Independent Box Office: Disney World-Set Horror Fantasy ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Underwhelms

Shot guerrilla-style, the film is one of several lackluster limited debuts. “Enough Said” expands and passes $8 million

Last Updated: July 10, 2014 @ 8:43 PM

Writer-director Randy Moore’s “Escape From Tomorrow,” a fantasy horror film shot guerrilla-style at Walt Disney World Resort without permission, underwhelmed in its debut at the specialty box office this weekend.

The Producers Distribution Agency release, day and date with its video-on-demand debut, took in $66,112 from 30 theaters for a $2,204 per-screen average.

The black-and-white and unrated “Escape From Tomorrow,” which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, follows an unemployed father (Roy Abramsohn) whose sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls and a series of disturbing visions. The latter are mainly based on the park’s audio-animatronic figures, fairy princesses and thrill rides.

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It was one of several so-so debuts on a generally lackluster weekend at the specialty box office, which could be suffering with two smart and mature-skewing films – “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips” – dominating the multiplex landscape.

Another Sundance selection, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” debuted with $260,000 from 147 theaters, giving the drama from  Lionsgate’s Codeblack a $1,769 per-screen average.

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Relativity Media rolled out “Romeo & Juliet” on 461 screens, and the update of The Bard’s classic romance brought in $509,000 for a so-so $1,104 per-screen average.

Starring Haylee Stanfield (“True Grit”) and Douglas Booth, the screenplay was adapted by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes.  Carlo Carlei directs and Damian Lewis, from TV’s “Homeland,’ co-stars.

“Romeo & Juliet was the first film released by Relativity via its “rent-a-system” program, which gives indie filmmakers access to its distribution platform for a fee while they handle the marketing themselves. “Romeo & Juliet” is a Swarovski Entertainment,  Blue Lake Media Fund presentation of an Amber Entertainment Production, in association with Indiana Production Company and Echo Lake Entertainment.

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Meanwhile, Roadside Attractions expanded its romantic comedy “Enough Said” by 169 locations to 606 theaters and it brought in $1.9 million – a $3,100 per-screen average — to raise its domestic total to $8.1 million after four weeks.

The film was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener and stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini.

Roadside said Sunday that it plans to add another 100 or so theaters next weekend.