24 September 2017 10:21 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The fall specialized season ratcheted up with a group of top festival releases starting their theatrical release with later awards in their sights. As expected, well-reviewed “The Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight) stood out as the top performer in a week without much other signs of life from holdovers (IFC’s “The Viceroy’s House” is the best of a weak bunch).

In two initial cities, Judi Dench showed her royal form in Stephen Frears’ “Victoria & Abdul” (Focus) with the weekend’s best per theater average, while “Stronger” (Roadside Attractions) saw some success in a much wider limited release.

The upstart was “Loving Vincent” (Good Deed), which unexpectedly came up with a $24,000 exclusive New York opening. This rare animated arthouse release (using Van Gogh “painted” animation to tell its narrative) could be a sleeper success within this uber-competitive period.

Opening

The Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) – Metacritic: 73; Festivals »


- Tom Brueggemann

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