Monday, December 12, 2016

"La La Land" Becomes a Box Office Hit in Limited Release

Scene from La La Land
It's the most wonderful time of year. For movie fans, Oscar season is in full gear and has a variety of options that you can see. With the recent Golden Globes nominations out, there's no shortage of options for your movie buck. In fact, the past month has produced a variety of box office records that are worth keeping an eye on. For starters, Disney's Moana continues to top the charts for a third week. However, it is the limited releases that have had the most interesting numbers. Following an impressive opening by Moonlight a few weeks back, director Damien Chazelle's musical La La Land has not only opened with good numbers, but has become the highest per screen average opening for 2016. In fact, a lot of Oscar-potential movies had a good weekend.

To start with, La La Land debuted this past weekend in only five theaters. This traction is normal for Oscar season movies. With great trailers, better reviews, and several awards to its credit; La La Land is one of the few must see films of the Fall. That logic was rewarded nicely with the film making $855,000 total over the weekend. This averages out to a rather impressive $171,000 per screen average: the best for 2016. The previous record holder was Moonlight, which earned $402,075 on four screens with an average of $100,519. The film's top theater weekend average puts La La Land in the Top 10 all time grosses alongside seven Disney movies, Red State, and the Best Picture nominated The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is also the third highest for a live action film. It has also earned $4.6 million internationally. To make matters more interesting, another Ryan Gosling film (The Big Short) dominated this list last year with an opening weekend on eight screens with $705,000, which is over $150,000 less on more screens.

Elsewhere, prestigious films are starting to crack the Top 10. Manchester By the Sea managed to enter the box office Top 10 at number eight after playing on only 367 screens. This is especially impressive given that it made only $38,000 less than Nocturnal Animals, which was playing on 1,262 screens - though Tom Ford's neurotic thriller still performed well. Miss Sloane expanded to 1,648 screens but still managed to miss the box office Top 10, earning an estimated $1.9 million. Jackie also showed some strength as it expanded to 26 theaters, earning $495,000. It will continue to expand over the Christmas season as the film gains critical acclaim. 

Overall, it's a great time to be seeing movies. There's so many great options, all of which are unfortunately going to be overshadowed as Christmas season releases the cream of the crop in entertainment. There's a good chance that Star Wars: Rogue One is going to overshadow everything next weekend and make it difficult for anything to really stand out. For now, just be thankful that there's great options out there that are succeeding. They may even be coming to a theater sooner than you think if you are patient. For now, it's nice to know that the box office has gotten interesting for more than one film. It means that the season is finally kicking into high gear.

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