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Nothing Half-Hearted about Nelson's Opening

August 15th, 2006

It was a big weekend for limited releases with five of them topping $10,000 on the per theatre average charts. This group was led by Half Nelson's $26,992 average earned in 2 theatres. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna had one of the best openings ever for a Bollywood film earning $1.35 million in 64 theatres for an average of $21,122. It will be interesting to see if the film can build on this, or whether it suffers the sharp drop-offs that most niche market films do. Little Miss Sunshine continues to shine in limited release with an average of $17,014 in its 153 theatres this weekend and there's little doubt that it will continue to expand. Viva Pedro and its $13,399 average placed fourth while The Wedding Curse saw its average barely drop to $10,370, this despite doubling its theatre count to 6.

Other new limited releases include House of Sand with an average of $6,281; that's not a bad start, but a little lower than I had anticipated. The gay / political film, Poster Boy also earned less than expected with $7,000 in 2 theatres for an average of $3,477. Lunacy was close behind with $3,245 in its lone theatre while The Trouble With Men and Women flopped with just $375. This final release, which was released simultaneously theatrically and on pay-per-view, proves that if people are given a choice between watching a movie in the theatre or at home, most will choose to stay home. The only reason most people go to the theatres now is because they don't want to wait the 3 months it takes to come out on DVD.

This past week also saw milestones reached for a few Per Theatre Charts alumni:

  • Slow and steady is a good way to describe The Peaceful Warrior's run so far as it took more than 10 weeks to reach $1 million. However, most limited releases never make it this far, so this is an excellent result.
  • The same can be said of Who Killed the Electric Car?, which also crossed $1 million over the weekend.
  • After a Florida release earlier in the year, Boynton Beach Club expanded nationwide last weekend and that helped it top $1 million this weekend.
  • As previously mentioned, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna earned more than $1 million during its opening weekend, and this of course led to its first milestone.
  • Little Miss Sunshine again had its best weekend of its run reaching $5 million along the way. The only question now is whether it will expand enough to no longer be counted as a limited release.