‘Emma’ Sets Per-Screen Average Record, as ‘Parasite’ Nears $50 Million at Indie Box Office

Jane Austen adaptation opened in Los Angeles and New York this weekend

Focus Features’ “Emma.” opened strong on five screens in Los Angeles and New York this weekend, grossing an estimated $230,000 and a $46,000 per-screen average, which is the record for PSAs in 2020.

By comparison, the 2018 Focus period piece “Mary Queen of Scots” had a $49,000 average from a four-screen release. But while that film debuted in the height of the Q4 awards season, “Emma.” will try to leg out to a run of at least $15 million, possibly $20 million in a less-crowded market. Reviews have been very positive at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn and Bill Nighy, “Emma.” is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s comedy about a queen bee in high society that must navigate the perils of coming of age in a social class where everyone expects her to marry… whether she wants to or not. Autumn de Wilde directed the film from an adapted screenplay by Eleanor Catton.

Meanwhile, NEON continues to ride high in the specialty market as Best Picture winner “Parasite” netted another $3.1 million from 1,803 screens. With a total of just under $49 million, this week it will become only the fourth non-English film in American box office history to gross $50 million. The other three films are “Hero,” “Life Is Beautiful” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which grossed a non-English record $128 million in the U.S. in 2000.

NEON also has “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” in theaters, expanding it to 130 screens in its second weekend. The film added $715,000 this weekend for a $5,500 average and a total of $1.45 million.

Finally, there’s Lionsgate/Pantelion’s “Las Pildoras de mi Novio” (“My Boyfriend’s Meds”), a Mexican romantic comedy about a marketing exec who falls in love with a charismatic mattress store owner, only to discover that he suffers from an endless array of maladies that require him to take an equally endless amount of medication every day. Released by Lionsgate on 350 screens, the film grossed $1.42 million this weekend for an average of $4,071.