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June’s Been A Tough Month For Arthouse Fare

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June’s Been A Tough Month For Arthouse Fare

It was an Inside Out specialty weekend, fairly quiet and with a stream of indies films and more wide releases. The schedule is starting to recover from a strike-induced slump that, however, provided oxygen to some indies.

Small films have been competing for screens with majors at arthouses from Alamo Drafthouse to Landmark since theaters reopened post-Covid and the more of them there are, the harder it is. It’s nice to see major back and the broader box office on a solid footing. But it would also be nice to see more indie breakouts like Civil War, Late Night With The Devil, Immaculate, Wicked Little Letters, One Life or Love Lies Bleeding.

“June is crowded” with indies now, says one distributor. And theaters “don’t have space to support indies in a meaningful way.”

Others are heartened by recent wide-release blowouts. “It’s still a tough market. But I’m encouraged” by Inside Out 2 and Bad Boys: Ride Or Die — nos. 1 and 2 at the weekend box office with, respectively, $155 million and $112 million. “Maybe we have to get mainstream back on its feet after the Covid/strike impact, and slowly rebuild the ecosystem to include successful independent releases,” says another distributor.

A24’s Tuesday saw $292k in a big week 2 expansion on 654 screens for a cume of $324.6k. Director Dana O. Pusic’s modern fairy tale starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus will continue to play through the summer. The story revolves around a mother (Louis-Dreyfus) and her teenage daughter (Lola Petticrew), who must confront Death when it arrives in the form of an otherworldly talking bird.

A24’s thoroughly comedic outing with Louis-Dreyfus last year, You Hurt My Feelings, grossed $4.8 million domestic.

Bleecker Street’s comedy-drama Treasure by Julia von Heinz stars Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry as a daughter and her father, who is a Holocaust survivor, on a road trip in 1990s Poland. The film is looking at an estimated $244k opening weekend on 650 screens.

Rachel Sennott-starring I Used To Be Funny from Utopia (USA) and LevelFilm (Canada) saw $44.3k from 39 engagements in a week 2 expansion for a cume of $88k. Utopia noted sold out shows for the Ally Pankiw film in LA at the Los Feliz 3 with the America Cinematheque on Fri. and Sat. and top theater rankings in NY, LA, Toronto, Boston, Indianapolis, Omaha, Santa Fe, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City and more. Release will be available on EST (electronic sell through) and VOD Tuesday, with a continued theatrical expansion in late June.

Sennott, who slayed in Shiva Baby and Bottoms takes a serious turn as an aspiring stand-up comedian and au pair struggling with PTSD as she decides whether or not to join the search for a missing teenage girl she used to nanny. 

Ghostlight from IFC Films debuted at $38.3k on three screens. The film by Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan stars Keith Kupferer as a construction worker who joins a local theater production of Romeo and Juliet only to see the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life.

Sony Pictures Classic re-release of Ton Tykwer’s 1998 Run Lola Run with Franka Potente saw $38.9k on 54 screens (last week 275), for a cume of $290k

Summer Solstice from Cartilage Films’, the debut feature from writer/director Noah Schamus, took $5k at NYC’s IFC Center in NYC. The film explores the relationship between a trans man (Bobbi Salvör Menuez) and his cisgender and straight best college friend (Marianne Rendón), reunited and on a road trip.

Noting Sideshow/Janus Films’ release of Evil Does Not Exist grossed an estimated $15.5k on 35 screens with a new cume of $758k in week 7.

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