The following is a bit of a lesson to those of you who complain about limited releases trickling out to the mainstream over the course of several weeks. They say their attempts at generating buzz to lure theater chains into a wider-than-usual release is overshadowed by the bigger movies out there and ultimately has a very minuscule effect on the overall take particularly when these offerings have to give the chains a bigger piece of the pie to receive screenings. Naturally, most of these movies are predestined to show up nationwide at some point (like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln,) but maybe the chance at breaking records is worth it.
That is the theoretical topic of conversation today as we take a good long look at the five-theater-wide release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master which is making quite a bit of noise. Its day one total came in at $242,127, signifying a per theater average of $48,425 for the first 24 hours alone. This puts the movie on a blistering pace that could have a weekend average of $135k-140k per location which would easily place this scientology themed movie beyond Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom–a film that scoured up a record-setting $130k in the same category across four theaters earlier this year.
It is a bit unfortunate that after all these years Wes Anderson finally receives some recognition to hang is hat on only to be surpassed a few months later; however, from what we are hearing this movie certainly deserves it. The cast list includes Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams who all deliver award-caliber performances and because of its controversial source material there is no reason to believe that audiences across the nation will fail to replicate this success to some degree, making Paul Thomas Anderson’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning pic There Will Be Blood one worthy of its billing.
An expansion for The Master is set to begin next Friday. The size of which is yet to be determined, but it is expected to eventually go nationwide.