So, I got a good group of folks this weekend to check out "Talk To Me" this past Friday night here in L.A. at the Arclight. I'll have alot to say about the film in a bit - in short, I absolutely love it, the emotional intensity is more spin-tingling to me than any number of explosions I saw last week in "Transformers", and Meshell Ndegeocello has a rediculously good track in the end credits with Terence Blanchard called "Compared to What".
But, I would like to point out the statistics:
on 33 screens nationwide, Talk to Me brought in $391,000, for a per-screen average of roughly $11,848 for the weekend. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", on 4,285 theaters nationwide, brought in $77,410,000, for a per screen average of $18,065.
Let's say they took a 10th of those Harry Potter screens and played "Talk To Me" instead, for a combined number of 461 screens - assuming the same per screen average (which is, admittedly, a huge assumption - but when my friends in Chicago are telling me that the movie's not playing, well, there's clearly a market) - they could have earned $5,461,928, which would have placed it at 6 for the weekend box office, above "1408".
Actually, a better comparison would be, instead of taking ~400 screens away from Harry Potter, a Warner Bros movie, how about taking 200 each away from "Evan Almighty" and "Knocked Up", both of which are distributed by Universal Studios - who owns Focus Features and also distributed "Talk To Me". The highest per-screen average Evan ever did was $8,654, and Knocked Up's was $10,690. Knocked Up opened on 2700 screens, and Evan Almighty on 3600. And both those films, as of this weekend, were still in 1700 and 2700 theaters, respectively. My point is, Universal left money on the table this weekend by giving Talk to Me such a limited opening. I do, however, expect that it will expand in a week or two.
I'm just sayin'.