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Two Indian films Salaar Part 1 – Ceasefire and Dunki buoyed the North American box office on a relatively quiet holiday weekend as Searchlight Pictures’ All Of Us Strangers had a solid per-screen openings and Poor Things a nice expansion.
From Tollywood to Bollywood, this was a one-two-punch illustrating the key role of India films at the U.S. box office, especially this weekend as Christmas shopping and Christmas Eve slowed theater traffic.
Telugu film Salaar Part 1 – Ceasefire opened at $5.48 million on 802 screens to a no. 5 spot in North America. Distributed in the U.S. by Moksha Movies and Pathyangira Cinemas. The action pic directed by Prashanth Neel stars Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Haasan, Jagapathi Babu.
And Dunki from Yas Raj Films, starring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Raju Hirani, grossed an estimated $3.59 million on 686 screens for the no. ten spot. The estimate through Sunday is $4.8 million.
Among indie fare, Andrew Haigh’s drama All Of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell and Claire Foy from Searchlight Pictures saw a $33k PSA on four screens in New York and Los Angeles ($188k gross). The distributor’s Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos had the best limited opening of the season with a $72k PSA three weeks ago.
All of Us Strangers opened at the AMC Lincoln Square and Angelika in NY and AMC Century City and Landmark Sunset 5 in LA with exit polls from Lincoln Square and Landmark Sunset earning ratings and recommend scores above industry norms. Received an A- CinemaScore, with 18-24 year-olds giving the film an A as well as 35-49 year-olds.
Audiences skewed 61% male, 51% under 35, 64% Caucasian, 18% Hispanic, 13% East Asian/Pacific Islander. Nearly half of the audience would tell others to see the film “in a theater right away,” describing it as well-acted (86%), emotionally moving (78) and “a movie I will continue to think about” (68%).
The film recently won seven BIFA Awards and was nominated for four Gotham Awards, three Spirit Awards, a Golden Globe for Andrew Scott and Critics Choice Award for Andrew Haigh. It also earned the most London Film Critics Circle nominations of any film with nine nods. Ranked one of the top ten indies of the year by the National Board of Review. Adam (Scott) stars as a lonely screenwriter in London who has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbor (Mescal).
Meanwhile, Poor Things, starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe and Ramy Youssef, expanded to 800 theaters with an estimated $2.1 million for the three-day weekend, and $3 million for the four days. Cume of $6 million. Saw top performing theaters in NY and LA as well as Austin, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
Other specialty openings: Sony Pictures Classics debuted Freud’s Last Session on five screens with $45.6k cume and PSA of $9.1k. By Matthew Brown, the film stars Anthony Hopkins as Sigmund Freud, engaged in a private debate with The Chronicles of Narnia author and theologian C.S. Lewis, played by Matthew Goode, on the existence of God.
And Michel Franco’s Memory from Ketchup Entertainment starring Jessica Chastain opened in two theaters for a gross of $35.6k and an $18.3k per screen average. Chastain plays Sylvia, a social worker, whose very structured life revolves around her daughter, her sobriety meetings, and her work. But all that is disrupted when Saul (Peter Sarsgaard) follows her home from their high school reunion.