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As Oscar contender “Ford v Ferrari” (20th Century Fox) opened well to adults around the country, A24 launched its own claim for awards consideration for specialty family drama “Waves,” starring Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown. Of course, the point is to get audiences interested so the film can build.
Amazon opened CIA drama “The Report,” starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening, across the country two weeks ahead of its Prime access–and like Netflix, will no longer report grosses. This only makes more work for the box-office analysts who try to gauge how films like Netflix’s “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” are performing in limited release.
Successes - Jojo - Rabbit - Fox - Searchlight
Meanwhile, established successes like “Jojo Rabbit” (Fox Searchlight) and “Parasite” (Neon) continue to thrive in increasingly wide play.
The two best-reviewed films of the week, the Senegalese Oscar entry and Cannes prize-winner “Atlantics” and the French animated “I Lost My Body,” were released in a few theaters ahead of their Netflix debuts, with zero indication of their performance.
Trey - Edward - Shults - Florida - Family
Trey Edward Shults’ acclaimed Florida family drama, with strong festival response and excellent reviews, debuted at four top New York/Los Angeles theaters to decent results. Though not backed by movie stars or a high-concept hook, “Waves” started decently for what should be a respectable word-of-mouth run. Though not close to the level of A24’s somewhat similar “Moonlight” (which had an initial PTA of over $100,000) which opened in a less competitive time frame, “Waves” still compares well to other films that went on to success. For example, “Green Book” last year in these two cities managed a PTA of around $25,000 –later growing into a major success based on audience appeal. And this has much better reviews.
What comes next: The timing of the release shows A24’s faith in its future, including awards chances, especially for TV star Brown. This will expand slowly,...
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