A Bow To Bowie As Arthouse Film Biz Faces Reckoning – Specialty Box Office

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Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream swept up a cool $922,000 at the domestic box office this weekend, while an impressive array of top industry players took Saturday to mull the global future of arthouse film. The real test — of specialty’s core adult audience willingness to return to cinemas — starts this fall, according to execs at the Zurich Summit, an in-person event straddling the Zurich Film Festival.

A24 acquisitions and distribution specialist David Laub, and Sierra/Affinity executive Kristen Figeroid said it’s been hard to get a picture of what older audiences will do in a more normalized situation. Last fall, there were highly infectious new Covid variants in the news. This fall, there aren’t (or so it seems). Last fall, there were few new films. Now the flow of content is much steadier and there have been some standouts (Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris). Young people have returned to cinemas, including to indie fare (led by A24’s smash hit Everything Everywhere All At Once) if it skews younger. That’s good but doesn’t solve the adult-demo conundrum.

Leaders from Neon, Sony Pictures Classics and others at the Summit also debated the impact of streaming on specialty film, the challenges of financing indie projects, and of finding crews when you do. See Deadline’s full coverage here.

Brett Morgen

This weekend in specialty: Holdover Moonage Daydream — 91% with critics, 81% with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes — remains a draw in week two on 733 screens with a PSA of $1,258 and a cume of $2.6 million. This is a big expansion from 170 locations last week (all Imax), which repped the number-one music doc opening post-pandemic, and the best opening for a post-Covid documentary on less than 200 screens.

Greenwich Entertainment’s Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche grossed $18,358 on 8 screens for a PSA of $2,275. The story of the deadliest avalanche at a U.S. ski resort and the third deadliest in U.S. history, opened regionally in San Francisco, Reno and Tahoe City. It will adds 55 more screens in 36 markets this week.

Pantelion Films’ Cuando Sea Joven took in $27,000 at 315 locations ($857 PSA). The story of a 70-year-old woman who gets a second chance to realize her musical ambitions when she magically becomes her 22-year-old self, and the lead singer in her grandson’s band.

Railway Children from Blue Fox Entertainment came in at $265K on 932 screens. The reboot of a British family film from the 1970s about four children in WW2 England has grossed $3.4 million the U.K. where it was released in July.

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