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‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Holds Solidly in Quiet Pre-Christmas Indie Box Office

Indie distributors hold off on releases and expansions until Christmas Day

With five wide releases coming out this weekend, the indie box office was characteristically quiet. The arthouse boom won’t come until Christmas Day, when new films will arrive and films currently in theaters will expand into new markets to take advantage of the seasonal rush.

In the meantime, Annapurna’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” added one more screen for this weekend and performed well in its second frame, grossing $114,902 for a per screen average of $22,980. The film now has a total of $428,000 and will expand to 65 screens on Christmas Day.

One film that did release this weekend is the Polish film “Cold War,” which earned filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director prize at Cannes this year. Released on three screens by Amazon, the film opened solidly with $55,727 and an average of $18,576. Another foreign film, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Capernaum,” expanded from three to seven screens and grossed $23,513, averaging $3,359 for a total of $62,070.

On the widest end of the awards spectrum were Focus’ “Mary Queen of Scots” and Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite,” both of which played to just under 800 screens this weekend. “Mary,” after a decent start, has hit its stride, grossing $2.24 million this weekend and placing in the top 10 on the charts in its third weekend. “The Favourite” was just behind it, doing very well in its fifth weekend with $1.9 million to reach a domestic total of $10 million.

Christmas Day will see the limited release of three more arthouse films: Focus’ “On the Basis of Sex,” starring Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Annapurna/30WEST’s cop drama “Destroyer” starring Nicole Kidman, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Laurel & Hardy biopic “Stan & Ollie” starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly.