‘The Hate U Give’ Launches Strong; ‘Free Solo’ Continues its Box Office Climb

This weekend, new Oscar-contender “A Star Is Born” offered stiff competition for the older urban moviegoers who are drawn to specialized films.

The strong limited-city opening of “The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox) — designed to build word of mouth — and the expansion of the rock climbing documentary “Free Solo” (Greenwich) stood out as most impressive.Both are well set up for wider successful results.

The second weekend expansion of the Robert Redford anchored “The Old Man and the Gun” (Fox Searchlight) had a decent reaction, though not at the same level.

It has positioned itself ahead of most other fall releases and could still thrive ahead.Documentary “Studio 54” (Zeitgeist) also opened well, taking in $15,000 in its initial exclusive hometown New York date.Not reported is Netflix’s unprecedented 21-screen release for Tamara Jenkins’ well-reviewed (Metascore: 83) Sundance premiere “Private Life,” which was well-received at the New York Film Festival.

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