Adam Sandler Drama ‘Uncut Gems’ Sets A24 Record With $105,000 Per Screen Opening

Jeremy Fuster

“Uncut Gems” has set a new limited opening record at the indie box office for A24. The critically acclaimed crime drama starring Adam Sandler was released in five theaters this weekend and grossed $525,498 for a per screen average of $105,100.

That average tops the previous A24 record of $100,500 set by Best Picture winner “Moonlight” in October 2016. It’s also the second highest average of the year behind only “Parasite” with $131,072. “Uncut Gems” entered theaters after a wave of awards nominations from the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards, and National Board of Review, among others.

Directed by the Safdie Brothers, “Uncut Gems” stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, an eccentric and extroverted New York City jeweler whose gambling addiction leads him into a high-wire act balancing business, family and a growing set of enemies. Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, LaKeith Stanfield and Idina Menzel also star in the film, which has an A- on CinemaScore and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Also releasing this weekend on four screens is Lionsgate’s awards hopeful “Bombshell,” which will be released wide next weekend and grossed $312,000 for a solid $78,000 average. The film stars Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes in a retelling of the sexual harassment scandal that saw Ailes’ reign as head of Fox News come to a sudden end. Margot Robbie and Kate McKinnon also star in the film, which has a 60% Rotten Tomatoes score and two Golden Globe nominations for Theron and Robbie.

The third big release of the weekend was Terrence Malick’s historical drama “A Hidden Life,” which Fox Searchlight released in five theaters. Searchlight did not find nearly as much success here as they did with their last Malick release, 2011 Palme D’Or winner “The Tree of Life,” which earned a stunning $93,320 average. But “A Hidden Life” still found an audience with $52,000 gross and a $10,400 average.

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Written and directed by Malick, “A Hidden Life” stars August Diehl as Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who risked his life for his Catholic beliefs when he refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. Valerie Pachner and Matthias Schoenaerts also star, as well as Michael Nyqvist and Bruno Ganz in their final roles. The film has a 78% Rotten Tomatoes score and received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes.

Among holdovers, NEON’s “Parasite” passed the $20 million mark after 10 weeks in theaters, grossing $632,500 this weekend for a $20.3 million total and entering the Top 10 all-time box office list for foreign language films. Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit” is close to hitting the $20 million mark as well, grossing $365,000 in its 10th weekend to bring it $28,000 away from the milestone.

In wider release, Focus Features’ “Dark Waters” added $2 million in its fourth weekend for an $8.8 million total. Finally, the Adam Carolla/Dennis Prager free speech documentary “No Safe Spaces” crossed $1 million in its eighth weekend, grossing $104,405 from 165 theaters.

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