In Limited Release, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Shatters Box Office Records.


One of the most anticipated summer films for independent film watchers (myself included) is Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and clearly the audience has already responded in record numbers. Over Memorial Day weekend, Moonrise grossed $669,486.00 in four locations, two in New York and two in Los Angeles. The average gross per location was a staggering $130,752! This surpassed both “Dreamgirls” and “Brokeback Mountain” for limited release debut. Keep in mind this was at the peak of their Oscar hype. The only exposure Moonrise had was press coverage from its debut at Cannes.


Below is the press release courtesy of Focus Features:


NEW YORK, May 28th, 2012 – Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom, the critically applauded new movie from director Wes Anderson, opened this past weekend and posted the highest recorded per-theater average for a live-action movie released domestically. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.


Moonrise Kingdom world-premiered earlier this month as the opening-night film of the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival. The theaters currently playing Moonrise Kingdom are, in New York City, AMC Theatres’ Lincoln Square and Regal Cinemas’ Union Square Stadium 14; and, in Los Angeles, Pacific Theatres’ ArcLight Cinemas and Landmark Theatres’ The Landmark. Focus, which holds worldwide rights to the movie, will be adding theaters in additional cities domestically each weekend through June, expanding Moonrise Kingdom to several hundred screens.


Mr. Schamus said, “Moonrise Kingdom is a story of lovers improbable triumph, and for Wes Anderson and his team a labor of love from start to finish. How wonderful it is to congratulate him, on behalf of everyone at Focus, for this remarkable, record-breaking opening.”

Moonrise Kingdom is the new movie directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore). Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.


Wes Anderson hasn’t released a film since 2009’s whimsical and amusing “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Some moviegoers were disappointed his stop motion venture despite it featuring his trademark all star cast, deadpan sarcastic humor, and wide angle shots. (Some people I know flat out refused to see ‘Mr. Fox.’). With box office numbers this earth shattering, Mr. Anderson’s hipster fan-base clearly was eager for his big screen return.


These box office numbers caught the Entertainment Industry off guard, even myself. On Friday, I had five friends/acquaintances ask me when “Moonrise Kingdom” will open in Denver. This should be a sign of the box office success of the film. I am very excited to see ‘Moonrise’ tomorrow night at my advanced invite screening, but disappointed I’m embargoed to post a review until it’s release date of June 8th in the Mile High City.



About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.