‘Manchester by the Sea,’ ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Heat Up Indie Box Office

Movies about messed up relationships rise to top of specialty heap

nocturnal animals manchester by the sea jake gyllenhaal amy adams casey affleck michelle williams
(Roadside Attractions/ Focus Features)

Two tales revolving around broken romantic relationships led the indie box office this weekend.

Roadside Attractions drama “Manchester by the Sea” earned an estimated $241,230 from four theaters, to get the weekend’s largest per screen average of $60,308.

Moody thriller from Focus Features “Nocturnal Animals” grossed more overall, netting $494,000 from 37 locations for a strong $13,351 per screen average.

Written and directed by fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, “Animals” stars Amy Adams as an art gallery owner who can’t shake threatening thoughts inspired by the writings of her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal), who penned a violent revenge-themed novel which she takes to heart.

It has a 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. In contrast, “Manchester by the Sea” has a nearly perfect 99 percent on the reviews aggregation site.

The film was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, who also wrote and directed the widely lauded 2011 drama “Margaret.” He wrote the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” and the Robert De Niro comedy “Analyze This.”

“Manchester,” already receiving awards season buzz, is a forlorn family tale about loss and its toll, and stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler.

Abramorama documentary “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” earned an estimated $22,573 from two locations. About the 1981 musical “Merrily We Roll Along,” the film has a high 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

All Go USA dramedy “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” earned $202,500 from 38 locations for a per screen average of $5,329. It garnered an 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another Abramorama documentary, “Blood on the Mountain,” grossed $3,443 from two locations. It has an 86 percent on the reviews aggregation site.

Cleopatra Films dramedy “A Street Cat Named Bob Cleopatra” earned $35,070 from 25 theaters for a per screen average of $1,403. The cat movie has a 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Finally, Film Rise doc “Magnus,” which has a 78 percent on the reviews site, earned only $1,000 from a single location.