‘On the Basis of Sex’ Leads on Slow Finish to 2018 Indie Box Office

Moviegoers choose wide releases over arthouse films on post-Christmas weekend

For the most part, the indie box office’s final weekend of 2018 was a muted one. Of the three films that opened this holiday weekend, the only one that had a solid start was Focus Features’ “On the Basis of Sex,” the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic directed by Mimi Leder and starring Felicity Jones as the civil rights lawyer and eventual Supreme Court Justice.

Released on Christmas Day on 33 screens, the film has earned $1.5 million over six days for a per screen average of $45,454. Of that total, an estimated $690,000 was grossed over the weekend for a PSA of $20,877. Focus remains positive about the film, noting its strong word of mouth among admirers of Ginsburg. The film expands to 100 screens next weekend.

The other two films that opened this weekend, Annapurna’s “Destroyer” and Sony Pictures Classics’ “Stan & Ollie,” didn’t fare nearly as well. “Destroyer,” which also opened Christmas Day, earned $116,000 over six days with a weekend total of $58,472 from three screens and a PSA of $19,491. The thriller by Karyn Kusama stars Nicole Kidman as a scarred, obsessed LAPD officer and has a 76 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

“Stan & Ollie” — the Laurel & Hardy biopic starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the famed comedic duo in the final years of their career – was released on five screens and earned $79,674 over the weekend for a per screen average of $15,935. The film has an 89 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Among holdovers, Annapurna’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” held on decently after its first expansion to 65 screens. The film earned $759,579 over the weekend for a per screen average of $11,686, bringing it to a domestic total of just under $2 million. On the widest end, Focus’ “Mary Queen of Scots” had another solid weekend with $2.65 million from 841 theaters, giving it a total of $9 million after four weekends.

Finally, Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite” remains the queen of the holiday awards season, adding $2.4 million in its sixth weekend to bring its total to $15.2 million. So far, the Yorgos Lanthimos film is keeping up with the box office pace of last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, “The Shape of Water,” which was also a Searchlight release.