‘Theater Camp’s Show Goes On Amid ‘Barbenheimer’ Weekend – Specialty Box Office

Searchlight Pictures’ comedy Theater Camp held its own on a big weekend of box office coin flowing in from Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s Sundance-winner (U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble) expanded to 10 markets/51 theaters, up from six locations in New York and LA opening weekend, taking in an estimated $266,000 for a per-screen average of $5.2k. That follows a notable opening last week when the Ben Platt and Gordon-starrer sported a $50.2k PSA — Searchlight’s biggest PSA for a limited opening since Jojo Rabbit in 2019. It will move to another 35-40 markets next week, hitting 600-800 locations by August. 

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New markets this week included Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, with The Metreon in San Francisco, Boston Commons, Camelview Scottsdale and Alamo Sloans Lake in Denver among top locations.

Exit polls from AMC Boston Common, AMC River East 21 (Chicago), Regal Irvine Spectrum (LA), AMC Garden State 16 (NY), Harkins Camelview and AMC Metreon, earned ratings and recommend scores of 70% ‘excellent’ with 23% ‘very good’ and 93% ‘total positive’. Some 80% “definitely recommend” – and over half to see it “right away.” 

It continues playing well to females (53%) and those under 35 (60%). Demos are 75% Caucasian, 14% Hispanic, 12% Asian and 3% Black/African American. 37% identify as LGBTQ+.  

Searchlight said many discovered the film through social media, with filmmakers and cast giving it a nod from within their own Barbie boxes. The distributor worked with a mix of youth camps and classes in various arts, college theater groups, improv groups and public theater groups like LA’s Center Theatre Group and Theater Club and Tisch New Theatre in New York, to promote and sell tickets including shows with free popcorn and Theater Camp t-shirts. 

Also screened as SXSW Official Selection in the Narrative Feature section.

Lifelong best friends and drama instructors to save their beloved theater camp in update New York from a clueless tech-bro who is running it into the ground.  

There wasn’t a lot new opening on the specialty front and small films don’t always report on Sunday. Specialty expansions: Sony Pictures Classics The Miracle Club grossed $190,192 on 271 screens (down from 678) in week two, a per screen average of 702 and a cume of $1.35M.

Also in week two, Sideshow/Janus Films Afire by Christan Petzold grossed an estimated $26.45kon eight screens, for a $3,306 PSA and a new cume of $80,301. Begins national expansion next weekend.

Lakota Nation vs. United States fromIFC Films saw a three-day gross of $3.5k in week two in two locations for a PSA of $1.75k and a cume of $15,000.

A24’s Past Lives, which opened in early June and has passed $10 million, grossed $166k on 176 screens.

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