Arthouse Audit: ‘The Red Turtle’ Swims, ‘Lion’ Roars at Specialty Box Office

As indie buyers determine the fate of this year’s Sundance entries, the specialty market continues to swing dramatically between awards players and soft newbies. New limited releases remain flat.

Showing particular strength is Sundance attendee Harvey Weinstein’s designated Oscar contender “Lion,” which saw a tiny drop as it slowly heads toward wider release. It could get a sizable Oscar boost over the next few weeks. Next week after nominations expect wider breaks for some pictures that have played in theaters for while.


The Red Turtle (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 89; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2016

$21,811 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $7,270; Cumulative: $39,435

This Belgian animated Cannes breakout (a rare European production from Japan’s Studio Ghibli) opened with high-end reviews in its official initial release in New York and Los Angeles (after an earlier Oscar-qualifying one-week run). The grosses didn’t rise to the level its earlier acclaim promised.

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