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‘Hearts Beat Loud’ and Mister Rogers Doc Win Over Indie Box Office

Sundance hit ”Won’t You Be My Neighbor“ arrived on 30 screens this weekend

This weekend’s indie box office charts were headlined by two new releases: Gunpowder & Sky’s music drama “Hearts Beat Loud” and Focus Features’ Mister Rogers biopic “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, the latest from Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville, was one of the most talked about releases at Sundance. Critics praised the film’s gentle reflection on the life and legacy of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” and its famed creator, earning a sterling 99 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Focus released the film on 29 screens this weekend and earned $470,000 for a per screen average of $16,168.

But the top per screen average of the weekend belonged to “Hearts Beat Loud,” which opened in New York and Los Angeles and grossed just over $74,000 from four screens for a PSA of $18,513. Directed by Brett Haley, the film stars Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons as a father and daughter whose relationship is tested after a song they made together goes viral, rekindling the father’s long-buried dreams of musical fame.

Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette also star in the film, which has a 92 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Among holdovers, The Orchard’s “American Animals” expanded to 42 screens and made $234,829 for a per screen average of $5,591. Zee Studio’s Bollywood import “Veere Di Wedding” added $528,802 from 118 screens in its second weekend, bringing its total to $2.2 million in the U.S. Magnolia Pictures’ “RBG” crossed $9 million in its sixth week, adding $700,000, while IFC’s “The Death of Stalin” will cross the $8 million mark after 14 weeks in theaters.