Specialty Box Office: Gay Marriage Drama 'Love Is Strange' Opens Strong

12:23 PM PST 08/24/2014 by Pamela McClintock

On the eve of the Emmys, films from Matthew Weiner and his 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss also launch in select theaters

Filmmaker Ira Sachs' critically acclaimed gay romantic drama Love Is Strange opened to pleasing numbers in New York and Los Angeles, claiming the top theater average of the weekend of any film.

The Sony Pictures Classics release grossed $126,552 from five theaters for a location average of $25,301. The movie, premiering earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a longtime couple whose lives are uprooted after getting married.

Molina plays a Catholic school teacher who is fired when word of the marriage reaches the archdiocese. The couple lose their New York City apartment and are forced to live separately with relatives. Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson also star.

Some groups have criticized the MPAA for giving Love Is Strange an R rating for language.

Another Sundance film opening in select theaters after debuting first on VOD was the offbeat dramedy The One I Love, starring Mark Duplass and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss.

One I Love grossed $55,126 from eight theaters for a location average of $6,891. Distributor Radius-TWC says the movie has earned an additional $502,387 on VOD in its first three weekends, and that it ranks No. 1 on iTunes among romance titles.

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's feature directorial debut Are You Here also premiered in select theaters, although to sobering results. The movie, launching on the eve of Monday's Emmy awards, where Mad Men is nominated for outstanding drama series, grossed an estimated $7,461 from 14 theaters for a location average of $533.

Are You Here could make up ground on VOD, where it premiered simultaneously (the movie was previously titled You Are Here, but the title was altered for a better position on VOD menus). The movie, premiering at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler.

Among holdovers, Richard Linklater's Boyhood continued to shine, grossing $1.9 million from 734 theaters for a total U.S. gross of $16.5 million for the filmmaker and IFC Films.

Boyhood placed No. 12 overall, followed by Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight, which took in $1.3 million from 787 theaters for a domestic total of $6.8 million (the movie continues to trail the director's past few films).

A Most Wanted Man, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman opposite Rachel McAdams, earned $920,775 to cross the $14 million mark for Roadside Attractions.

IFC's The Trip to Italy upped its theater count to 10 in its second weekend, earning $114,000 for a location average of $11,400 and cume of $221,280.

Fox Searchlight's Calvary, starring Brendan Gleeson, took in $540,000 as it expanded into a total of 240 theaters for a location average of $2,250 and U.S. total of $1.6 million.

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