The Picturehouse release of National Geographic Documentary Films The Territory grossed a solid $26.4K in six markets (eight screens) for a PSA of $3,308 with its climate change message attracting a broader than typical age range for a theatrical doc, especially lately, according to Picturehouse CEO Bob Berney.
He called it “very encouraging to see younger people attending and asking for ways they can help support the indigenous people of Brazil… The film is a call to action as well as a beautifully crafted work.”
The first feature by Alex Pritz, produced by Darren Aronofsky and Sigrid Dyekjaer, follows the fight of the indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people in Brazil – less than 190 of them – against land-grabbing incursions of non-native farmers causing major deforestation. “We are getting a kind of younger activist demographic that is really nice to see. And obviously in New York we also had a lot of Brazilians that came, because there is a community there.” The doc, which also played LA (Laemmle Monica, AMC Burbank), Seattle, Austin, Vancouver and Toronto, expands next week to about 90 theaters in 50 markets.
“I was really happy with the number. You just never know with a documentary,” Berney told Deadline. “The indie and arthouse market has been tough.”
The Territory won the Special Jury Award for Documentary Craft and World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at Sundance. An unusual element is that it was co-produced by the Uru-eu-wau-wau community with gripping verité-style footage, in part because Covid restrictions interrupted the crew’s travel.
Audiences are asking to help, Berney said, and they have an outlet in NatGeo’s Impact group. “They can volunteer, send money, a lot of options to go beyond seeing the film.”
Other specialty openings: Paramount’s Orphan: First Kill debuted in 498 locations to a weekend take of $1.675M and PTA of $3,363. The saga of Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) continues in a prequel to the cult horror hit Orphan. With Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, Hiro Kanagawa. Directed by William Brent Bell. Top theaters were in NY, LA, Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Charlotte, El Paso, Laredo, Philadelphia and Fresno. Also streaming on Paramount+.
Three Minutes – A Lengthening from Super Ltd. grossed an estimated $7K on two screens for a PSA of $3,516. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, directed by Bianca Stigter and executive produced by Steve McQueen. A discovery of three minutes of footage from a Jewish community in Poland in 1938. Shot by David Kurtz in 1938, they are the only moving images remaining of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk, Poland before the Holocaust. The film explores the human stories hidden within.
Holdovers: Lionsgate’s Fall grossed $1.3 million in week two in 1,548 theaters for a cume of $4.9 million.
Mack & Rita became Gravitas Ventures’ highest grossing film theatrically, passing the $2M mark. The Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Lail-starrer took in $330k in 1,400 locations in week two for a domestic cume through Sunday of $2.030M.
Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment’s Emily The Criminal with Aubrey Plaza grossed an estimated $385,170 on 483 screens for a cume to date of $ 1.42M. Also week two.
A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies added 1,250 theaters for estimated $2.4 million weekend and a cume of $7.4M. Week three.
Bleecker Street is estimating A Love Song will gross $54,890 in its fourth weekend on 107 screens for a cume of $145.9K.
Neon’s Fire Of Love (another National Geographic Documentary Films Production), in week seven, reported an estimated $37K for an $878K cume.
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