Indie Three-quel ‘Before Midnight’ Shines in Limited Box Office Debut

Third film in the series directed by Richard Linklater and starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke averages $64K in 5-theater debut

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:37 PM

It may not compare with the hauls of  "Iron Man 3," or even "The Hangover Part III," but Richard Linklater's indie three-quel "Before Midnight" put up some impressive box-office numbers in its debut.

The romantic drama took in $321,914 from five theaters for Sony Pictures Classics this weekend. That’s a $64,383 per-location average for the film, which stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and follows 1995’s “Before Sunrise” and 2004’s “Before Sunset.” This entry finds the couple as parents in Paris who travel to the Greek isles.

Also read: 'Before Midnight's' Director, Stars Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke Celebrate 'the Lowest-Grossing Trilogy Ever'

The opening, on two theaters in New York, two in Los Angeles and another in Austin, Texas, is easily the best of the three films. “Before Sunset" averaged $10,971 when it debuted in 20 theaters and went on to make $5.8 million. "Before Sunrise" brought in $5.5 million.

In its first three days of release, the film averaged about $49,000 at each of its five locations. That the third-best per-screen average of the year for a limited release, behind "Spring Breakers” and “The Place Beyond the Pines.”

“Before Midnight’ is benefiting from sensational reviews, with a 97 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Next weekend, Sony Classics will expand into 100 locations in cities including San Francisco and Chicago, before going nationwide in mid-June.

Another extremely well-reviewed movie, IFC Film’s “Francis Ha,” expanded into 56 theaters in its second week and took in $612,000 for a $10,200 average.

For the record: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the three-day, rather than four-day, per-screen average for "Before Midnight."


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