SPECIALTY BOX OFFICE: Belfast Keeps Pace with Expansion, Licorice Pizza Scores Top PSA of the Pandemic

Caitriona Balfe (left) stars as "Ma" and Jamie Dornan (right) stars as "Pa" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast led the specialty box office this weekend with a $970k 3-day and $1.3 million 5-day tally from its wide expansion over its third frame in the domestic market. The historical drama played at 1,128 locations in North America for a three-day per-screen average of $860 and currently sits at $4.9 million from its domestic run. The title landed in 11th place just outside the top ten over the Thanksgiving holiday led by its performance in DMAs like New York (10.7%), Boston (5%), Philadelphia (4.7%), Los Angeles (4.5%), and Chicago (4%). Four of the film’s highest-earnings locations on Friday and Saturday were in New York City, led by AMC Lincoln Square.

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, released domestically by Searchlight Pictures, only dropped 38% over its fifth weekend in North America. The title finished 12th on the domestic chart with a $622k 3-day and $853k 5-day Thanksgiving weekend from 450 locations. The film has grossed $14.48 million domestically and $21.5 million from 34 overseas markets, led by the UK ($5.2M), France ($3.3M), Italy ($2.1M), and Germany ($2M).

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, released domestically by UA/MGM, posted the best per-screen average of the pandemic to date with a fantastic $83,852k per screen, for a total of $335k in its first weekend of release from just four 70MM theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Nearly three-quarters of its opening weekend audience (72%) across those four locations were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon (A24) expanded to over 100 locations this weekend, earning a $293k 3-day and $378k 5-day frame in 14th place in North America. The film has grossed a total of $528k in its first two weeks domestically.

Freestyle Releasing rolled out crime drama For the Love of Money to 519 locations in its opening weekend, earning a $232k 3-day and $310k 5-day bow.

Pablo Larrain’s Spener (Neon) became the second-highest grossing title of 2021 released in under 1,300 screens over the Thanksgiving weekend. The film brought in $211k in its 3-day frame, its fourth on the market, to reach a $6.64 million domestic cume.

Sony Pictures Classics’ culinary documentary Julia expanded to 288 screens this weekend and brought in $95k to bring its domestic total up to $197k in its third week in release.

Hindi title Sooryavanshi (Reliance) earned $80k from 59 screens in its fourth frame in North America this weekend, netting a solid $1,364 per-screen average. The film has now grossed a total of $3.54 million in the US/Canada market.

Bleecker Street’s India Sweets and Spices took in $33k from 121 screens in its sophomore frame, taking its domestic cume to $247k.

Janus films opened Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car in two New York City locations this holiday weekend. Film Forum and Film at Lincoln Center combined for an impressive $14k 3-day and $20k 5-day domestic debut for the latest film from the Japanese auteur. The 3-day per-screen average came in at $7,465, while the 5-day PSA finished at $10.175. The film’s three-hour runtime limited its available showtimes over the weekend to around three screenings per day. Drive My Car expands to Los Angeles next weekend, with an exclusive run at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre, and will reach art house theaters in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, and Dallas beginning on December 10. A further domestic expansion is scheduled through the rest of December and January.

Click here to access our interview with Drive My Car director Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

Listen to Insights from some of the top specialty and art house exhibitors in the United States in this week’s episode of The Boxoffice Podcast or watch a full video replay of our State of the Art House 2021 webinar below.

Caitriona Balfe (left) stars as "Ma" and Jamie Dornan (right) stars as "Pa" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features