Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara Scare Up Robust Debut For ‘A Ghost Story’ – Specialty Box Office

Brian Brooks

David Lowery’s fantasy-romance A Ghost Story starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara opened strong in four New York and L.A. theaters over the weekend. The A24 release took in over $108K. New doc City of Ghosts from Oscar-nominee Matthew Heineman had a decent roll out in two New York locations, grossing $16K, while China Lion’s historical drama Our Time Will Come bowed in 18 North American cities at $48K. Gunpowder & Sky added runs for medieval nunnery escapade The Little Hours in its second weekend grossing almost $194K. The Big Sick and The Beguiled continued their reign as the Specialty hits of summer, with the former averaging well over $11K in 326 theaters in its third weekend. Both made the top 10 in the overall box office this weekend. Also drawing an audience is Sony Pictures Classics’ Paris Can Wait, which crossed $5M in its ninth weekend of release.

A24’s A Ghost Story had the highest per theater average of any release as of Sunday morning. Filmed under the radar last year, A Ghost Story grossed just over $108K from four runs, averaging $27,017. The figure edges over Spider-Man: Homecoming’s opening PTA of $26,912, though of course that movie was in far more theaters. A Ghost Story reunites director David Lowery with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, their first since Ain’t Them Bodies Saints opened in August of 2013 in three locations at $26,419 ($8,806 PTA). It went on to cume over $396K in theaters.

Said A24 Sunday: “The truly unique, beautiful and cosmic love story is being hailed by critics as exhilarating, wondrous, mesmerizing and profound. Audiences are responding to the one-of-a-kind world created by acclaimed director David Lowery along with the incredibly touching performances from co-stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.” A Ghost Story will expand to additional markets through summer.

Fellow Sundance fest title City of Ghosts from Amazon Studios/IFC Films/A&E Indie Films rolled out into two Manhattan theaters Friday. Directed by Matthew Heineman whose previous film Cartel Land received an Oscar-nomination for Best Documentary, City of Ghosts took in $16,240, averaging $8,120. The average is higher than Cartel Land, which opened in July, 2015 in two theaters grossing $15,581 ($7,791 average).

“I feel like this can [thrive] going into summer as counter-programming,” noted Amazon Studios’ Bob Berney earlier this week about City of Ghosts. “But it also set the movie up for awards season. If a doc can open in summer and play through, it creates great awareness ahead of the fray. It’s still a good time to open a serious film.”

The film will open Los Angeles and top markets next weekend ahead of its bow in the top 25 markets throughout July.

China Lion opened Ann Hui’s war drama Our Time Will Come with Eddie Peng Yuyan, Zhou Xun and Tony Leung in 18 locations, targeting first-language Chinese audiences. Timed to the 20th anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong to China, the film which is set in the former British colony grossed $48K ($2,666 average).

“We’ve had great reviews across major news outlets and top critics and are hoping to slowly roll out the film as word-of-mouth continues to build,” commented China Lion Sunday. “Our opening weekend was in-line with expectations and we’re currently discussing expansion into certain arthouse locations.”

Gunpowder & Sky added 35 runs for The Little Hours with Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza and John C. Reilly. The debauched medieval caper grossed $193,750 in 37 theaters, averaging $5,236. In its debut, The Little Hours had a $61,650 gross in its initial two locations, averaging $30,780. It has cumed $282,023.

Sony Pictures Classics added 6 locations for 13 Minutes in its second weekend, grossing $16,174 for a slow $1,797 PTA. The feature took in $12,612 in its opening weekend, averaging $4,204.

Neon added five runs for The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Photography in its second frame. The title grossed $12,785 from 8 locations, averaging $1,598. The B-Side bowed in three theaters in its first weekend, taking in just over $12K ($4,026 average). It has cumed $40,318.

Amazon Studios/Lionsgate added 255 locations for The Big Sick in its third frame. The Sundance festival debut is proving to be a Specialty break-out placing 8th in the overall box office, taking in $3.65M in 326 theaters, averaging a stellar $11,196, the second-best PTA of any title in the top 10, following Spider-Man.

“This weekend’s performance demonstrates the robust marketplace for independent films as an alternative to the summer blockbusters,” commented Bob Berney. “Audiences are loving meeting Kumail and Zoe and their crazy families in this movie, finding a universal connection no matter where they are from.”

Focus Features added 267 runs for Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled in its third weekend. In 941 locations, the Cannes debut starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning took in over $2.08M, averaging $2,217. The film grossed $3.18M in its second weekend in 674 locations, averaging $4,719. It has cumed over $7.43M. The Beguiled landed in the tenth spot in the overall box office as of Sunday mid-day.

SPC more than doubled its runs for Maudie starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in its fourth weekend in release. Maudie grossed $180,466, averaging $3,111, which is actually an uptick from its $3,081 PTA last weekend. The feature grossed $98,581 Friday to Sunday during 4th of July weekend in 32 theaters. Its cume is now just over $568K.

Sony Classics’ Paris Can Wait crossed $5M now in its ninth weekend. In 131 theaters, the feature starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin took in $158,766 ($1,212 average).

And Menemsha Films’ The Women’s Balcony has cumed over $851K. The title has been in release over 19 weeks, though not consecutively. The feature grossed $53,469 in 23 locations, averaging a solid $2,325. Menemsha Films expects the feature to top $1M in theaters before it’s run comes to a close.


City of Ghosts (Amazon Studios/IFC Films/A&E Indie Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $16,240, Average $8,120

A Ghost Story (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $108,067, Average $27,017

Our Time Will Come (China Lion) NEW [18 Theaters] Weekend $48,000, Average $2,666


13 Minutes (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [9 Theaters] Weekend $16,174, Average $1,797, Cume $36,374

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Photography (Neon) Week 2 [8 Theaters] Weekend $12,785, Average $1,598, Cume $40,318

The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 2 [37 Theaters] Weekend $193,750, Average $5,236, Cume $282,023


Bad Batch (Neon) Week 3 [25 Theaters] Weekend $9,336, Average $373, Cume $169,546

The Beguiled (Focus Features) Week 3 [941 Theaters] Weekend $2,086,225, Average $2,217, Cume $7,435,559

The Big Sick (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) Week 3 [326 Theaters] Weekend $3,650,000, Average $11,196, Cume $6,920,323

My Journey Through French Cinema (Cohen Media Group) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $6,420, Average $1,605, Cume $36,360

The Book of Henry (Focus Features) Week 4 [154 Theaters] Weekend $96,550, Average $627, Cume $4,218,469

Lost In Paris (Oscilloscope) Week 4 [5 Theater] Weekend $21,000, Average $4,200, Cume $38,666

Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [67 Theaters] Weekend $180,466, Average $3,111, Cume $568,032

Beatriz At Dinner (Roadside Attractions/FilmNation) Week 5 [417 Theaters] Weekend $518,765, Average $1,244, Cume $5,980,105

The Hero (The Orchard) Week 5 [447 Theaters] Weekend $651,330, Average $1,457, Cume $2,810,325

Churchill (Cohen Media Group) Week 6 [17 Theaters] Weekend $13,402, Average $788, Cume $1,218,561

The Exception (A24/DirecTV) Week 6 [48 Theaters] Weekend $69,900, Average $1,456, Cume $518,962

Love, Kennedy (Purdie Distribution) Week 6 [6 Theaters] Weekend $6,633, Average $1,106, Cume $244,408

Manifesto (FilmRise) Week 9 [7 Theater] Weekend $5,000, Average $714, Cume $132,015

Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9 [131 Theaters] Weekend $158,766, Average $1,212, Cume $5,065,151

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha Films) Week 19 (non-consecutive) [23 Theaters] Weekend $53,469, Average $2,325, Cume $851,375

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