‘The French Dispatch’ Rocks Arthouse With Estimated $1.3M Weekend: “If Wes Builds It, They Will Come” – Specialty Box Office (Update)

‘The French Dispatch’ Rocks Arthouse With Estimated $1.3M Weekend: “If Wes Builds It, They Will Come” – Specialty Box Office (Update)
Updated to include comments by Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse: Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch did what a glum arthouse market was waiting for, revved it up with a smashing three-day average. “If Wes builds it, they will come,” said an elated Searchlight Pictures after a long wait to get the film into theaters.

It opened in 14 markets and in a total of 52 theatres. Over the 3-day weekend, the film is estimated to gross $1.3 million for per screen average of at least $25K, which marks the highest of any film opening during the pandemic — topping even the most successful commercial products over the last 18 months and easily grabbing the specialty crown. Wide releases from The Black Widow to Shang-Chi to Venom to Bond to Dune have cleaned up but a revival had not taken flight at the arthouse yet.

Searchlight SVP-General Sales Manager Frank Rodriguez called film “a
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