news ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ Joins ‘Till’ in Top 10 Titles, but Specialized Is a Struggle

This weekend may mark the high mark for specialized films for the rest of the year. The last few weeks have seen some titles with the highest potential open, with variable success at best. There are some positive, if muted, signs of interest — but not enough to forestall significant losses when theaters turn over their screens en masse to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Disney).

The successes include “Till” (United Artists), which has grossed up to $6.5 million total in its fourth weekend, and “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight), which has grossed $3 million so far. Together, they are generating close to two thirds of the specialized business.

Better-than-average results continue for “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon) and “Decision to Leave” (MUBI). “Triangle” grossed more than $3 million — more than double of director Ruben Östlund’s earlier “The Square” and “Force Majeure” combined.

Decision to Leave

“Decision to Leave”

Courtesy Cannes Film Festival

“Decision” is now the second-highest art house-oriented non-English language film released this year. Sources indicate it grossed about $260,00, which is close to last week’s gross with 30 more theaters (now 163). That’s a terrific hold and gets it to $1.2 million; $2 million is possible. MUBI is a streaming service that recently moved into theatrical distribution, which makes this good result a big deal.

In a rapid expansion, “Armageddon Time” (Focus) grossed $810,000 in 1,006 theaters. It likely will fall short of a $2 million gross, ut the expansion was the right move: its opening suggested little chance of recovery. “TÁR” (also Focus) in its second wide weekend took in $670,000 in 1,090 theaters. Now at $3.7 million, “TÁR” will reach somewhere between $6 million-$7 million, a number that reflects the difficult market. Pre-Covid, a prime candidate for Best Actress winner might have been expected to gross $20 million.

With a $2,236 PTA, “Banshees” outperformed most other recent expansions. It is doing well in multiple, diverse markets, particularly in Canadia, and it’s a standout at some core specialized theaters in Austin, Raleigh, and Nashville. If Disney can avoid consigning it to streaming too early and get double holiday playtime as year-end attention arrives, it looks promising. Searchlight has the chops to elevate this to over $10 million, even if the ultimate gross has no chance of approaching the domestic $54 million of Martin McDonagh’s previous film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

“Till,” off 33 percent this weekend and just shy of $1.9 million, also has a shot of topping $1o million. That’s standout these days, but the reality is the market has radically changed. Exactly three years ago, the biopic “Harriet” opened wide and grossed over $11 million on its way to $43 million. Those days seem gone.

A24 is sticking with a conservative roll-out plan for “Aftersun,” focusing on core specialized theaters and hoping for lengthy play. It was rewarded with $2,813 PTA —decent for current levels with $126,000 in 45 theaters and $339,000 total.

Meet Me in the Bathroom

“Meet Me in the Bathroom”

Courtesy of Utopia

Only three new openings reported. Lead among them was “Meet Me in the Bathroom” (Utopia), a documentary about the early 2000s New York music scene. Its impressive $85,683 gross/PTA $21,421 came from a hybrid release that include pre-Friday one-time shows in concert locations with some live performances in New York and Los Angeles, then two theaters grossing close to $30,000 at the IFC Center and capacity turnout at the small-seated Los Feliz in Los Angeles. It expands to 150 theaters Friday.

The list of new releases not reporting is long. They include “Bardo,” “The Wonder,” “My Father’s Dragon” (Netflix) and “Good Night Oppy” and “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” (Apple). These are mainly awards-qualifying runs with “Bardo” getting an unusually long window of over five weeks before it streams. These, unlike MUBI and “Decision,” chose to hide their results.

Films are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week:

Meet Me in the Bathroom (Utopia) – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Sundance 2022

$85,683 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $21,421

Utama (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 75; Festivals include: Sundance 2002

$4,869 in 1 theater; PTA: $4,869

Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams – (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 65; Festivals include: Venice 2020, Telluride 2022

$6,572 in 2 theaters; PTA: $3,286

Armageddon Time (Focus) Week 2

$810,000 in 1,006 (+1,000) theaters; PTA: $802; Cumulative: $902,000

Call Jane (Roadside Attractions) Week 2

$60,350 in 437 (-603) theaters; PTA: $138; Cumulative: $471,324

Holy Spider (Utopia) Week 2

$20,385 in 4 (+3) theaters; PTA: $5,096; Cumulative: $41,206

The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight) Week 3

$2,001,000 in 895 (+837) theaters; PTA: $2,236; Cumulative: $3,035,000

Aftersun (A24) Week 3

$126,580 in 45 (+28) theaters; PTA: $2,813; Cumulative: $338,843

All That Breathes (Submarine Deluxe/Sideshow) Week 3

$3,089 in 4 (no change) theaters; Cumulative: $23,359

Till (United Artists) Week 3

$1,876,000 in 2,136 (+78) theaters; PTA: $878; Cumulative: $6,583,000

Decision to Leave (MUBI) Week 4

$(est.) 260,000 in 163 (+30) theaters; PTA: $1,595; Cumulative: $(est.) 1,200,000

Cat Daddies (Gray Hat) Week 4

$3,406 in 2 (-2) theaters; Cumulative: $44,999

Terrifier 2 (Cinedigm/Iconic) Week 5

$1,220,000 in 1,245 (+305) theaters; PTA: $ Cumulative: $9,859,000

TÁR (Focus) Week 5

$670,000 in 1,090 (+3) theaters; PTA: $; Cumulative: $3,700,000

Triangle of Sadness (Neon) Week 5

$410,000 in 487 (+123) theaters; PTA: $842; Cumulative: $3,031,000

RRR (Variance) Week 33

$10,000 in 1 (+1) theater (single show); Cumulative: $11,123,000