‘Moonrise’ rockets to B.O. record

Wes Anderson pic scores top per-screen average for live action

By Andrew Stewart

It was a super moon indeed for Focus Features’ first collaboration with Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom,” which opened to a per-screen average of $130,752 — a record for a live-action film — in three days over Memorial Day weekend.

Anderson’s pic opened the Cannes Film Festival to moderately favorable reviews but came away without prizes. “Moonrise” opened at four locations (two each in New York and L.A. ) and beat the previous record holder, “Dreamgirls,” which averaged $126,317 from three debut locations in 2006.”Moonrise” falls behind eight Disney toons with better per-screen averages.

The Mouse used to launch summer or fall toons with exclusive one- or two-theater engagements (usually at L.A.’s El Capitan) before expanding the pic nationwide the following week. “The Lion King” holds the all-time opening per-screen record with $793,777 from two engagements — Radio City Music Hall in New York and the El Cap.

“‘Moonrise’ is a story of love’s improbable triumph, and for Wes Anderson and his team, a labor of love from start to finish,” said Focus CEO James Schamus. Pic stars Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton.

Focus adds a total of nine theaters on Friday in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Contact Andrew Stewart at andrew.stewart@variety.com