While the box office has finally started to rebound after far too long in the doldrums, almost every single movie that can be called a certifiable hit is a big budget franchise-driven blockbuster, with independent cinema still struggling to gain a commercial foothold.
Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci scored a $14 million three-day weekend and $22 million five-day holiday frame, but that was still more than enough to see it score the highest-grossing debut for a straightforward drama since Greta Gerwig’s Little Women hit theaters in December 2019.
Last month, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch set a new pandemic-era record after scoring a per-screen average of over $25,000 in its first weekend in theaters, but the other idiosyncratic filmmaker named Anderson has come along to snatch the crown in impressive fashion.
After being named as more anticipated than Spider-Man: No Way Home in certain circles, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza has nabbed a massive per-screen average of $83,000 from Friday to Sunday, which is right up there with the best his career has ever seen.
Specialty cinema has been crying out for titles like The French Dispatch and Licorice Pizza to come along, and they’ve responded in kind by posting some of the healthiest opening weekend median totals we’ve seen in a long time.