FilmDistrict investment in Sundance hit is paying off

FilmDistrict’s quirky Sundance buzz pic “Safety Not Guaranteed” hit domestic theaters June 8, and while B.O. success was not guaranteed, the film did well enough in limited release to let filmmakers breathe a little easier.

“Safety” grossed $97,762 in three days at nine locations for a per-screen average of $10,862. That lands the pic near the top of 2012′s best limited-release perfs — particularly noteworthy, considering the debut went wider than just the usual four-location rollout in New York and Los Angeles.

FilmDistrict bought “Safety” for a reported six-figure advance, with an added minimum P&A guarantee. That’s a significant investment for the distrib. Jim Orr, FilmDistrict prexy of distribution, points to the pic’s 56% Friday-to-Saturday increase and strong midweek grosses as further encouraging signs as the film platforms over the country.

The pic, from helmer Colin Trevorrow, tells the story of a trio of magazine staffers tracking a man (Mark Duplass) who has taken out a classified ad seeking a time-travel companion. The film also stars Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson and Karan Soni. It won the Sundance Fest screenplay prize.

“Safety” expanded into approximately 50 theaters in 17 markets on June 15, with plans to broaden into 120 locations by June 22.

Stateside legs for “Safety” look promising — the pic averaged a 90% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com.

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