‘The Souvenir’ Gifted Best Weekend Average; ‘Trial By Fire’ is Burned: Specialty Box Office

Brian Brooks

The specialty box office is still in the doldrums as summer approaches, save for some breakouts. Showing some zest this weekend was Sundance’s The Souvenir from filmmaker Joanna Hogg, taking the weekend’s highest per theater average at $21,463. The A24 title starring newcomer Honor Swinton Byrne as well as her real-life mother Tilda Swinton (who plays her mother in the feature) and Tom Burke grossed $85,851 in four theaters.

“The film played to younger and older audiences in both markets this weekend with critics championing Honor Swinton Byrne’s heartbreaking and star-making performance in an expertly crafted romantic drama as one of the best of the year,” touted A24 Sunday. 

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How the film continues in the box office remains to be seen, but there’s already a sequel on the docket. “It’s a sign of confidence from investors in the project,” said The Souvenir producer Luke Schiller earlier this week. A24 will take The Souvenir out to more top markets next week ahead of what it said will be a “long summer rollout.”

Other reporting openers had slow starts. Amazon Studios’ Photograph bowed in 13 theaters for a $37,124 weekend take, averaging just $2,856. The company came in early with financing on the project, directed by Ritesh Batra. Photograph will appear in cities around the country May 24.

Roadside’s Trial By Fire had a tough start. The company picked up the title by Edward Zwick and starring Laura Dern out of last year’s Telluride Film Festival. Despite some key promotion ahead of its release, including a New York Times feature on Dern, the title has not grabbed audiences. Trial By Fire had a relatively wide launch in 109 theaters, grossing an estimated $78,822 in the three-day, averaging just $723.

Neon added 40 runs for Telluride/Toronto doc The Biggest Little Farm in its second frame. In 45 locations, the feature by John Chester grossed $270,000, averaging $6K. The title had a solid start with a $110K opening weekend, averaging $22K in five theaters. It has cumed $406,708.

Kenneth Branagh’s All Is True also expanded in its second weekend outing, jumping from four to 20 runs. Released by Sony Classics, the film took $65,400, averaging $3,270. In its debut All Is True grossed $44,211 in four locations, averaging $11,053. It has cumed $130,273.

IFC Films’ Non-Fiction is showing some gusto for a foreign-language title as it slowly expands. The Olivier Assayas-directed drama-romance starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet grossed $62,684, averaging $2,507 bringing its cume to $169,271. Non-Fiction took in $44,426 in five theaters, averaging $8,885.

Doc Hesburgh remained in its 23 locations in its third frame, grossing $13,550 for a $589 PTA. The self-distributed title about Notre Dame’s Father Theodore Hesburgh took $14,935 in its second weekend, averaging $649. Hesburgh has cumed $153,810.

1091 expanded its doc Meeting Gorbachev by Werner Herzog and André Singer by 16 theaters bringing its run to 34. The title grossed $26,837 in the three-day, averaging a slow $789 bringing its cume to $103,162.

Sony Classics expanded The White Crow by director Ralph Fiennes by 86 locations vs last weekend, bringing its count to 136 theaters. The Cold War-era drama grossed $234K Friday to Sunday, averaging $1,721. The feature grossed $149,648 in its third weekend, averaging $2,993. It has cumed $705,669.

Neon’s Aretha Franklin doc Amazing Grace crossed $3.7M in its sixth weekend. The title played 227 theaters, 33 fewer than its previous frame, grossing $200,880 for an $885 PTA. 

NEW RELEASES

Photograph (Amazon Studios) NEW [13 Theaters] Weekend $37,124, Average $2,856

The Souvenir (A24) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $85,851, Average $21,463

Trial By Fire (Roadside Attractions) NEW [109 Theaters] Weekend $78,822, Average $723

RETURNING/SECOND WEEKEND

All Is True (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [20 Theaters] Weekend $65,400, Average $3,270, Cume $130,273

The Biggest Little Farm (Neon) Week 2 [45 Theaters] Weekend $270,000, Average $6,000, Cume $406,708

HOLDOVERS / THIRD+ WEEKENDS

Hesburgh (Self-Distributed) Week 3 [23 Theaters] Weekend $13,550, Average $589, Cume $153,810

Meeting Gorbachev (1091) Week 3 [34 Theaters] Weekend $26,837, Average $789, Cume $103,162

Non-Fiction (IFC Films) Week 3 [25 Theaters] Weekend $62,684, Average $2,507, Cume $169,271

The River And the Wall (Gravitas Ventures) Week 3 [4 Theaters] Weekend $10,804, Average $2,701, Cume $100,000

The White Crow (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [136 Theaters] Weekend $234,082, Average $1,721, Cume $705,669

Her Smell (Gunpowder & Sky) Week 6 [12 Theaters] Weekend $2,389, Average $199, Cume $253,445

The Chaperone (PBS Distribution) Week 8 [122 Theaters] Weekend $37,385, Average $306, Cume $528,236

Red Joan (IFC Films) Week 5 [192 Theaters] Weekend $192,167, Average $1,001, Cume $1,202,097

Wild Nights With Emily (Greenwich Entertainment) Week 6 [56 Theaters] Weekend $30,960, Average $553, Cume $453,858

Amazing Grace (Neon) Week 6 [227 Theaters] Weekend $200,880, Average $885, Cume $3,708,565

Ash Is Purest White (Cohen Media Group) Week 10 [6 Theaters] Weekend $3,444, Average $574, Cume $416,061

Apollo 11 (Neon) Week 12 [23 Theaters] Weekend $17,400, Average $757, Cume $8,680,547

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