‘Wind River’ Hits Bullseye in Limited Opening at Indie Box Office

Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut is boasting a per screen average of over $40,000

Wind River

“Detroit” and “An Inconvenient Sequel” posted very strong numbers in their limited openings last week, but The Weinstein Company’s “Wind River,” the directorial debut of “Hell or High Water” and “Sicario” writer Taylor Sheridan, did even better in its four-screen opening this weekend with an estimated total of $164,167. That’s a per screen average of $41,042, exceeding the $32,500 posted by “An Inconvenient Sequel” last week.

“Wind River” stars Jeremy Renner as Cory Lambert, a U.S. Wildlife and Fish Service agent who discovers a dead body at the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Joined by a rookie FBI agent named Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) who is not used to the oppressive weather of the Rocky Mountains, Lambert unravels a murder mystery that plunges them both deep into the savage sides of man and nature. Sheridan wrote and directed the film with Elizabeth A. Bell, Peter Berg, Matthew George, Basil Iwanyk and Wayne Rogers as producers. The film has an 88 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Paramount/Participant’s “An Inconvenient Sequel” expanded to 180 screens this weekend and grossed $900,000 for a PSA of $5,000 and a total of just over $1 million. Another documentary, Fox Searchlight’s “Step,” had similar results with $145,000 from 29 screens for a PSA of $5,000. Directed by Amanda Lipitz, the doc follows a girls’ high school step dance team in inner-city Baltimore. The film has a 94 percent RT rating.

Also debuting in a two-screen release is Superlative Films/Depth of Field’s “Columbus,” the directorial debut of Korean filmmaker Kogonada. The film stars John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson as two Korean-Americans who meet in Columbus, Ohio, and discuss their dreams while taking care of their ailing parents. The film, which was featured at this year’s Sundance, made $28,800 this weekend and holds a 97 percent RT rating.

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Finally, there’s “Wolf Warriors 2,” a Chinese action film about a loose cannon soldier who protects an African village from local warlords and foreign drug dealers from the Western world. The film made $503,000 in its U.S. opening last weekend and passed the $1 million mark this weekend with $460,000 from 32 screens for a PSA of $14,375. But the big story for this film is the records it is setting in its home country, where it has grossed $406 million and passed “The Fate of the Furious” to become China’s No. 1 film of 2017. That total is also the second-highest single-territory total made by a movie this year, higher than the near $400 million made by “Wonder Woman” in the U.S. and second only to the $504 million made domestically by “Beauty and the Beast” this spring.