Fox Searchlight has set a new studio record as its Oscar contenders, “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” expanded to a combined 4,067 screens, the first time ever that Searchlight has had its films screen in more than 4,000 locations on a single weekend. “The Shape of Water,” which earned the top prize for Guillermo del Toro at Saturday’s Directors Guild Awards, added $4.5 million from 2,341 screens for a $44.5 million total, while “Three Billboards” added $3 million from 1,726 locations for a $42 million total.
Meanwhile, after earning an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language film, Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” entered the awards box office with a five screen release by Sony Pictures Classics in New York and Los Angeles. The Chilean drama earned just under $71,000 in its opening for a per screen average of $14,196.
“A Fantastic Woman” stars Daniela Vega as Marina, a transgender Chilean woman whose life takes a hard turn when her 57-year-old soulmate Orlando (Francisco Reyes) suddenly dies of an aneurysm. Her struggle to cope with his loss is compounded by a brewing conflict with Orlando’s family, who refuse to let her attend the funeral since she is transgender. The film currently has an 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
NEON/30West’s “I, Tonya” continues to enjoy a solid Oscar bump, adding $2.6 million after getting its biggest expansion so far to 1,450 screens. The Tonya Harding biopic now has a running total of $22.6 million.
Focus Features added a small amount of screens for “Darkest Hour” and “Phantom Thread,” as the former crossed the $100 million global mark with $2.4 million from 1,486 screens this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $48.8 million. “Phantom Thread,” meanwhile, added $2.1 million from 1,186 screens to bring its total to $14.1 million.
A24’s “Lady Bird” added $1.3 million from 1,109 screens for a total of $43.7 million, while SPC’s “Call Me by Your Name” added $1 million for a $12.9 million total. Finally, Best Animated Feature frontrunner “Coco” will pass $700 million worldwide today, ranking it seventh among all Pixar films at the box office.