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‘The Seagull’ Leads Indie Box Office as Art House Theaters Get Crowded

Cannes isn’t stopping indie outlets from sending in new titles to cinemas

Even with the eyes of the arthouse world focused on Cannes this weekend, two releases are indie box office standouts: Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Seagull” and Roadside Attractions/30WEST’s “Beast,” both of which led the way with per screen averages above $13,000.

“The Seagull,” an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic literary work of the same name, stars Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss and Corey Stoll, with Michael Mayer directing. Released on six screens, the film made $80,607 for a per screen average of $13,434. The film has received positive reviews with a 79 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Sitting just behind it is “Beast,” a drama written and directed by Michael Pearce about a young woman (Jessie Buckley) who escapes her stifling life by falling in love with a free-spirited stranger named Pascal (Johnny Flynn). But when Pascal is arrested on several murder charges, she must make a difficult decision on whether or not to stand by him. Sporting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92 percent, the film made $52,078 from four screens for an average of $13,020.

In third among limited releases is Eammon Films’ “Nothing to Lose,” a Brazilian true-story drama about the life of Edir Macedo, founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Evangelical groups gave the film a modest success, making $646,421 for a per screen average of $9,368.

On the far gorier side of the spectrum is Neon/Shudder’s shocking rape-retaliation film, “Revenge,” which became a minor viral hit this week thanks to the film’s rave reviews and 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Written and directed by French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat, “Revenge” follows Jen (Matilda Lutz), a woman who is raped by her boyfriend’s three sleazy buddies during a getaway in the desert and then thrown off a cliff by her boyfriend himself. Surviving the fall, Jen swears bloody vengeance on the four men… and spoiler alert, she gets it.

The film had a muted performance at the box office, making $46,023 from 36 screens for a per screen average of just $1,723. However, like Neon’s previous release, “Borg vs. McEnroe,” the numbers were weighed down by Neon’s decision to give the film a day-and-date digital release. On iTunes, “Revenge” charted as one of the top 10 movie downloads this weekend.

Among holdovers, Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media’s documentary “RBG” expanded to 180 screens and made $1.16 million this weekend, bringing its 10-day total to $2 million. The film about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will double its screen count next weekend. Meanwhile, Bleecker Street expanded Sebastian Lelio’s “Disobedience” to 100 screens, making just under $438,000 in its third weekend, to bring its total to $1.2 million

Finally, A24’s “Lean on Pete” reached the $1 million mark in its sixth weekend, adding $64,750 from 129 screens, while Fox Searchlight’s “Isle of Dogs” will hit the $30 million mark this week after adding $1 million from 1,046 locations in its eight weekend.