Specialty Box Office: Obama Love Story ‘Southside With You’ Starts Strong

Competing biopic “Hands of Stone” stagnant

Southside With You
"Southside With You"

Getting rave reviews, Roadside Attractions and Miramax biopic “Southside With You” had a solid opening, netting an estimated $3.1 million from 813 screens.

About President Barack Obama’s flowering romance with future wife Michelle, the film scored an extremely fresh 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also based on true events, “Hands of Stone” from the Weinstein Company didn’t fare as well.

Starring Robert De Niro as legendary trainer Ray Arcel and Edgar Ramírez as famed boxer Roberto Duran, the movie only grossed $1.7 million from 810 screens. Critics didn’t look too kindly on the title as reflected by its 46 percent score on the aforementioned review aggregation site.

Sony Classics dramedy “The Hollars,” starring John Krasinski as a son who returns home to spend time with his ailing mother, had a good opening at the specialty box office this weekend.

Debuting to an estimated $46,068 on four screens, its per-screen average was $11,517.

But it was the restoration of 1992 Oscar winner “Howards End” that came away with the strongest average — $12,411 from two screens.

Of this weekend’s new limited releases, IFC’s dramatic thriller “Complete Unknown,” starring Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon and Kathy Bates, did great in two theaters, with a per screen averate of $7,840.

Drama “Fatima,” from distributor Kino Lorber, made $6,400 from one screen. Meanwhile, Music Box Films drama “Mia Madre,” with John Turturro, made $35,000 from six screens, for a per screen average of $5,833.

Well Go USA drama from South Korea, “Tunnel,” followed with a per screen average of $5,013 from 36 screens.

CBS Films’ “Hell or High Water” continued its successful run expanding in to 909 theaters in its third weekend to an estimated per screen average of $4,098 or $3.7 million. Distributed by Lionsgate, it has amassed a total of $8.6 million so far.

Natalie Portman‘s directorial debut (in which she also stars), “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” performed solidly in its second weekend, making $121,000 from 26 screens, earning a per screen average of $4,654.