Not everyone’s first choice for Valentine’s weekend was ’50 Shades of Grey’…
‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Steps Into Spotlight With 2015’s Best Per-Screen Debut
Frigid, snowy Northeast weather and commercial juggernaut Fifty Shades Of Grey didn’t completely undercut the specialty box office this weekend, as some newcomers grossed respectable numbers. The indie films brave enough to bow included vampire satire What We Do In The Shadows, debuting in two theaters for Paladin and Unison, and grabbing the best per-screen average for a debut so far in this young year.
Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (an Oscar nominee for his 2005 short film Two Cars, One Night) spent a decade developing vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, which grossed $3 million during runs in Australia and New Zealand before coming to Los Angeles and New York City this weekend.
The film, which also stars its writers-directors, grossed $65,830 for a robust $32,915 average.
“[The film] laid claim to the highest opening per screen average of 2015 thus far,” Paladin and Unison said in a release today. “Notably, this gross was achieved with the film playing on just a single screen at each theater, with nearly every show a sellout. Critical acclaim for this festival favorite matched audience demand, with the film registering a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it is Certified Fresh.”
On this side of the Pacific it will expand to the top ten markets Feb. 20 and head to the top 25 cities in early March.
Arthouse Audit: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Stuns
By Tom Brueggemann February 15, 2015
A festival and critics’ fave hits big in limited release–to the surprise of everyone. That’s the definition of a sleeper.
As the Oscar films start to fade, the weekend brought three out of ten decent openers in theaters, six of which went to Video on Demand as well. The best of the group, far better than anyone expected, is New Zealand festival fave “What We Do in the Shadows,” which with hard-to-reach youth appeal could be the sleeper specialized success of the year. […]
“What We Do in the Shadows” (Paladin/Unison) – Criticwire: A-; Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, AFI 2014
$65,830 in 2 theaters; PSA (per screen average): $32,915
Not exactly coming out of nowhere (it premiered at Sundance 2014, and costars and was co-directed by Jermaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords”) but still unheralded and not on most distributors’ elevated radar, this vampire comedy managed a stunning initial weekend PSA almost twice as good as any new limited opener since the first weekend of the year (“A Most Violent Year”). Described as a New Zealand variation on a Christopher Guest mockumentary, this opened on a single screen each at the Sunshine in lower Manhattan and Los Angeles’ Arclight Hollywood (which likely kept the gross down and reveals what a surprise this is, since theaters normally anticipate a big opener with multiple screens).
What comes next: Attention will now be paid beyond expanding to the top 20 markets over the next two weeks. This looks like it could be the sleeper specialized success of the first part of 2015.
source: IndieWire: Thompson on Hollywood
Congratulations! Another Kiwi has proved it can fly. Now Dear America, go, see and tell, tweet, facebook etc. your friends about What We Do in the Shadows and spread the vampire virus across the country.