‘EO’ Hoofs It To $1 Million; ‘Of An Age’, ‘Emily’, ‘Return To Seoul’ Debut & Oscar Nominees Crowd Arthouses – Specialty Box Office


EO, the Sideshow/Janus films release told from the point of view of a donkey, is set to pass the $1 million mark in week 14. The Cannes-premiering film by Jerzy Skolimowski, Academy Award nominated for Best International Feature, will gross an estimated $27.6k for the four-day President’s weekend on 37 screens for a cume of just over $1M.

The three-day estimate is $23.1k and a $997 cume for EO, which has been exclusively in theaters. It arrives on VOD and streaming on The Criterion Channel Tuesday. Similar to the rollout for Janus/Sideshow’s Best International Film winner Drive My Car last year, EO grew through word of mouth and awards momentum (New York Film Critics Circle, LA Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics — and starting with the Cannes’ Jury Prize) at over 250 independent and art house theaters only. No runs at a major U.S. chain.

Focus Features’ Of An Age by Goran Stolevski grossed $406k at 289 theaters for a per theater average of $1.6k; the four-day estimate is $455k. Focus distribution president Lisa Bunnell said the film opened above inital weekend targets and the distrib sees “the promise of continued grosses in coming weeks.” Focus released Stolevski’s debut feature You Won’t Be Alone last year. “Goran is an incredibly talented filmmaker that the studio believes in, and we look forward to continuing our creative relationship with him,” Bunnell said.

Bleecker Street is estimating its period drama Emily about Emily Brontë will gross $40.1k for three days and $46.9k for the four-day weekend at five locations for a per screen average of, respectively, $8k and $9.4k. This is expanding to circa 500 screens next week.

Sony Picture Classics’ Return To Seoul by French Cambodian director Davy Chou grossed $30.8k on two screens for a per screen average of $15.4k and a cume of $40.3k including a nominating run in December. It premiered at Cannes and made the Oscar short list for best International Feature. SPC is planning a platform rollout through March, with three to four markets next week. 

The distributor’s reissue of epic Michelle Yeoh-starring 2000 release Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon grossed an estimated $172k on 475 screens.

The 2023 Oscar nominated short films from ShortsTV grossed a strong estimated $705k for the three days and $810k for the four-day weekend on 370 screens, for a $2.2k PSA.

Fathom Events’ microbudget horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey grossed an estimated $679k this weekend on 400+screens for a cume of $1.5 million. Shows starting Feb. 15.

It’s crowded out there as new entries are vying with extended or renewed runs for Oscar contenders including A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Whale, Close and Aftersun, Focus Features’ The Banshees Of Inisherin, SPC’s Living and others.

The specialty market continues in recovery mode as distributors hope the more regular release cadence will coax people back to theaters. For months, “We had a thing where a movie did well but then there was nothing for weeks,” said one indie distrib executive. Consumer behavior is repetition and practice.” People used to checked their phones every Friday to see what’s playing. Getting that back is hard “if they get frustrated four weekend in a row. The variety of movies and variety of audiences has to be consistent.”

“There’s a recalibration of results versus pre-pandemic, but all distributors in the specialty space need to be patient and keep doing what they’re doing and win that audience back,” he said. Tentpoles already have, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania the latest.


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