Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” shines – Specialized Box Office – Deadline

UPDATE to include comments from Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse: by Wes Anderson The French dispatch did what a gloomy arthouse market expected, skyrocketed with an overwhelming three-day average. “If Wes builds it, they’ll come,” said an elated Searchlight Pictures after a long wait before hitting the film in theaters.

It opened in 14 markets and in a total of 52 theaters. Over the 3-day weekend, the film is valued at $ 1.3 million gross for an average per screen of at least $ 25,000, which marks the highest of all film openings during the pandemic. – surpassing even the most successful trading products in the past 18 months and easily grabbing the crown of specialty. Large exits from The black Widow To Shang-Chi To Venom bind to Dune have cleaned up but a revival had not yet taken off in the art house.

Searchlight’s general sales manager Frank Rodriguez called the film an “electric shock” for the specialty box office. “These numbers show that after a year and a half, arthouse and independent theaters have their own superheroes in Wes Anderson.” He said a crossover into mainstream theaters was “doubly encouraging” for the director’s tenth film.

In fact, for much of the year, specialist companies had been eagerly flagging this film as the one intended to rekindle a gloomy Covid-battered art-and-essay market. But that enthusiasm started to wane when Delta hit and the specialty box office remained consistently weak, with the basic art-house demo slow to return. Concerns crept into the fact that the film – full title The Liberty French Dispatch, Kansas Evening Sun, vignettes of stories from the French outpost of a New York magazine – was perhaps too valuable to have wide enough appeal. Not so. And the timing may be fortuitous, Rodriquez told Deadline. “The variation is fading a bit and the timing worked and people just started to come out. It’s the honest truth you meet people [coming out] who have not been to a theater for 18 months.

Focus Features Document Roadrunner: a film about Anthony Bourdain It was a bright spot, but early last summer it was a pre-full Delta hysteria. In recent weeks, A24’s Icelandic genre horror film Lamb and Greenwich Entertainment The rescue clicked with specialized audiences, but it was hard to tell if these were also intermittent audiences or the start of a recovery.

(Lamb, in its third weekend in 435 locations, grossed around $ 156,905 with a cumulative to date of over $ 2.5 million. The rescue, also the third week, provides a gross weekend of $ 136,350 in 303 locations. It’s only down 34% from last weekend and the top 50 locations hold up, including a 20% increase at Angelika in New York.)

The Angelika was also the top grossing theater in North America for Dispatch this weekend, approaching $ 100,000 for its 3-day estimate, followed by The Grove in Los Angeles, BAM Brooklyn, which is the 4th theater highest grossing this weekend, Alamo Brooklyn, AMC Lincoln Square in New York and Landmark West LA

Alamo Drafthouse‘s Tim League said The French dispatch was by far the best-performing specialty film since Covid on the hip chain’s booming Brooklyn site. It was also the very first movie he watched at the brand new Alamo in downtown Manhattan. League was in town from the Austin headquarters for a smooth launch from the Financial District theater and occupied a vintage printing press set up in the lobby of its “Press Room Bar” on Friday for three hours.

“I physically held the press [which] allowed me to look out the door and yes we had our younger audience but it was a pretty broad spectrum and it felt like the diverse arthouse audience we know and love. I really think we are walking towards that level of comfort, ”he told Deadline. “Obviously we have to wait until next weekend [when the film goes wider] but all the indicators seem really strong.

He called French expedition “a very Wes Anderson film” – which means that one might have imagined perhaps less appeal than the multiple success of the Oscar-winning director in 2015 The Grand Hotel Budapest. “It’s a four-part anthology film with some pretty esoteric subjects, and it crushes him, so huzza!”

League is the founder of the film circuit and is part of a group of investors that brought it out of bankruptcy earlier this year.

By market, highlights included Portland where Cinema 21 which, among other venues across the country, has demonstrated “nascent and latent demand for specialty releases,” Searchlight said. Canada was strong, especially Varsity in Toronto and Park in Vancouver. 83% of the public considered themselves to be fans of Wes Anderson.

The film is expanding to over 600 theaters and over 60 markets, adding more theaters on the weekend of November 5.

The French dispatch premiered at Cannes with US premieres at Telluride and the New York Film Festival, as well as the London Film Festival. Anderson and the cast and crew to attend a Paris premiere tonight – and overall, the film will be screened at more than 25 festivals.

Beyond traditional media buying, marketing included a cocktail party at the movie’s Café Le Sans Joke popup on Bleecker Street that drew young crowds with long waits throughout the day on Saturday.

Flying Coffee’s link, The French Roast, was offered and the coffee maker co-branded website and online sales went live on Thursday evening.

Eyewear retailer Warby Parker on Friday launched in-store activation at its seven New York City stores offering a limited edition Mail tote bags with purchase and in-store displays. The iconic Casa Magazines newsstand sells copies of “The French Dispatch” magazine. And the Bergdorf Goodman department store window has a Dispatch-themed display until November 1 with magazines also available in-store and French Dispatch cocktails in its restaurant and bar.

An experiential 180 Strand pop-up event is also taking place in London through mid-November, featuring an immersive walk through the world of film including sets, props, costumes and a functional recreation of the Sans Joke café.

Also open this weekend: Become Cousteau, from Picturehouse looks set for a weekend cumulative of $ 110,959 across 319 locations for an average per screen of $ 348.


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