‘Patti Cake$’ Disappoints While ‘Wind River’ Opens Solid at Indie Box Office

“Patti Cake$” was one of the biggest purchases at Sundance this year, but it’s not performing to its price tag

Patti Cakes Fox Searchlight

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Geremy Jasper’s debut film “Patti Cake$” was one of the most sought after projects in Park City, triggering a bidding war between Focus Features, Neon, Annapurna, Fox Searchlight and The Orchard. Fox Searchlight was the winner, purchasing the film for $9.5 million. It was the second-highest movie buy at this year’s festival, only behind the $12 million Amazon spent to grab the rights to “The Big Sick.”

But unlike “The Big Sick,” “Patti Cake$” is not performing up to its price tag.

Despite praise from critics for the film and its leading actress, Australian rising star Danielle Macdonald, “Patti Cake$” made just $66,000 from 14 screens for a per screen average of $4,711. By comparison, “The Big Sick” made $108,000 from just four screens in its initial limited opening and has gone on to gross $38 million after expanding nationwide. Fox Searchlight will be hoping word-of-mouth can lead to a rebound as it expands to 70 screens next week, followed by a nationwide release of 300-400 screens for Labor Day weekend. The film has a 76 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, The Weinstein Company’s “Wind River” expanded nationwide to 694 screens in its third weekend and made a very solid $3 million to finish in the top 10 among all films this week. By comparison, director Taylor Sheridan’s last film, the Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water,” made $3.5 million from 909 screens in its third weekend this time last year.

Elsewhere, Samuel Goldwyn’s “Gook” opened on two screens in Los Angeles this week and made an estimated $31,100. Named after a racial slur used against Asian-Americans, the film is written, directed by and stars Justin Chon and follows a pair of Korean-Americans in Los Angeles on the first night of the 1992 riots. The film has a 90 percent RT score.

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Also opening this weekend is Amazon/IFC’s biopic “Crown Heights,” which features “Get Out” star LaKeith Stanfield as Colin Warner, a man wrongfully convicted in 1980 of murdering a teen in Brooklyn. The film made $27,552 from three screens for a PSA of $9,184. The film was written and directed by Matt Ruskin and has a 70 percent RT score.

Among holdovers, Neon’s “Ingrid Goes West” made $280,000 from 27 screens in its second weekend, keeping its PSA over $10,000 and bringing its total to $438,000. The Fox Searchlight documentary “Step” nears the $1 million mark after making $205,000 from 306 screens in its third week, bringing its total to $809.000. Finally, The Orchard’s “The Hero” starring Sam Elliott passed $4 million in its eleventh week in theaters with $17,631 from 39 screens.