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In a year when once-standard specialized two-city platform openings over $20,000 have become increasingly rare, three films pulled that feat this weekend. “Mid90s” (A24) lead the way, followed by “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight) and “Wildlife” (IFC).
This is particularly notable in a weekend where the top two nostalgic wide releases, “Halloween” and “A Star Is Born,” pulled older adults. And at the same time, three recent limited releases — “The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox), “The Old Man and the Gun” (Fox Searchlight), and “Free Solo” (Greenwich/National Geographic) –all grossed over $1 million in their wider breaks, with the first two breaking into the Top Ten.
Opening - Solo - Set - Los - Angeles
This impressive opening falls a little below recent top-dog “Free Solo.” Set in 90s Los Angeles, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, which follows a 13-year-old who escapes his troubled home life by immersing himself in skateboarding, drew an atypical specialized audience mostly under 35, at which A24 excels. Though it earned good reviews, the film reached non-core arthouse moviegoers not driven by awards potential as much as story and characters.
What comes next: The national expansion starts this week.
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Melissa McCarthy’s foray into quality drama, playing a real-life biographer whose life takes a strange turn toward forgery and deception scored high-end reviews. Its debut in five major New York/Los Angeles theaters faced competition as well as some audience resistance toward a mainstream comedienne not known for more sophisticated fare. These are decent results though, well ahead of Searchlight’s recent “The Old Man and the Gun.”
Cities - Week - Rollout - Month
What comes next: Five more cities join this week ahead of a national rollout over the next month.
Paul Dano’s directorial debut about an adolescent Montana boy faced with a sudden family crisis as his dad leaves to fight forest fires started decently for a rural film without...
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