Box office: ‘Most Wanted Man’ expands well, ‘Calvary,’ ‘Boyhood’ solid

Philip Seymour Hoffman in ‘A Most Wanted Man’
Philip Seymour Hoffman gives one of his last performances in “A Most Wanted Man,” an espionage thrilled directed by Anton Corbijn from a novel by John le Carré.
(Roadside Attractions)

On a weekend when “Guardians of the Galaxy” overtook the box office with a record August opening of an estimated $94 million, theaters still made room for audiences at other movies.

Doubling its screen-count from last week’s opening, “A Most Wanted Man” expanded well, pulling in an estimated $3.3 million on 729 screens. The film cracked the top 10 for a second week, and its cumulative total is estimated at more than $7 million.

Directed by Anton Corbijn from a novel by John le Carré, the low-key espionage thriller stars Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final screen performances, alongside Willem Dafoe, Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright. Hoffman was at the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of the film in January, the month before he died. The actor will also be seen in two upcoming “Hunger Games” sequels.

Another film that premiered at Sundance, John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary,” opened in two theaters each in New York and Los Angeles. The film brought in an estimated $72,000 for a per screen average of $18,000. According to the film’s distributor, Fox Searchlight Pictures, that was the second highest per-screen average of the week, behind only the box-office colossus of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”


The film has gotten extremely positive reviews, with special notice going to the lead performance of actor Brendan Gleeson as a small-town Irish priest told that he will be killed in a week’s time. The film will add eight markets next week and is expected to expand to 35 to 40 theaters.

Another Sundance premiere, “Boyhood,” is the much talked about film that took director Richard Linklater and his cast 12 years to film. It finished 11th at the box office, with an estimated $2.4 million on 311 screens, for a per-theater average of $7,990. In its fourth week, the film has brought in a total of about $7.4 million.

Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight” expanded to 65 screens in its second week, bringing in $770,000 for a per-screen average of almost $12,000 and a cumulative total of $1.3 million. By comparison, last summer, Sony Pictures Classics expanded Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” to 50 theaters in its second week for a total of $1.8 million. The film ended up earning more than $33 million and an Oscar for actress Cate Blanchett.

“Snowpiercer,” which has been generating a lot of conversation for its release strategy, brought in nearly $110,000 on 100 screens in its sixth week. The film has a theatrical total of more than $4.1 million, which does not account for video-on-demand revenue.  


Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus

Get our weekly Indie Focus newsletter