Arthouse bounced higher this weekend as Morgan Neville’s Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain hit $1.9 million — the strongest specialty opening this year and the best yet for Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) His documentary is No. 8 at the U.S. box office.
Pig starring Nicolas Cage hit No. 10. Both films had under 1,000 runs and excellent per theater averages.
Road Runner from Focus Features played at 927 locations for a $2,050 per screen average and estimated cume through Sunday that makes it the top opening specialty film — narrative or documentary — and top opening doc of the year.
Roadrunner’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday cumes were, respectively, $780,000, $650,000 and $470,000. The film did nearly $200k in Thursday previews, which were folded into the Friday gross.
“It’s truly a thrill for us all at Focus and a testament to the legacy Bourdain created said Focus’ president of distribution Lisa Bunnell. “We’re hopeful that it will have a great run throughout the summer and a positive sign we’re moving back towards normalcy for our business and our partners in exhibition.”
Exhibitors were eager to show the film given Bourdain’s wide and loyal fan base. Focus marketed the film on morning and late night TV, CNN (a producer), with a pop up restaurant that drew over 1,000 fans and cards of Bourdain’s favorite recipes handed to exhibitors to spur ticket sales. The late charismatic chef at French bistro Les Halles in NYC parlayed a hit book, Kitchen Confidential, into hugely popular, long-running series on Travel Channel and CNN that took him around the globe, eating and philosophizing. He tragically took his own life in 2018 at age 61.
The film will later broadcast on CNN and stream on HBO Max.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline