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Independent Box Office: ‘Emperor’ Accomplishes Demo Mission

Roadside Attraction's post-WW II tale starring Tommy Lee Jones scores by targeting mature audiences, markets with military

"Emperor," the WWII historical drama starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox from Roadside Attractions, hit the demographic mark with its $1 million debut weekend. 

Roadside targeted older moviegoers with the film, which is about Gen. Douglas McArthur (Jones) and his decision whether to try the Japanese Emperor for war crimes — including the Emperor's culpability for the attack on Pearl Harbor

It averaged $4,010 on on 260 screens, mainly in the top 75 markets.

With a grassroots program via the American Legion and a spot on TV's highly rated History Channel show "The Bible," Roadside targeted the older demo and markets like San Diego and Virginia, where there is a strong military presence.

Also read: 'Oz' Box Office Balloons to $80M After Big Saturday; Worldwide Hits $150M

Chicago's Nick Offerman, producer and star of the indie film “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” is a local hero, at least at the box office. The bittersweet comedy, written and directed by Bob Byington, stars Offerman, from the NBC TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation," and Keith Poulson as best buddies who fall in love with the same girl, played by Jess Weixler.

Tribeca chose Chicago's 700-seat Music Box Theater to debut the film and – with Chicago native Offerman in attendance at many of the screenings – it took in an imressive $38,495 over the three days. That's the second-highest opening weekend in the last 6 years at the theater, trailing only 2012's “Sleepwalk With Me."

Also read: Nick Offerman, 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Big in Chicago

Tribeca Films picked up “Somebody” after it premiered at last year's South By Southwest Film Festival.

"Stoker," the first English-language film from renowned Korean Director Park Chan-wook, continued to roll in its second week. It brought in $115,000 from 17 theaters for a per-screen average of $6,700.

Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska.star in the tale of a mysterious and charming man who comes to live with a young woman and her unstable mother after her father dies.

Also read: 'Oz' Box Office Balloons to $80M After Big Saturday; Worldwide Hits $150M

Fox Searchlight said Sunday that next week it will add 20 markets and bring the total theater count up to 70 or 80 locations.

“Beyond the Hills,” Romania's nominee for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, debuted in three theaters and took in $18,000 for Sundance Selects.

The film is directed by Cristian Munglu and stars Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan as two young women at an Orthodox convent in Romania.  It premiered at Cannes last year where Munglu won the award for best screenplay and Flutur and Stratan shared best actress honor.

Cinedigm released “Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey” in 20 theaters nationwide. The documentary on Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the rock band Journey, took in an estimated $25,000.






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