Arthouse Audit: 'Superman' Soars Higher

by Ray Subers
Waiting for Superman

October 11, 2010

Documentary Waiting for Superman continued its solid run over the weekend, expanding to 103 locations and easily topping all other limited releases. Never Let Me Go also added a substantial number of theaters and posted gains, while the excitement over Catfish seemed die down. A bevy of movies like Stone, Nowhere Boy, and Inside Job debuted, though they played in too few theaters to have much of an impact.

Waiting for Superman earned $630,863 for a respectable per-theater average of $6,125. This was less than half of what An Inconvenient Truth was grossing at the same point in its theatrical run, though it's unreasonable to expect director Davis Guggenheim's latest project to be able to generate the same level of interest as his environmentalist documentary. Through its third weekend, Superman has tallied $1.41 million.

Never Let Me Go
added 124 theaters to bring its total to 167 and was up 85 percent to $345,741. While this was its best weekend yet, it had by far its lowest per-theater average at $2,070. The Keira Knightley-Carey Mulligan-Andrew Garfield drama has now made $1.15 million.

After leading all limited releases for two weeks in a row, Catfish plummeted 51 percent to $292,359. The mysterious documentary has thus far netted $2.24 million.

Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger nearly tripled its theater count to 74 but was up only 26 percent to $270,175, averaging a modest $3,651 per theater and increasing its total to $860,848. While it's going to pass Cassandra's Dream ($973,018), Tall Dark Stranger's current pace suggests it has virtually no chance of matching recent Allen movies like Whatever Works ($5.3 million) and Melinda and Melinda ($3.8 million).

Buried was supposed to have a nationwide expansion this weekend, but instead merely increased its theater count to 92. The Ryan Reynolds thriller was up 128 percent to a soft $221,694 for a three-weekend total of $511,038.

While there was a wealth of new limited releases this weekend, none had a large-enough release to crack the limited Top Five. Robert DeNiro-Edward Norton prison drama Stone made the most, earning $75,766 at six locations for a solid $12,628 per-theater average, while John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy launched to $52,749 at four venues. Documentary Inside Job opened to $39,649 at just two theaters in New York City for a weekend-best per-theater average of $19,825. It expands in to Los Angeles next weekend. Unrated horror remake I Spit on Your Grave made $32,064 at 12 venues. British comedy Tamara Drewe, starring Gemma Arterton, got off to a slow start, earning $18,604 at four theaters. Uniquely-titled drama Ghetto Physics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up? earned a weak $10,087 at nine locations. Budrus and Jim each had single-screen openings and made $8,700 and $7,809, respectively. Finally, thriller As Good as Dead made just $1,494 at one theater.

Last Arthouse Audit
'Catfish' Continues to Grow

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