Audiences flocked to see James Gandolfini in one of his final films, “Enough Said,” which posted a strong per screen average of $60,000 for an estimated opening weekend gross of $240,000.
Nicole Holofcener‘s comedy about a pair of divorcees, played by Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, had far and away the best per-screen of any movie opening this weekend, including “Rush,” which Universal opened on five screens to gather momentum based on word of mouth and superb reviews.
“Enough Said” has also drawn rave reviews from critics, earning a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott dubbed it “one of the best-written American film comedies in recent memory” and a rebuke of recent gross-out comedies.
“Audiences have been waiting for a well-written film for adults, and besides Nicole’s core audience, she seems to be reaching a new set of moviegoers who are discovering and appreciating her work,” Fox Searchlight distribution chief Frank Rodriguez wrote in an email.
“We are very happy with the outstanding opening weekend grosses, and while we knew all along that we would do well at the box office, these figures are beyond our wildest expectations.”
The film opened in two theaters in New York and two in Los Angeles, and after its successful first weekend distributor Fox Searchlight will release the movie in 65 new markets next weekend. It should play on between 180 and 220 screens.
Gandolfini, who died in June, will be honored at the Emmys Sunday night Louis-Dreyfuss will be up for an Emmy thanks to her show “Veep.”
Holofcener’s past films include “Please Give” and “Friends With Money,” a Sundance hit that grossed more than $18 million at the box office.
Among the other movies opening at the specialty box office, the top grosser was Roadside Attractions’ “Thanks for Sharing,” which is projected to gross $557,000 on 269 screens. Several other movies opened on a handful of screens, but only The Weinstein Company’s “Haute Cuisine” posted an average of more than $5,000.