Gustavo Dudamel Doc ‘Viva Maestro’ Draws Fans Of LA Phil Conductor, David Lynch Buffs Flock to Remastered ‘Inland Empire’ – Specialty Box Office


Viva Maestro, a documentary starring the charismatic music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, opened on a high note taking in $14,310 on two screens — Film Forum/NYC and The Landmark/LA. That’s a PTA of $7,155 for the film directed by Ted Braun (Darfur Now, Betting on Zero) and presented by Greenwich Entertainment and Participant Media. It expands to 40+ theaters next weekend.

The doc was #1 at Film Forum and #2 at Landmark (behind A24’s indie smash Everything Everywhere All At Once).

The brilliant Dudamel, now in his 13th season atop the LA Phil (and in his inaugural season as music director of the Paris Opera), is only 41 and one of the few conductors who’s a real cultural phenomenon. He’s been that pretty much since his earliest appointment at age 18 as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra, comprised of graduates of Venezuela’s famed El Sistema program that provides music training for underprivileged youth.

Dudamel had continued to lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra as Venezuela was roiled by political and economic unrest. This film focuses on a period in 2017 when the government of President Nicolás Maduro twice canceled Dudamel’s international tours with Simón Bolívar in the midst of deadly protests across the country. The cancellations shook the conductor who sought ways to sidestep the directive with other youth concerts and programs.

Greenwich Entertainment co-president Ed Arentz said the film is expanding in LA next week and adding 20 more markets that include Miami, Denver, D.C. the Bay area in three runs, Seattle, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Boston, Phoenix, Dallas and others. “The obvious audience is the lover of classical music and people familiar with Gustavo,” he said. “We’re pleased [with the opening]. We think it augurs well for a decent theatrical performance.”

Dudamel, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, voiced the character of Trollzart in the DreamWorks animated feature Trolls World Tour, and appeared in the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle as well as Sesame Street, The Simpsons, and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, for which he also recorded the score. At John Williams’ personal request, he guest conducted the opening and closing credits of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Elsewhere in specialty: Old film, big box office for Janus Films’ remastered version of David Lynch’s 2006 iconic Inland Empire in two locations. It took in a hefty weekend $22,308 — that’s $14,708 at the IFC Center and $1,728 at the Laemmle Royal — for a PTA of $11,154. Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection and Janus Films partner calls the numbers confirmation of Lynch’s ability to draw a theatergoing crowd. “Janus is proud to be the home of many of Lynch’s works and continues to look forward to presenting them to enthusiastic audiences across the country,” he said.

IFC Center SVP/GM John Vanco recalled the theater’s original opening with Inland Empire, “which played for three months and became our third biggest movie ever… We were honored then that David Lynch entrusted us with his film, and we’re thrilled that, 16 years later, Janus Films’ remastered version of the film has reopened even bigger than the original release.” The experimental pic follows the fragmented and nightmarish events surrounding a Hollywood actress (Laura Dern) who begins to takes on the personality of a character she plays in a supposedly cursed film production.

No Celine Dion upside materialized for Aline in its U.S. debut with an estimated three-day gross of $20,785 on 61 screens. That’s a PSA of $341 for the biopic from Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films. It first premiered out of competition in Cannes and that was followed over the past few weeks with a blitz of press including profiles of the writer, director and star — French comedian and actress Valerie Lemercier — for her eccentric portrayal of the Canadian pop superstar.

Aline: Friday – $7,265; Saturday $8,450; Sunday $5,070. The estimated North American cume to date is $627,876.

Iconic Events opened Selena 25th Anniversary in 427 locations to a weekend debut of $402,280 for a PTA of $942. And it also opened UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie in 350 locations to a weekend debut of $180,012 for a PTA of $514.

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