‘Free Fire’ Misfires at Loaded Indie Box Office

A24’s wider-than-usual approach to releasing Ben Wheatley’s shoot-em-up doesn’t work out

A24 has enjoyed immense success with small-budgeted, limited release films like “Moonlight,” but the studio took a different approach this weekend with Ben Wheatley’s shoot-em-up “Free Fire,” opening the film in a targeted release of 1,070 screens.

Unfortunately for A24, the results have not been what they were hoping for.

The film — which features Martin Scorsese as executive producer and stars Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley as a group of black market arms dealers who whip out their guns when a sale goes south — got decent reviews with a 66 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating. But “Free Fire” couldn’t translate that solid critical reception or Scorsese’s seal of approval into any sort of traction at the box office, as it made only $1.04 million this weekend for a per screen average of just $972.

On the opposite end of the release spectrum were two documentaries that screened in just in two theaters: “Citizen Jane” and “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent.” IFC’s “Citizen Jane,” which tells the story of activist Jane Jacobs and her efforts to protect historic urban communities from aggressive redevelopment projects, scored $33,760 from its pair of screens; while The Orchard’s “Jeremiah Tower,” which tells the story of one of America’s most influential and polarizing chefs, made $24,000.

Among holdovers, EuropaCorp and STX expanded their WWII film “Their Finest” to 176 screens. The film made $555,000 to bring its cume to $1.14 million, earning a respectable PSA of $3,153. Neon’s “Colossal” also passed the $1 million mark in its third frame, making $584,461 from 224 screens for a PSA of $2,609. Amazon’s “Lost City of Z” also expanded to 614 screens in its second weekend, grossing $2.1 million for a solid PSA of $3,420.

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” made another $1.47 million from its fourth frame in 1,033 screens to bring its cume to $13.2 million. “La La Land,” in its 20th weekend in theaters, crossed the $151 million mark with $88,000 from 148 screens.