In a busy weekend at the box office — specialty and otherwise — Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit moved ahead of the class. Opening in New York and Los Angeles in a total of five theaters, the World War II satire earned an estimated $350,000 for the weekend, with a per-screen average of $70,000. That should put a smile on Fox Searchlight’s face, as it had the number one per-screen average of any film released this weekend.
Jojo Rabbit came in number one in all theaters it played in New York, including Regal Union Square, AMC Lincoln Square, and its exclusive run at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn. In Los Angeles, it had strong runs at the Arclight Hollywood and the Landmark.
The satire currently has top marks at CinemaScore with an “A”, while at Rotten Tomatoes, critics have been mixed with a 77%. Meanwhile, audiences have made it clear that they are in love with Waititi’s absurdist humor and heartfelt story, as it sits at an audience score of 100%.
This is an incredible start for Jojo Rabbit before it goes out to eight new markets next week including Denver, Austin, Phoenix, Wash. DC, Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, and Chicago. They will also expand in New York and Los Angeles, bringing the screen total to between 50-60 locations. By November 1, Fox Searchlight said they expect to roll out to 50 more new markets, with 350-400 or more locations. Fox Searchlight said they expect to be at their national release with at least 600-plus theaters come November 8.
As we mentioned in our specialty box office preview, Fox Searchlight has luck with October releases when it comes to award season films and specialty sweet spot. It should be noted that with earning an estimated three-day gross of $350,000, Jojo Rabbit joins the ranks of other Fox Searchlight films that have performed well in their limited opening before going on to win Oscar gold, including 2014’s Birdman, which had a debut of four theaters, netting $424,397. In 2013, 12 Years a Slave opened in 19 theaters and earned $923,715. If Jojo Rabbit continues its box office momentum, positive reviews, and word of mouth it could very well be an award season force.
The Robert Eggers arthouse thriller The Lighthouse shined a strong, glaring light on the specialty box office, opening on eight screens across New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Washington D.C. Cinephiles flocked to watch Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe navigate a bonkers seaside nightmare that has been garnering critical acclaim (it’s currently has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes). The A24 film, which was co-financed and produced by New Regency, earned an estimated $419,764, with a per-screen average of $52,471. Deadline has learned that the film had sell-out shows in all five markets. The film is set to expand to approximately 500 more screens next weekend, with an additional roll out to more for the Thanksgiving holiday season, with hopes that audiences will set sail to the light — and the forecast is indicating they will.
Kevin Smith’s cult comedy classic returned to the fold as Jay & Silent Bob Reboot had a limited release with two shows during the week through a partnership with Fathom events — and loyal fans showed up to say “snoochie boochies” to the return of Jason Mewes and Smith reprising their roles as the titular characters. The film played two shows during the week and grossing $1,011,305 before going on a roadshow. They had a show on Saturday night at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ, which took in $93,520, making their cume to date $1,104,825. The film will continue its cross-country roadshow and play through 2020, while Saban Films will open it theatrically starting next week in New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit and Grand Rapids.
Another newbie to the specialty box office scene included National Geographic’s documentary The Cave from Oscar-nominated Feras Fayyad. The docu opened in New York at Metrograph and Los Angeles at Laemmle Royal and netted a solid $22,100. The film is expected to roll out to more theaters throughout November to keep pace with awards season.
Neon’s buzzy Parasite continues to impress after opening stateside last week. The dark comedy from visionary auteur Bong Joon-ho went from three screens to 33 and had a huge weekend, netting $1,241,334, bringing its cume to a whopping $1,821,976. With its critical acclaim and word-of-mouth momentum, the crossover may very well cross $2 million before we know it, putting more fuel in its awards season tank.
Speaking of awards season faves, it should be noted that Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment’s Judy continues to sing at theaters, earning $2,055,975, bringing its cume to $19,018,113 — and it’s knocking on the door of $20 million at the domestic box office. In addition, the musical biopic is now in its fourth week of release and is maintaining a position in the top 10 at number eight.
Ardab Mutiyaran (White Hill Production) – Week 1 [38 Theaters] Weekend $134,891, Average $3,550
The Captain (Well Go USA) – Week 1 [50 Theaters] Weekend $337,000, Average $6,740
The Cave (National Geographic) – Week 1 [2 Screens] Weekend $22,100, Average $11,050
Cyrano, My Love (Edmond) (Roadside Attractions) – Week 1 [3 Screens] Weekend $7,107, Average $2,369, Cume $306,707
Greener Grass (IFC Films) – Week 1 [2Theaters] Weekend $14,113, Average $7,056
Jay & Silent Bob Reboot (Saban Films) – Week 1 [1 Screen] Weekend $93,520, Average $93,520, Cume $1,104,825
Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – Week 1 [5 Theaters] Weekend $350,000, Average $70,000
The Lighthouse (A24) – Week 1 [8 Screens] Weekend $419,764, Average $52,471
The Dead Center (Matson Films) – Week 2 [1 Screen] Weekend $710, Average $710, Cume $8,397
Gift (Matson Films) – Week 1 [5 Screens] Weekend $4,139, Average $828, Cume $9,66
Parasite (Neon) – Week 2 [33 Screens] Weekend $1,241,334, Average $37,616, Cume $1,821,976
Desolation Center (Matson Films) – Week 6 [3 Screens] Weekend: $1,505, Average $502, Cume $25,760
Honeyland (Neon) – Week 13 [18 Screens] Weekend $3,700, Average $206, Cume $688,754
Judy (Roadside Attractions) – Week 4 [1,418 Screens] Weekend $2,055,975, Average $1,450, Cume $19,018,113
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich Enterainment/1091) – Week 7 [147 Theaters], Weekend $188,253, Average $1,281, Cume $3,501,004
My People, My Country (CMC) – Week 3 [44 Theaters] Weekend $68,757, Average $1,563, Cume $2,325,000
Pain and Glory (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 3 [67 Screens] Weekend $463,532, Average $6,918, Cume $1,130,373
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Abramorama) – Week 9 [18 Screens] Weekend $14,923, Average $829, Cume $555,631
Monos (Neon/Participant Media) – Week 6 [40 Screens], Weekend $20,688, Average $517, Cume $367,496
Official Secrets (IFC Films) – Week 9 [34 Theaters] Weekend $27,336, Average $804, Cume $1,922,458
The Peanut Butter Falcon (Roadside Attractions/Armory Films) – Week 10 [248 Theaters] Weekend $225,950, Average $911, Cume $19,879,110
War (Yash Raj Films) – Week 3 [210 Theaters] Weekend $389,000, Average $1,851, Cume $4,385,000
Where’s My Roy Cohn? (Sony Pictures Classics) – Week 5 [66 Screens], Weekend $96,513, average $1,462, Cume $493,746