(Photo: Weinstein Company)
Art house films stole the thunder right out of the studio tentpoles this weekend. Fruitvale Station, Blue Jasmine and The Way, Way Back all performed better than expected at the box office, while The Wolverine and Turbo whimpered.
Fruitvale Station, which expanded to over 1,000 theaters this weekend, delivered an "outstanding" box-office performance according to analysts, pulling in $4.8 million from mostly adult and Black moviegoers. The film's critical acclaim, excellent word-of-mouth (Spike Lee called it his favorite film of the year last week) and relevant timing due to the Trayvon Martin verdict has led to sustained audience interest, which was the only non-studio film to crack the top 10 this week. The film's two breakout stars, lead actor Michael B. Jordan and writer/director Ryan Coogler, are already set to re-team on the Rocky spinoff Creed.
Meanwhile, the weekend's big new release, The Wolverine, lacked any bite. The film wasn't a flop by any means, but performed well below the hopes of the studio, with $55 million domestically. It was enough to put it at the top of the box office, but nowhere close to setting any records. The news overseas for Wolverine was considerably better. The film pulled in another $86 million internationally, putting it on track to become a money maker.
Turbo and The Conjuring lost around 40 percent of their respective audiences in their second week of release, while Despicable Me 2 remains the only genuine hit in the top five, with a total box office of over $300 million.
Next week, The Smurfs 2 goes head to head with Denzel Washington's 2 Guns while Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and Sundance hit The Way, Way Back will follow up their promising limited releases with an expansion to more theaters.
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