‘Dark Waters’ Off to Swimming Start at Indie Box Office

A24’s “The Lighthouse” crosses $10 million in quieter weekend for specialty releases

Dark Waters Mark Ruffalo
Mary Cybulski/Focus

With the indie box office slowing down in advance of Thanksgiving weekend, the sole major release on Friday was Focus Features’ “Dark Waters,” which grossed an estimated $110,000 from four screens in New York and Los Angeles.

The socially-minded thriller took in a per screen average of $27,500, second only to the chart-topping “Frozen II,” which took an average of $28,604 per screen from its $127 million wide opening. Starring Mark Ruffalo and directed by Todd Haynes, “Dark Waters” tells the true story of Robert Bilott, a corporate defense attorney who became an environmental litigator after discovering that a series of seemingly unexplained deaths was connected to rampant pollution by the chemical company DuPont. The film has a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Focus’ other big true story film, “Harriet,” added $2.3 million from its fourth weekend in wide release, bringing its total to $36 million. Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit” and NEON’s “Parasite” both crossed the $16 million mark, with “Jojo” adding $1.5 million in its sixth weekend from 787 screens, while “Parasite” took $1.2 million from 433 screens in its seventh weekend.

Amazon expanded “Honey Boy” to 44 screens, grossing $269,280 in its third weekend for a $939,676 total, while A24 expanded “Waves” to 23 screens for a $162,000 total and a $329,000 cume. Finally, A24’s other fall release, “The Lighthouse,” crossed the $10 million mark in its sixth weekend with $185,000 grossed from 113 screens.