Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul’ Sees $650K Three-Day Weekend Opener At Specialty Box Office

Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) will report a three-day cum of $650K in 752 theaters in North America for a per screen average of $865, distributor Searchlight said of the Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson doc about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.

The film, with an A+ CinemaScore, performed best in art houses and specialty theaters with top performing locations including the El Capitan in Hollywood, the Landmark in West L.A., Midtown in Atlanta, Ritz 5 in Philadelphia, Angelika in New York, Jacob Burns in Pleasantville NY, BAM Rose in Brooklyn, Tampa Theatre, Sag Harbor Cinema, Hollywood Portland Or., Cinema 21 in Portland Or., Coolidge Corner in Boston, and both Nighthawk theatres in Brooklyn. Top mainstream locations: AMC Lincoln Square in NYC, the AMC Georgetown in DC, and the Empire 25 in Manhattan.

The distrib anticipates a dip in grosses today, the 4th, but a bounce on Monday in what is for many is the last day in a four-day day holiday weeked. As my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro pointed out, overall box office business will take a dive today from Saturday, as many finally enjoy the 4th of July they didn’t have last year during lockdown, and Monday will rebound over Sunday.

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The Sundance Grand Jury and audience award winner features never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more. It also premiered on Hulu.

Elsewhere, IFC’s Werewolves Within, in 209 theaters in its second week of release, grossed an estimated $115,250 over three days ($551 per theater average) and an estimated $136,750 over four days ($654 per theater average) with a cume of $494,567. (It also reached the #1 spot on iTunes’ independent, horror, and comedy charts, and landed in the top five across all categories.)

SPC’s I Carry You With Me also in its second weekend, earned $23,117 on 24 screens (vs four last week), a per screen average of $963 and a cume of $46,667. The drama stars Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez, Arcelia Ramirez, Angeles Cruz, Raul Briones, Michelle Gonzalez and is directed by Heidi Ewing.

Gravitas Ventures’ Ellen Burstyn-starrer Queen Bees crossed the $1.5M mark with a $82,670K three-day and a 1,000 four-day estimated take on 170 screen. That’s a per screen average of, respectively, $486 and $588.

With just over 81% of cinemas in North America open, arthouse films were vying for screens this weekend amid a trio of studio releases (F9, Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge). In an upbeat tally for the overall box office, each of the top ten films for the first time since the pandemic were expected to cross the $10M mark for the first time since the pandemic.

No. ten was A24’s Zola, which grossed an estimated $1.23M for the 3-day weekend, and an estimated $1,652M including Monday on 1,468 screens. Janicza Bravo’s splash-making Tweet-based indie that premiered at Sundance last year earned $2,027,252 through Sunday and will earn a projected $2,449,752 through Monday from its Wednesday debut. 

Will update specialty figures as they come in.

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