In a rare weekend with fewer new studio wide releases, IFC Films packs a one-two punch at the box office with Matt Johnson’s film Blackberry Grossing $473k nationwide in 450 theaters, US per theater average of $1.05k and opening top ten on Friday. It will gross an estimated $740k in North America this weekend, with Elevation Pictures handling Canada.
this is the endKJ Baruchel is Mike Lazaridus, the brain behind BlackBerry, alongside his laid-back best friend and co-founder Douglas Freggin, played by Johnson. it’s always sunny in philadelphia Star Glenn Howerton is Jim Balsillie, the aggressive executive who propelled the device to global dominance for decades until it was abruptly superseded by the iPhone in 2007.
Premiering in Berlin and SXSW, Certified 97% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Based on the Book signal to lose by Jackie McNish and Sean Silkoff.
The director told Deadline that he had never actually handled a Blackberry before the film, but was open to it and more of the story. “In some ways I really do think there is some magic in the device. Especially the size, it’s much smaller than modern smartphones. And with the dedicated space for the keyboard, it reminded me of the Gumboy, which is why I put the Gameboy in the movie so much. It felt like a videogame controller.
“When someone handed the book to my producer and me and asked if we’d be interested in an adaptation,” he said, “it kind of felt like I was reading about my life”—which could also mean that the filmmaking about it “is about engineers building some technical machine. It was about young people trying to do the impossible.”
The BlackBerry Storm, which came out in 2008, the same year as the iPhone 3G, was one of the biggest consumer device failures ever. “The book is a piece of journalism. I would say the authors say the book is not funny at all,” he said. “But what I was reading between the lines is comedy.”
“There were hundreds and thousands of engineers working in the company at the time who knew the iPhone was doing something better, but I don’t think that message was heard by leadership.” In the film Lazaridis believes that a large screen without a physical keyboard was a ridiculous ideal that no one would want.
“Blackberry The success came after two charming and interesting performances from Jay and Glenn. Matt Johnson is a force to be reckoned with and we are thrilled that people turned out at the theaters for this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” said Scott Shuman, Interim President of IFC Films.
Schumann most recently stepped in for Ariana Boko following the abrupt departure of the IFC chief in late March, which was followed by exits from key company executives. The turnover, which comes with AMC Networks in the midst of ongoing restructuring and cost-cutting, has been a dramatic exodus in the indie distribution world.
Distribution also opened Andrea Pallaro’s film Monica Highest weekend capture per screen average of $13.25k at IFC Center in NY and $26k at Nuart in LA
Monica premiered in Venice 2022 and found strong support in the LGBTQ community, teaming up with GLAAD to screen the film. Friday Q&As featuring the film’s stars, Trace Lysette and Patricia Clarkson, sold out in both New York and Los Angeles. Will expand nationwide to at least 45 markets by the end of next week.
Other detailed feature openings: ‘Roadside Attractions’ fool’s paradiseThe feature film, directed by Charlie Day in his directorial debut, grossed $443,140 on 784 screens for a PSA of $565.
Sony Pictures Classics documentary about baseball great Yogi Berra, it’s not over, Earned an estimated $106.3k on 99 screens for a PSA of $1.074. As part of a regional push for the Giants Yankees, the distributor was offering free companion tickets in the New York tri-state area that do not count towards the gross.
Limited Release: Bleecker Street Guess the starling girl Will gross $24.7k opening weekend on four screens for a PSA of $6,184.
Music Box Films inaugurates Emanuel Chrysalis l’immensita At an estimated $9.28k on two screens for an estimated PSA of $4,640. After festivals in Venice and Sundance, the Penelope Cruz starrer opened at the Angelica Film Center in NY and the Laemmle Royal in LA. expanding to other major markets on Friday, including Chicago, Miami, Portland and Houston.
Holdover: Another Italian picture, a Janus Films release eight mountains In its third weekend, it grossed approximately $30,100 on 24 screens, with an estimated per-screen average of $1,254 and an estimated gross of $93,772. The film’s expansion will continue throughout May and June, with Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Sacramento, Nashville, Pittsburgh and others opening next weekend.