Specialty Box Office: Daniel Radcliffe's 'Horns' Falters in Theaters, Saved by VOD
Elsewhere, 'Birdman' takes flight in mainstream multiplexes
Daniel Radcliffe's horror fantasy Horns was anything but magical in its limited theatrical debut at the U.S. box office.
Hoping to take advantage of Halloween, the indie film opened in 103 theaters over the weekend, grossing $104,357 for a meek location average of $1,103 despite the star status enjoyed by Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter.
The good news: Horns has generated $1 million in VOD returns for distributor Radius-TWC in its first four weekends. Going out first on VOD was bound to dampen box office grosses, but Horns still did less than expected in its box office launch (generally poor reviews didn't help).
Radcliffe stars opposite Juno Temple and Heather Graham in Horns, about a man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. When he sprouts a pair of horns, he uses his new supernatural abilities to find the true killer. Alexandre Aja directed the movie, adapted from Joe Hill's novel of the same name.
Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight and New Regency's Birdman continued to expand to enviable results as it added 181 theaters to its run. The dark comedy took in $2.5 million from 231 theaters in its third weekend for a location average of $10,866 and 17-day cume of $5 million.
Landing in 26 new markets, the film proved it can work in mainstream multiplexes, according to Searchlight. Birdman, directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu and starring Michael Keaton, did strong business in mainstream markets including suburban Chicago, Redwood City, Calif., Huntington Beach, Calif., Hartford, Pittsburgh and San Antonio.
Laura Poitras' controversial Edward Snowden documentary, Citizenfour — an intimate view of what motivated the NSA whistleblower to expose the Obama administration's surveillance policies — upped its theater count from five to 37 in its second weekend, grossing $210,049 for a location average of $5,677 and total of $391,177.
Radius-TWC, a division of The Weinstein Co., is handling the film in the U.S.
Roadside Attractions and Justin Simien's satirical dramedy Dear White People all but but cracked the $3 million mark in its third outing, grossing an estimated $756,000 from 393 theaters for a location average of $1,923 and cume of $2.9 million.
Dear White People, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, follows four African-American students at an Ivy League university whose lives converge when controversy erupts over an African-American themed Halloween party thrown by white students. The film stars Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon P. Bell and Kyle Gallner.
Also from Roadside, The Skeleton Twins, starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, hit the $5 million mark in its eighth weekend.
Crossing $1 million in its fourth weekend was Sony Pictures Classics' critically acclaimed Whiplash, which grossed an estimated $275,000 from 61 locations to end the weekend with a cume of $1.1 million.
Among live offerings, The Metropolitan's The Met: Live in HD saw Bizet's Carmen gross $2.3 million from 900 screens on Saturday.