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

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

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.