Beau is Afraid posted the best per screen average of 2023 so far, and is A24’s best per screen performance since Uncut Gems.
While The Super Mario Bros. Movie is still burning up the box office, A24 actually has bragging rights for the weekend’s highest per-screen average, with Ari Aster’s Beau is Afraid posting solid numbers for the indie company. According to Variety, the film earned north of $80k per screen, making it the biggest per-screen average of 2023 (so far) and the company’s second-best per-screen opening ever – after Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems. It made $320,396 this weekend, which is a significant number considering it was only open on 4 screens. While it remains to be seen if Beau is Afraid can outgross Ari Aster’s other movies, Hereditary ($44 million) or Midsommer ($27 million), this is a slam-bag start for the oddball horror/comedy/drama.
Indeed, Beau is Afraid is such a weird movie that the chances of it even beginning to approach the grosses of Aster’s other films seems remote at best. But it’s clear that the director is a bit of an indie sensation, and his fanbase is showing up to see his latest. I’m still wrestling with my own feelings over the movie, and it seems I’m not alone, with the Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 75%. It’ll be interesting to see what the audience CinemaScore will be, with it likely only being revealed once the movie expands nationwide next weekend.
One thing is clear – A24 seems to be one of the few indie studios left that really knows how to open a movie. Their brand is quality, and even in the post-pandemic era they’ve had a bunch of hits, including Oscar Winners Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Whale. Aster himself praised the company for investing in his highly unconventional three-hour epic, so even if the movie is divisive, at least they’re taking big swings and making art a priority. They’re behind one of my most anticipated Indies of the year, the Von Erich biopic The Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron and The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White.
Beau is Afraid is now playing in limited release and goes nationwide on Friday. Keep an eye out for some interviews we have with the cast coming later this week.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/beau-is-afraid-lights-up-the-indie-box-office/