Starring Bill Murray, Timothée Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Benicio del Toro, Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody, "The French Dispatch" had the biggest turnout at the Angelika in New York City, with the arthouse theater expected to pull in $100,000 in its first three days. Other theaters in which Wes Anderson loyalists bought tickets in droves include The Grove in Los Angeles, BAM in Brooklyn, Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn and AMC Lincoln Square in Manhattan.
That distinction was previously held by Sony's comic book adventure "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (averaging $21,300 per theater) and Disney's superhero adaptation "Black Widow" (averaging $19,400 per theater). With $1.3 million between Friday and Sunday, the well-reviewed "The French Dispatch" landed in ninth place on domestic box office charts. Notably, "The French Dispatch" averaged $25,000 in ticket sales per location, marking the best per-theater average of any film opening during the pandemic. For platform releases like "The French Dispatch," the key metric is per-theater average rather than overall box office tally because indie movies kick off on only a few screens while commercial pictures start in thousands of venues nationwide.
Just like it is opening on more screens than usual, "The French Dispatch" is expanding quicker than traditional specialty fare. The quirky comedic drama will be available in more than 600 theaters in over 60 markets by next weekend with an even bigger footprint planned by early November.” />
We are thrilled that after several delays, moviegoers said it was worth the wait.” What has been doubly encouraging is the crossover results in mainstream theaters hungry for Wes’ 10th film as well. “These figures show that after a year and a half, arthouse and independent theaters have a superhero of their own in Wes Anderson. "'The French Dispatch' is a jolt of electricity for the specialty box office, delivering record-breaking results in theaters across the country,” said Searchlight Pictures' senior VP and general sales manager Frank Rodriguez.
"The French Dispatch," director Wes Anderson's tribute to 20th-century magazines, opened at the domestic box office with a robust $1.3 million from only 52 theaters.
Specialty titles traditionally premiere with a platform release in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York City in an effort to build awareness and buzz before launching nationwide. Since cinemas in California and New York were among the last in the country to reopen, and arthouse venue's core audience of adult moviegoers have been reluctant to get back to multiplexes, the strategy has proved difficult to implement in recent months. "The French Dispatch" had a significantly wider start than Anderson's prior movies, such as "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Isle of Dogs" and "Moonrise Kingdom." That's because the pandemic has dramatically shaken up the preferred method for releasing independent movies.

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The crew found a derelict felt factory in Angoulême, France, which turned out to be the perfect home for the sets Anderson would utilize for the film, divided into sections created as articles written by the Dispatch staff.
“At one point, with all the sunlight coming in and hitting the walls, we got this great contrast, so we painted the walls a subtle gray.”
The laundry was in the basement of that warehouse; we brought in 5,000 sheets for the pile. “The prison cells were built off-site and brought in as a kit.
The Prison (“The Concrete Masterpiece”) 
“We saved all the buildings we made as we went along, and at the end of filming we lined them up and reused them for the street outside the café. Every piece of set you see outside of the café comes from another set.”
“We talked about the James Thurber illustrations on the walls of the New Yorker and that idea was exciting to us. There are little drawings around the walls of the editorial offices.
“The idea of this space is it’s not glamorous, there’s a partition wall made up of pegboard. There’s an area stacked with file boxes to just give this rich sense of the lives there.”
“We found an abandoned warehouse with big holes in the floor, which we patched up. The space had great light and all these windows.
The prison cells were made of gray metal and the bunks were canvas, so it was sparse color.  “[Wes shot the sequence in black and white] and there was very little color. The walls of the prison were white.
Stockhausen described how he built key sets.
The Newsroom 
This street was dirty and people were going about their lives, but there was also this incredibly vivid yellow café. There was an image of the café we found in Paris. “Again, we built this whole thing. We looked at French films from the ’60s. And that stuck. We looked at a lot of bistros and cafés.
The Café Le Sans Blague (“Revisions to a Manifesto”) 
We had this image of a beautiful newsroom, a regional office of the Associated Press in Paris. It had this arched window that we loved and it also had this yellow [color], so that’s where we got the idea for that to be used through the movie multiple times — it’s used in the café later. So, it allowed the architecture to be mismatched. “The guiding idea was that the building was not built for them, they had moved in.
We looked at writers who were inspirational for the characters and their workspaces, pulling details from real-life office spaces. “The newsroom is a broader space, too, because it encompassed the writers’ offices.
Wes Anderson returns to live-action in “The French Dispatch,” opening Oct. 22 from Searchlight Pictures. With the film set amid the world of a magazine, Anderson called on his go-to production designer Adam Stockhausen to build the world of fictional city Ennui-sur-Blasé and the offices of a New Yorker-esque publication.
We would look at electric chair rooms, benches and locks and say, ‘Let’s copy that for our bolts.’ The prison is made up of many different references that became its own creation. “This was inspired by ‘The Trial’ [Orson Welles, 1962]. We looked at a ton of references — real French, Belgian and other European prisons from the mid-19th century through to the 20th century.
Based on the article by Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand), the Café is a hangout for Timothée Chalamet’s Zeffirelli, a budding revolutionary.
We took the skin [a hanging façade] of le Café le Sans Blague so it could just slide away on a rail. “We built the guts and the exterior at the felt factory and clad over houses to make the café, but there was nothing behind it.
Berensen (Tilda Swinton), Benicio Del Toro plays artist and maximum-security prisoner Moses Rosenthaler, who paints nudes of prison guard Simone (Léa Seydoux) that one day catch the eye of fellow prisoner and art dealer Julien Cadazio (Adrien Brody). Based on the article “The Concrete Masterpiece,” by J.K.L.

22. Details about the plot of Anderson's latest are being kept under wraps, but the film will no doubt be a meticulously constructed feast for the eyes, overflowing with hyper-stylized set design and framing. Searchlight Picture will open the film on Oct. It stars Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Elisabeth Moss, Willem Dafoe and Jeffrey Wright, along with the aforementioned Brody, Murray and Swinton. All those attributes were on full display this year at Cannes, where Anderson debuted "The French Dispatch," a love letter to journalism that earned positive reviews.
The Oscar-winning "Forest Gump" star will play a cameo role in the director's next, as-yet untitled effort. Tom Hanks will enter the jewel-box world of Wes Anderson.
It marks the first collaboration between Hanks and Anderson. He will play an unspecified minor role, joining a cast of heavyweights that includes Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Adrian Brody. That's remarkable given how Hanks has sought out top auteurs over his decades in the business, previously collaborating with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Demme, Paul Greengrass, Robert Zemeckis and the Coen Brothers.
Hanks recently starred in the World War II drama "Greyhound" for Apple TV Plus and earned an Oscar nomination for channeling Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." He will next be seen as Geppetto in a live-action version of "Pinocchio" that is set to premiere on Disney Plus and as Colonel Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann's untitled film about Elvis Presley.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Hanks' involvement.” />

The applause continued for nine minutes for Anderson and his cast in attendance, which included Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Stephen Park, Benicio Del Toro and Chalamet. Two hours later, "The French Dispatch" had earned one of the biggest standing ovations so far at the 74th edition of Cannes.
As the night began, there were signs that this wasn't going to be a regular Cannes premiere. Instead of a black car, the cast — along with composer Alexandre Desplat — arrived together in a giant gold party bus, escorted by French motorcycle police. Murray took off his mask (which had an imprint of a chin on it), basking in the flashing lights.
Chalamet and Swinton held hands walking down the aisle, and he mouthed "Queens baby!" to the cameras as he clapped along. Once Anderson entered the theater, the Cannes crowd welcomed him with a rapturous standing ovation.
There were so many movie stars at the premiere of Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" on Monday night at the Cannes Film Festival, it almost felt like pre-pandemic times.
The film is a love letter to journalism, although ironically Anderson declined to hold a press conference with his cast (as is tradition for in-competition films) or conduct any interviews with reporters in Cannes. The end credits are dedicated to a list of editors and writers that inspired the film, among them The New Yorker's Harold Ross, William Shawn, Lillian Ross and Janet Flanner; James Baldwin; Ved Mehta and more.
But one actor couldn't make the trip. Lea Seydoux was absent from the premiere, as she's quarantining in Paris after a positive COVID-19 test.
Murray plays a devout editor to a gang of expatriate writers who must package their final collection of stories. The Searchlight release follows a weekly magazine that covers global politics, culture, art and food in a special interest section of a daily newspaper from, uh, Kansas. Through the feature write-ups, comic strips and pictorials, Anderson weaves several vignettes and plot threads.


Chalamet leaned his head on her shoulder. Anderson stopped his ensemble at the bottom of the carpet to take a group photo. Many of the actors also seemed to be doing their own camera work. Swinton, who has five movies playing at Cannes, wore a pink gown with shimmering gold sequin-covered sleeves. Wilson filmed the crowds at the bottom of the carpet, and Brody pulled in Chalamet for a seflie at the top of the stairs (violating the festival's no-selfie rule, although none of the ushers tackled his phone — as they do with regular attendees attempting the same).
And the Chalamet-Swinton show continued — he held up the piece of paper with her name on it (which had been attached to her seat). She took from him and stuck it on his back. After the lights went back up, Murray walked from seat to seat hugging every person in the cast.
And Timothee Chalamet, in a silver suit, cut through the July heat to sign autographs and take selfies with fans, as he playfully stuck out his tongue. The streets near the Palais were shut down. The crowds were screaming.
The release date was pushed to October 2020 only to be delayed again. “The French Dispatch” was acquired by Searchlight in September 2019 and was meant to play Cannes 2020 — which was scrapped as a result of the global pandemic. The movie is now scheduled to open in theaters in the United States on Oct. 22.” />
"Thank you." As he tried to leave the theater, the audience inside the Palais continued to shower him with more applause. "I hope we come back with another one soon," Anderson said in brief remarks to the crowd.

Chalamet is also known for his roles in "Lady Bird" and "Call Me by Your Name," the latter of which earned him an Oscar nom last year for best supporting actor. He will also appear in Wes Anderson's upcoming "The French Dispatch" as well as Woody Allen's "A Rainy Day in New York."” />
The Golden Globe nominee can be seen in theaters now in “Beautiful Boy,” which also stars Steve Carell. The pair play a son and father who struggle with Chalamet's character's meth addiction.
Timothee Chalamet will join Variety for a live chat Saturday at 12 p.m. PT on Facebook.
The Q&A can be streamed on Variety‘s Facebook page at the link here or below.

Meanwhile, Bleecker Street's "Leave No Trace" brought in $1.2 million from 311 locations, for a per-screen-average of $3,726. The Sundance drama, directed by Debra Granik, follows Ben Foster as a veteran father with PTSD, who lives in isolation with his teenage daughter (Thomasin McKenzie).” /> Its box office total currently sits at $2.1 million.
The feature debut from writer-director Bo Burnham launched this weekend with $255,000. That was enough to top the record previously held by Fox Searchlight's "Isle of Dogs." Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated film, which opened in March with a per-theater-average of $58,148. Its debut was especially noteworthy given the film opened in just four theaters, translating to a per-screen-average of $63,071.
Its domestic tally currently sits at $2.5 million. Meanwhile, "Three Identical Strangers" is still scoring strong returns. In its third outing, the Neon film picked up another $1.2 million from  167 screens.
Kevin Macdonald directed the film, which focuses on the life and career of the legendary Whitney Houston, has secured $2.6 million. Another documentary, Roadside Attractions and Miramax's "Whitney" collected $535,385 from 208 screens.
Documentaries are still on a hot streak. Notably, Focus Features' "Won't You Be My Neighbor" pocketed $1.8 million in its sixth weekend. With $15.8 million to date, Morgan Neville's film centering on the career of the lovable Mister Rogers is now the 16th-biggest documentary of all time.
Elsie Fisher stars in the coming-of-age film as a middle schooler navigating her last week of eighth grade. The movie, which holds a coveted 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has been a critical favorite since it premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. A24 will continue rolling out "Eighth Grade" in coming weeks.
The film, which had its world premiere at Sundance, also features Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black. Newcomer "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" picked up $83,130 when it premiered on four screens. Gus Van Sant directed the Amazon Studios comedy, starring Joaquin Phoenix as cartoonist John Callahan, who discovers his passion for drawing after becoming paralyzed.
Annapurna's "Sorry to Bother You" generated $4.3 million when it expanded to 805 theaters, landing in seventh place at the domestic box office. Though documentaries have been dominating the specialty box office this year, recent nonfiction titles have started to impress. Boots Riley's directorial debut, which follows Lakeith Stanfield as a black telemarketer who finds success using his "white voice," has acquired $5.3 million in two weeks.
"Eighth Grade" is already scoring high marks.