After some quiet weeks on the arthouse scene, Jane Eyre and Kill the Irishman did their part to liven things up a bit. Jane Eyre posted the year's top per-theater average for an opening weekend, while Kill the Irishman marked a new high for distributor Anchor Bay Films.
Jane Eyre debuted to $182,885 at four locations for a $45,721 per-theater average. That topped documentary Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune($18,211) for the year's best average, though that's excluding the premium-priced preview screenings of Kevin Smith's Red State. Jane Eyre's average was a noticeable improvement over distributor Focus Features' Greenberg, which opened around the same time last year and averaged $39,384 at three venues. While official expansion plans aren't available, the Mia Wasikowska-Michael Fassbender drama will be adding at least 18 locations this weekend and at least 54 more the following weekend.
If it wasn't for Jane Eyre, Kill the Irishman would have taken the 2011 crown for top average: the true crime drama opened to $145,430 at five theaters for a strong average of $29,086. Starring Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer, the movie topped Frozen to become distributor Anchor Bay's highest opening ever. Also, it had the second-best average ever for the distributor behind Solitary Man from last May.
Anchor Bay plans to expand Kill the Irishman into more theaters this weekend and was high on the movie's performance thus far. "We are extremely pleased with the response we've received on Kill the Irishman," commented Bill Clark, President of Anchor Bay Entertainment, in a press release. "We knew audiences would love this film. It has a great cast and a great storyline."
A few other movies also had good openings. Featuring Juliette Binoche, French drama Certified Copy earned $77,937 at five locations for a $15,587 average. Edie Falco drama 3 Backyards debuted to $11,332 at a single theater, and documentary Making the Boys scored $7,513 at one venue.
The rest of the week's releases were less impressive. Clash (Bay Rong) had a weak $12,249 take at nine locations. Medieval adventure Black Death debuted to $6,692 at two theaters, which was fine considering it's been available on Video On Demand for over a month. Bonnie & Clyde Vs. Dracula earned $5,688 at three venues. Despite appearances by the director Sebastian Gutierrez and stars Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman and Emmanuelle Chriqui at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, Elektra Luxx mustered a meager $5,601 at four locations, while Oscilloscope Pictures' Monogamy earned $4,476 at one theater.
Among holdovers, Cedar Rapids led the way with $921,038 at 394 locations in its fifth weekend. That brought the Ed Helms-John C. Reilly comedy's total to $4.6 million. French period drama Of Gods and Men also continued its solid run, earning $283,872 at 54 locations for a total of $1.2 million.