‘Land Of Bad’ Sees Action; Oscar Nominated Shorts’ Long Game; ‘God & Country’ Enters Political Fray & ‘The Zone Of Interest’ Wins 3 BAFTAs – Specialty Box Office

The Avenue release Land of Bad, powered by Variance, grossed $1.8 million on 1,120 screens, landing in the top ten for the weekend as Variance noted strong word of mouth with Saturday grosses jumping 37% from Friday’ (not including Thursday sneaks). The estimate for the four days is $2.07 million.

The William Eubank film starring Russell Crowe and Liam and Luke Hemsworth is performing best on the West Coast and the heartland/Midwest, with suburban theaters delivering the biggest Fri-to-Sat growth. Thi s is the tale of a covert Special Forces operation in the South Philippines that spirals into a brutal 48-hour battle for survival.

Also strong, Oscar Nominated Short Films opened Friday for their traditional a four-week run, a 19-year ritual that packages animated, live action and documentary shorts into three feature length films. They grossed an estimated $765k on 375 screens for the three-day weekend and $915k for the four days. Packaged and distributed by ShortsTV working with Magnolia Pictures, the breakdown tends to be similar year to year — Animation does around 45% of the business, Live Action 40%, and Documentary 15%. Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar bows in the Live Action strand this year. Theaters can play any or all of the three.

A unique thing about Shorts — they draw from every demographic, part of what makes it so appealing to theaters when Oscar Shorts season comes around every year. The top five locations are IFC Center, Detroit Institute of Art, Music Box Chicago, Alamo SF and the TIFF Lightbox. 

New limited opening God & Country from Oscilloscope Labs grossed $40.1k on 85 screens nationwide. Directed by Dan Partland and produced by Rob Reiner, the film about the rise and threat of Christian nationalism saw sold-out and near sold-out shows in multiple markets including Grand Rapids, Santa Cruz, Dallas, DC and Nashville.

Overall gross was hampered by lower-than-average ticket prices in rural and suburban areas of the country, as well as limited screening schedules, Oscilloscope noted., saying: “God & Country has been met with an unbelievable amount of support from churches and religious organizations across the country that are keen to spread the film’s message. We expect group sales and buyouts to surge as word-of-mouth takes hold and we head deeper in the 2024 general election. In our minds, this was more an opening salvo than an opening weekend.

The Zone Of Interest from A24 continued it solid U.S. run, grossing $473.5k on 443 screens for a cume of $6.86 million. The international rollout of Jonathan Glazer’s Holocaust film has been making headlines. Late last week, to mark its launch in Poland, A24 held a rare screening at Auschwitz, where The Zone Of Interest was filmed.

It’s now the highest grossing film from John Glazer in the U.K. where he and the film were just feted with BAFTA awards for Outstanding British Film (with James Wilson), Film Not In English Language (with James Wilson), and Sound (Johnnie Burn, Tarn Willers).

It opened at no. 1 in France and is on track to become the second best performing A24 title there after Everything Everywhere All At Once

(Left to Right: Writer/Director Jonathan Glazer, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum Piotr Cywiński)

Other Specialty holdovers: IFC Films The Taste Of Things by Tran Anh Hung and starring Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel is reporting an estimated three-day weekend of $600k and a four-day gross of $700k in 505 theaters in week two, for a cume of $1.159k.

IFC noted an increase of +69% from Friday to Saturday and said it’s seeing strong work of mouth driving momentum. The film is at the top of select theaters across the country — art houses as well as commercial houses — and not all business is centered in NY and LA.

Neon’s Perfect Days from Wim Wenders starring Koji Yakuso grossed $236k on just 34 screens in week two for a cume of $475k. It’s looking at a $531k cume for the four days,

And Bleecker Street is estimating survival horror thriller Out Of Darkness by Andrew Cumming will gross $348k in its second weekend on 865 screens.

Noting: Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things starring Emma Stone — highest-grossing limited opening release of 2023 – powers on with the Searchlight film taking an estimated $900k for the three-day weekend on 680 screens in week 11, and $1.1 million for the four days. That would bring the domestic cume to $32 million.

And Cord Jefferson’s Jeffrey Wright-starring American Fiction from Amazon MGM Studios is looking at $923k for the three days and $1.098 for the four days on 800 screens in week 10. That’ a cume of $19.07 million.

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