Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” is doing great per-screen numbers at the box office, making over $40,000 at each of the 50 theaters in just a handful of cities that it is playing in. That strategy could make this drama a rare summer hit and give Allen his biggest ticket sales since “Midnight in Paris.” Cate Blanchett is the early favorite for best actress at next winter’s Oscars. If people still remember the film then.
Lindsay Lohan’s “The Canyons” earned over $15,000 from the curious on a single screen.
But “The Spectacular Now,” which has earned better reviews, won the per-screen average last weekend — $50,000 on just 4 screens. It cannot possibly have the same heat as a Woody movie (you live in New York and LA, you’re required to see every Woody film, even the fiascoes), which will draw at least some attention every weekend its release expands in the the rest of the country.
“The Way, Way Back” is still lingering near the top ten, and could end up in the low $20s when summer is done.
“Fruitvale Station,” one of the best films of the summer, opened in the Top Ten, fell out but looks to be headed into the $20 million or more range. It didn’t show great legs on its second weekend, doing only around $2,500 per screen. Apparently, the topicality and heat around it is fading, which is a shame. It could be awards worthy. It will be lucky to reach the $20s.
“The To Do List,” which got a lot of hype in a lot of the right places (Comedy Central shows, etc). has failed to gin up an audience. If it makes $5 million, it’ll be a miracle.
So Aubrey Plaza’s in the same boat as Kristen Wiig, whose “Girl Most Likely,” a weak effort, won’t even reach $2 million. Neither Plaza nor Wiig, with funny films and high profiles thanks to TV, can open a movie.
And “Stuck in Love,” with a large cast of actors who cannot open a movie either (Kinnear, Lerman, Collins and Connelly) bombed. No traction at all for picture that got a pretty serious push from its studio.
“The Kings of Summer,” another of the blast of coming of age pictures that invaded just a few screens at a time over May, June and July, barely cleared $1.3 million.
Worthy movies such as “Unfinished Song” (older audience) and “The Attack” (a very smart suicide bomber mystery set in Israel) have failed to do much business.
“Mud” was the lone spring movie that hung around all summer as an indie, the best work of Matthew McConaughey’s career. But it will only earn about $22 million.
Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” brought back Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, showing yet another cycle in a life-long love affair, will finish the summer with about $8 million in U.S. ticket sales.
Kevin Hart, who got a pretty wide release for his low-cost concert documentary, will almost certainly win the summer in that limited release realm, with over $32 million. He got a wider release than most of the other films named and did great business for several weeks.
It’s always amazing when films with ambition are counter-programmed against the mindless comic book clutter of summer and succeed. This summer, a lot more indie or faux indie films got into theaters as a response to the endless parade of action sequels. But only a couple really did any business.