“Sleepwalk With Me,” first-time filmmaker Mike Birbiglia's semi-autobiographical tale of a struggling comedian’s sleepwalking woes, was a $65,000 smash on a single screen at New York’s IFC Center.
That’s the third-best per-screen average of the year, behind only “Moonrise Kingdom” and “To Rome With Love.”
The IFC Films feature was co-written and produced by author and public radio stalwart Ira Glass, who made a series of appearances at the theater to boost the film.
A mock spat between Birbiglia and Glass and "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon has created some extra buzz around the film. After Whedon posted a YouTube video that joked that "Sleepwalk With Me" was a threat to the box office records of the superhero film and called for a boycott, Glass and Birbiglia answered with their own video, telling Whedon, "It's on!":
Oscilloscope’s travel documentary “Samsara” was also impressive, taking in $73,792 from two screens, a $36,896 per-screen average.
The film was shot in 25 different countries and took four years to make. Ron Fricke directed and Mark Magidson produced the film which, according to Oscilloscope, is “neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, 'Samsara' takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation.”
Another opener, French import "Little White Lies" was solid but not spectacular. The MPI Media film, which stars Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin, brought in $26,500 from three screens for a $8,833 average.
The Cinema Guild debuted “Neighboring Sounds,” a Brazilian film directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho, on two New York screens and took in $14,157.
Samuel Goldwyn Films and IDP’s “Robot and Frank” expanded strongly in its second week, going from two to 46 screens and taking in $290,950 for a $6,325 per-screen average. Jack Schreier directs and Frank Langella stars in the tale of an aging jewel thief who teams up with a robot assigned to look after him, Susan Sarandon and Peter Sarsgaard co-star.
“Cosmopolis,” Entertainment One’s David Cronenberg-directed thriller starring Robert Pattinson, went from three to 63 theaters. It made $153,420, a disappointing $2,435 per-screen average in its second week.
Magnolia’s “Compliance” expanded to 10 locations from its single-theater bow last week and brought in $48,000.