Holiday counterprogramming kicks into high gear at the specialty B.O. this weekend with high-profile titles including “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Artist” from the Weinstein Co. as well as Sony Pictures Classics’ David Cronenberg pic “A Dangerous Method.”
Multiplexes and arthouses are bustling, with two top-performing titles, George Clooney starrer “The Descendants” and “Like Crazy,” expanding to benefit from holiday B.O. traffic.
Fox Searchlight’s “Descendants” cracked the top 10 last weekend with a bow of $1.2 million from just 29 locations; it broadens to 433 playdates on Friday. Meanwhile, Paramount Vantage’s “Like Crazy,” with a cume of $1.8 million, adds 41 locations in its fourth week for a total 150.
B.O. pundits insist there’s plenty of room for specialty titles, but films with more robust releases like “Descendants” and “My Week With Marilyn” will play against wide-release titles in some plexes. “Marilyn” opens Wednesday at 123 locations in 12 U.S. markets before expanding Friday to 244.
The Weinstein Co. pic has received mostly positive reviews, and star Michelle Williams should draw attention for her showy perf. “It’s a smart adult film this weekend, but the film also appeals to a wide audience,” said Erik Lomis, prexy of distribution at TWC.
Silent pic “The Artist,” set in 1927 Hollywood, is starting out with four engagements on Friday.
Lomis said the company will wait to broaden Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” more widely. Black-and-white pic could be a tricky sell, though positive reviews and awards traction will help. TWC plans an expansion to about 150 locations around Christmastime, but that could change depending on the film’s perf.
With a release pattern similar to “The Artist,” period pic “A Dangerous Method,” toplining Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Keira Knightley, launches today in four locations in New York and L.A.