MGM’s raunchy high school comedy Bottoms by Emma Seligman, a surprising teen girl version of Fight Club, is punching into a lot more theaters this week, expanding from 10 to 715 nationwide. The numbers so far look solid and MGM might be hoping for anything in the $2.5 million-plus range over the three days.
It had an good start with last weekend’s limited 10-theater opening in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin bringing in more than $500,000, one of the best per-theater openings of that size post Covid (even with $4 tickets Sunday). Cume to date tops $724K for the Rachel Sennott- and Ayo Edebiri-starring film that’s got major traction with younger and LGBTQ+ moviegoers.
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The duo play queer high-school seniors and longtime best friends PJ and Josie, who start a self-defense club for girls hoping to attract cheerleaders, and to have sex with them. The group starts slow but gains traction and soon has even the most popular girls joyfully beating each other bloody.
Comps are tough. A24s Bodies Bodies Bodies (also starring Sennot), aimed at a similar demo, opened strong on six screens in August 2022. The Pete Davidson title grossed $3.25M its second weekend on 1,285 screens.
Producers Elizabeth Banks and her Brownstone Productions, along with husband Max Handelman, are behind the goofy gory breakout hit Cocaine Bair, their previous project.
Bottoms is is 95% Certified Fresh with critics, 97% with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Seligman wrote the screenplay with Sennott, who also starred in the helmer’s 2020 indie Shiva Baby. Edebiri broke out in The Bear.
Word of mouth and social media conversation has been pretty explosive. The question this weekend is how the film will play in multiplexes outside of the coasts, especially in the suburbs, which would help determine subsequent expansion plans.
Other specialty openings: GKids presents Ernest & Celestine: A Trip To Gibberitia in 25 markets including New York (Village East) and LA (Laemmle Santa Monica and Glendale).
Directed by Jean-Christophe Roger and Julien Chheng, this is a follow to the Oscar-nominated Ernest & Celestine, about unlikely mouse and bear friends. GKids handled distribution Stateside for the first film, which won the César for Best Animated Feature and nabbed an Academy Award nomination.
A Trip to Gibberitia was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the César Awards. It premiered in the U.S. as the opening-night film of the New York International Children’s Film Festival in March. The StudioCanal production opened theatrically in France last December. GKids is releasing it in French and a new English-dubbed version.
The story follows Ernest, who remains an ursine troubadour dedicated to a life of music and art — his constant grouchiness softened by the creative whims of his mouse friend Celestine. When she accidentally breaks his beloved violin, they voyage to Ernest’s country of Gibberitia, home to the only artist who can repair it. They are shocked to discover that all forms of music have been banned in Gibberitia for years and set out to change that.
Dan Ackroyd and Chevy Case are back as Viva Film presents R.L. Stine’s teen thriller Zombie Town at 173 locations. Amy (Madi Monroe) and Mike (Marlon Kazadi) uncover a centuries-old secret when they decide to watch an exclusive film reel. Before they know it, their town has been turned to the undead before their eyes. The duo must track down an infamous filmmaker (Akroyd) and navigate a town of hungry zombies to break the curse before it’s too late. Directed by Peter Lepeniotis.
Saban Films presents dark comedy Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose, written and directed by Adam Sigal and starring Simon Pegg, Minnie Driver and Christopher Lloyd. An adventure set in 1935 London as famed paranormal psychologist Dr. Nandor Fodor (Pegg) investigates a family’s claims of a talking animal and uncovers a mysterious web of hidden motives. Soon everyone becomes a suspect in the doctor’s relentless pursuit of the truth. Bestselling author Neil Gaiman voices the talking mongoose. The film is a true tale based on the British-American psychoanalyst known as the father of parapsychology.
Vertical presents The Good Mother with Hilary Swank, Jack Reynor and Olivia Cooke at 419 theaters, a wider release than usual for the distributor. Directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, the film follows journalist Marissa Bennings (Swank) who, after the murder of her estranged son, forms an unlikely alliance with his pregnant girlfriend Paige to track down the killers. Together they confront a world of corruption and drugs in the seedy underbelly of a small city in upstate New York.
Strand Releasing opens The Mountain at the Quad in NYC, adding LA’s Laemmle Royal, Town Center 5 and Glendale on September 15. Written, directed by and starring Thomas Salvador, it’s the story of Pierre, a Parisian engineer who goes up into the Alps for his work. Irresistibly attracted by what surrounds him, he camps out alone high in the mountains and leaves behind his everyday life, meeting Léa, the chef at an Alpine restaurant and experiencing mysteries deep in the mountains.
Level 33 Entertainment opens thriller Don’t Look Away by Micheal Bafaro in a dozen theaters. Inspired by the video game Stay Close, it stars Kelly Bastard, Michael Mitton (who wrote the script with Bafaro), Colm Hill, Rene Lai, Abu Dukuly, Bafaro, Brittany Pilgrim, Sophie Thom, Jason Haney, Vanessa Nostbakken. After a gang of criminals unintentionally unleashes a supernatural force onto the world, a young woman named Frankie is convinced she’s being stalked by a killer mannequin.
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