Despite a somewhat lackluster weekend at the domestic box office, marked by The Flash’s disappointing performance, there was a ray of light. Director Wes Anderson’s latest film, Asteroid City, made a remarkable impact in limited release, boasting the highest per theater average seen in years. This meta-textual comedy-drama, set against the backdrop of a Junior Stargazer convention in 1955, premiered in six theaters and broke records for distributor Focus Features, surpassing even Anderson’s own previous achievements.
While Asteroid City didn’t secure a spot in the top 10 on the weekend box office chart, it generated an impressive $790,000 from its six locations. Projections indicate that it is expected to earn $890,000 over the extended four-day weekend. This results in a staggering per theater average of $132,000 for three days and an estimated $149,000 for the four-day period. Not only does this make it the highest PTA of this year, but also of the entire pandemic era, and even surpasses records set before that. The last film to achieve such a feat was La La Land, which opened with a $176,220 PTA in 2016. La La Land debuted in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, raking in $881,000 during its opening weekend and eventually accumulating nearly $450 million worldwide.
While Asteroid City may not reach those astronomical numbers—Anderson’s most successful film to date remains The Grand Budapest Hotel, which grossed $173 million worldwide—it undeniably sets new standards for future specialty releases. According to Focus, it boasts the highest PTA of any film released in six theaters, surpassing director David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which achieved a $123,000 PTA a decade ago. Additionally, it surpasses Anderson’s own Moonrise Kingdom, distributed by Focus Features, which opened with a $130,000 PTA from four theaters in 2012. The all-time champion in this regard is still The Grand Budapest Hotel, distributed by Fox Searchlight, which attained a PTA of $200,000 from four theaters.
Image via Focus Features
‘Asteroid City’: Release Date, Cast, Plot, And Everything We Know About Wes Anderson’s Latest Film
Lisa Bunnell, President of Distribution at Focus Features, once referred to Anderson as the “Marvel of the specialty world.” She expressed her delight over Asteroid City’s impressive debut and mentioned that the studio is thrilled with the results. Focus plans to expand the film’s release to 1,500 theaters nationwide in the coming week. Bunnell shared her excitement, saying:
“We are thrilled beyond measure by the record-breaking results of this weekend and the overwhelmingly positive response. Wes Anderson is an unparalleled director with an unmatched creative vision, and it is incredibly gratifying to see adult moviegoers returning to theaters to partake in the enjoyment of this film. We have had an exceptional start and eagerly anticipate sharing Asteroid City with even larger audiences in the weeks ahead.”
Anderson Continues to Emerge as a Distinctive Voice in Global Cinema
Over the course of three decades, Anderson has carved out a unique niche for himself, characterized by an unmistakable aesthetic and the ability to assemble remarkable ensemble casts for his eccentric projects. Asteroid City premiered to mostly positive reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, currently holding a “fresh” 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Therese Lacson from FilmSweep hailed it as Anderson’s “most visually stunning” film in her Cannes review.
Among other noteworthy limited releases this weekend, India’s mythological epic Adipurush debuted in the
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about box office success
What is the per theater average record achieved by “Asteroid City” at the domestic box office?
“Asteroid City” has set a new per theater average record at the domestic box office, with an impressive average of $132,000 for three days and an estimated $149,000 for the four-day frame. This is the highest per theater average not only of this year but also of the pandemic era and even surpasses records set in previous years.
How does “Asteroid City” compare to Wes Anderson’s previous films in terms of box office performance?
While “Asteroid City” may not reach the levels of success achieved by Wes Anderson’s highest-grossing film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which earned $173 million worldwide, it is setting new benchmarks for future specialty releases. It has surpassed records set by Anderson’s previous works, such as “Moonrise Kingdom,” in terms of per theater average and is being celebrated as a significant achievement for the director.
What is the next step for “Asteroid City” after its successful limited release?
Following its impressive debut and positive response, “Asteroid City” is set to expand its release to 1,500 domestic theaters in the upcoming week. This expansion aims to bring the film to a wider audience and capitalize on its box office success and critical acclaim.
How does Wes Anderson’s unique style contribute to the success of “Asteroid City”?
Wes Anderson’s distinctive aesthetic and creative vision have garnered him a dedicated following and acclaim as a unique voice in global cinema. With “Asteroid City,” Anderson continues to captivate audiences with his signature style, attracting all-star ensemble casts and creating visually stunning and engaging films that resonate with viewers.
How has the film industry responded to the success of “Asteroid City”?
The success of “Asteroid City” at the domestic box office, particularly its record-breaking per theater average, has garnered attention and excitement within the film industry. Focus Features, the film’s distributor, expressed their satisfaction with the results and praised Wes Anderson’s directorial prowess. The film’s achievement sets new standards for specialty releases and demonstrates the resilience of the industry, with adult moviegoers returning to theaters to enjoy Anderson’s latest work.