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Box Office: Kristen Stewart's THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF Disappoints

Kristen Stewart in The Yellow Handkerchief

Kristen Stewart in The Yellow Handkerchief (top); Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (bottom)

Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and James Cameron's Avatar battled it out for the top spot at the North American on Wednesday (March 3), but the highest per-screen grosser by far among the films found on the Box Office Mojo chart was Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. The widely acclaimed thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, and Kim Cattrall averaged $1,521 per screen for a total of $65K. Initially playing at only 4 screens in Los Angeles and New York, The Ghost Writer is currently playing at 43 screens. The Summit Entertainment release has grossed $1.25 million after 13 days.

A new release that I failed to mention in my last post on arthouse films is The Yellow Handkerchief, which was actually shot a couple of years ago. The film, which stars William Hurt and Maria Bello, received quite a bit of advance publicity because of the presence of Twilight Saga star Kristen Stewart. Surprisingly, The Yellow Handkerchief made only $37K at 7 theaters, for a below par $5,328 average.

Photos: The Yellow Handkerchief (Eric Lee / Samuel Goldwyn Films); The Ghost Writer (Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment)

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley in Shutter Island
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley in Shutter Island

The gap between Shutter Island and Avatar got narrower on Wednesday (March 3), as the former lost nearly 15 percent of its take while the latter gained nearly 4 percent.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island barely managed to keep its spot at the top of the North American box office chart, with $1.65 million in ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. James Cameron's Avatar grossed $1.53 million.

Kevin Smith's Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, was #3 with $1.17 million (down 17.1 percent), followed by Breck Eisner's horror flick The Crazies, with Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, and $958K (-20.3 percent) in revenues.

At #5, Garry Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day took in $538K (-15 percent). The romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Taylor Lautner, Eric Dane, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, and many others. Chris Columbus' adventure flick Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman, was next with $464K (-9.3 percent).

The #7 movie was the Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried romantic melodrama Dear John with $350,000 (-12.5 percent), while Jeff Bridges' Crazy Heart was #8 with $338,000 (+6.3 percent).

Rounding out the top twelve were Benicio Del Toro 's The Wolfman ($334K), Dwayne Johnson's Tooth Fairy ($170K), Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side ($122K), and Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness ($101K).

Photo: Shutter Island (Andrew Cooper / Paramount)

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7 Comments to Box Office: Kristen Stewart's THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF Disappoints

  1. Sandyeddiag

    I just saw Kristen and Taylor on the Oscars giving a presentation. It was a shame. Kristen would not smile at all. She look frowned up and mad. And of all things, she stopped in the middle of her one line and turned her head to “COUGH”!! Taylor looked like he wanted to slap her, he was soooo embarrassed.

    I guess the disappointment of TYH just goes to show that it's actually Robert Pattinson that is carrying the Twilight Saga and not her. I bet Remember Me is going to do just perfect at the box office.

  2. mh

    Not a prob…

    As I explained in my previous comment, the fewer the # of screens, the higher the per screen average is supposed to be if the movie is successful.

    Two of the top four films that weekend were playing at more than 3,000 screens. The two others were playing at nearly 2,500. TYK was playing at 7 and it was still behind all four.

    Also, “Shutter Island” was on weekend #2. “Avatar” on weekend #11. TYK was on weekend #1 — and was still behind both “Cop Out” and “The Crazies,” neither of which could be considered out-and-out box-office hits.

    Now, let's compare THY to other movies in limited release that weekend:

    THY - $5,328 at 7 screens
    “A Prophet” - $18,197 at 9 screens
    “The Ghost Writer” - $18,350 at 43 screens (2nd weekend)
    “The Art of the Steal” - $13,006 at 3 screens
    “Formosa Betrayed” - $5,155 at 15 screens
    “Ajami” - $4,307 at screens (on weekend #4)

    THY doesn't look so hot then. Neither does “Formosa Betrayed” — though it did almost as much per screen as THY at more than twice the # of screens.

    Meanwhile, you can see that “A Prophet” and especially “The Ghost Writer” are doing excellent business.

  3. Matt

    I'm not letting you go - you didn't address this - “the TYH average is higher than all movies in the top ten for that weekend except the top 4.”

  4. kim

    I got the number few days ago. I have to admit that I'm so proud with all support over 3 days in only 7 screens. I just wish it opens in more screens in different states because I really want to go see it.

    By the way, the lady who wrote this piece needs to learn how to do math because this is a very very good number ($5,328/screen)/3 days (7 screen shown only)

  5. mh


    Good question — perhaps I should have explained myself better.

    THE GHOST WRITER averaged $1,521 per screen on *one day* on a Wednesday at 43 screens. That was the film's 13th day out.

    THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF averaged $5,328 per screen over *one weekend* (total amount made over the **three-day** weekend divided by the # of screens) at 7 screens. That was the film's opening weekend.

    The fewer the # of screens, the higher the per screen average — or so it should be if a movie is successful.

    For comparison's sake: on its opening weekend, THE GHOST WRITER averaged more than $40,000 at 4 screens.

  6. Matt

    How was $5,328 per screen “below par” for TYH? In the paragragh just above that you note “The Ghost Writer” only averaged $1,521 per screen. Actually, the TYH average is higher than all movies in the top ten for that weekend except the top 4.

  7. elle

    It's sad that TYH didn't do better but i think that just marketing Kristen wasn't the best idea. However, I love Kristen Stewart and I will be seeing the movie next week.