Two first screenings of a rock documentary Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur J.R.
grossed over $19,000 this weekend with a single Saturday show at iconic music venue The Opera House in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, grossing north of $17,000. Independent distributor Utopia worked with Murmrr, which produces live music events, and art shingle Mondo, which created a limited-edition poster only to be sold in person.
Tickets ranged from $30 (balcony seating) to $50. Band leader J Mascis played a solo set for the nearly sold-out 600-seat venue.
Utopia VP of Marketing and Distribution Kyle Greenberg said audiences were 65% male with a strong turnout of 35-44+, although there was no shortage of Utopia’s iconic younger demos. The turnout was “a testament to Dinosaur Jr.’s impact, with the band also continuing to find new audiences on the heels of a new album and international tour coming this summer.”
“It’s just classic alternative programming. Some people there probably went to see Superior gun this weekend too. It’s more than a movie when you can incorporate live music,” Greenberg said.
The film screens in Amherst tonight for 170 sold out seats with a Q&A. The full band, local to the city, is present (but does not play). Both shows set up a single-night event launch on May 31 with over 70 screens and a TVOD drop on 3/6. Utopia reported sales in San Francisco, Raleigh, Austin, Portland and Seattle and booked recalls in a handful of college towns.
Greenberg notes that Utopia co-founder Robert Schwartzman is a musician and has worked on musical films himself throughout his career. The company has a few other musical documents in the works but is not ready to announce. Previous projects include Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché last fall and fiddlin’ in 2019. It’s a hot space. by Brett Morgan david bowiethe documentary Lunar Reverie premiere in Cannes. Neon will distribute.
Utopia, known for its original and daring dishes, has just closed a major deal and is making headlines at Cannes, winning the North American rights from Danish-Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi holy spider amid stiff competition. Zar Amir Ebrahimi, who lives in exile, won the best actress award for the film last night at the end of the festival.
The distributor also continues to operate Gaspar Noe’s Vortex across 16 screens, grossing around $8,448 this weekend for a cumulative $140.5,000 since April 29.
Elsewhere in the specialty, Neon’s A Chiara by Jonas Carpignano grossed around $5,000 on two screens, IFC in New York and Laemmle Noho in Los Angeles, over three days. It keeps showing Pleasurewhich grossed around $18.2,000 for a sum of $89.9,000 in week three. Little mom grossed 27.4K with a cumulative 261.5K in week six.
2000 slippers by right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza is seeing roughly $156,000 through Sunday across 340 screens for a cumulative $1.2M in week two. Distributed by D’Souza Media (Asset; Death of a nation; Hilary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party). It’s a Trump film that really won the 2020 election that claims to show illegal, concerted ballot stuffing by a team of far-left “mules” in swing states swung the race for Joe Biden.
Also still in theaters: Roadside Attractions’ family camp sees an estimated three-day gross of $227,590 across 572 screens in week three for a cumulative $3.3 million.
from Bleecker Street Montana History will net $97,217 for the three days and $117,454 for the four days. The film is on 290 screens, also in its third week of release.
Sony Pictures Classics Jazz Fest: A History of New Orleans (also in week 3) grossed $1.8,000 across six screens for nearly $20,000. The Duke in week six, it grossed $72.4,000 from 102 screens grossing $1.33 million.