Specialty Box Office: Docs ‘Ballot Bandits,’ ‘Generation Startup’ Rise to Top

Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” has solid start in 52 theaters

specialty box office select theaters queen of katwe
(Cinema Libre/ Long Shot Factory/ Disney)

A political documentary topped the specialty box office this weekend.

“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,” by investigative journalist Greg Palast, examines an alleged dark operation within the Republican party called “Crosscheck.”

The Cinema Libre-distributed film, which opened in one theater and earned an estimated $10,000, details an alleged plan to steal a million minority votes by November that’s reportedly financed by billionaires.

The next strongest specialty release was Long Shot Factory doc “Generation Startup,” which made an estimated $6,032 from one location. The film, directed by Cheryl Miller Houser and Cynthia Wade, depicts the challenging economic landscape for six recent, entrepreneurial college graduates.

Playing in 52 theaters, Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” had a respectable debut, earning an estimated $305,000 for a per screen average of $5,865. Starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, the movie traces the amazing story of real life Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi — who defied all odds to become a world class player.

Broad Green Pictures’ “The Dressmaker” grossed $180,522 from 36 locations for a per screen average of $5,015.

Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, the film stars Kate Winslet as glamorous, worldly dressmaker who returns to her small Australian hometown to figure out hidden secrets behind her notorious reputation. The film also features the performances of Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis and Caroline Goodall.

Oscilloscope Pictures family film “Girl Asleep” made only an estimated 2,700 from one theater while Monument Releasing drama “Chronic” grossed a projected $1,912 from two theaters — amounting to a paltry per screen average of $956.