, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Pain and Glory” grossed $430,000 from 117 screens in its fourth weekend for a total of $1.68 million, while Roadside Attractions’ “Judy” added $1.1 million for a $21.5 million total after five weekends.
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