Specialty Films Shine In Dull Summer

By Robert Marich
   Sept. 1, 2017-Overall summer box office plunged 20% to date, but within that lump of ticket revenue the smallish specialty-film sector actually rose, according to Specialty releases are defined as never surpassing 1,000 screens; top major-studio summer films routinely open on 4,000+ screens.
   The Deadline article by Brian Brooks estimates that specialty films grossed $124 million through last weekend versus $120 million

Top Five Specialty Films For Summer to Date

The Beguiled (Focus Features) — $10.54M
Beatriz At Dinner (Roadside Attractions) — $7.05M
Lowriders (BH Tilt) — $6.17M
Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) — $5.77M
Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) — $5.6M

a year ago. That’s a small slice of the $3.4 billion in overall summer boxoffice year-to-date. The top performer is Focus Features drama The Beguiled, which is directed by Sofia Coppola, at $10.5 milllion,
   In other observations, lot of films did decent business, but no one film was an outsized artbuster. Another factor is streaming services like Netflix provide in-home competition for movies appealing to sophisticated tastes that are important to the specialty sector.
   "There were disappointments this summer, of course, on the specialty side,” says the Deadline story. “Patti Cake$, which was picked up out of Sundance by Fox Searchlight to much fanfare for the $10 million price it fetched, has eked out only about $200,000 since opening August 18.”
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