Is the 1984 concert film ‘Stop Making Sense’ drawing a young crowd and making money?

Stop Making Sense, the 1984 concert film featuring the Talking Heads, is making a comeback among young audiences. The film, which was recently remastered and re-released, is set to gross $800,673 from 264 Imax screens in North America this weekend, with a cumulative gross of $1.43 million.

What’s particularly interesting is that nearly 60% of the audience for Stop Making Sense is under the age of 35, meaning they weren’t even alive when the movie was originally released. More than half of these viewers said it was their first time seeing the film. This speaks to the timeless appeal of the Talking Heads and their music.

Stop Making Sense has been running on a limited schedule, with less than two shows on average at each location. However, many of these screenings have turned into dance parties, showcasing the infectious energy of the band’s performances. The film will expand nationwide next weekend to around 500 theaters, giving it an unusually long theatrical run for a 40-year-old film. Even after its run, there are plans for certain theaters to continue playing the film on weekends.

It’s clear that the Talking Heads and frontman David Byrne have solidified their place in the hearts of Millennials and Gen Z. David Byrne’s recent appearance at the Academy Awards, where he performed the Oscar-nominated song from Everything Everywhere All At Once, gained attention on social media, with his signature “big suit” meme making the rounds. Additionally, American Utopia, Byrne’s 2019 Broadway show filmed by Spike Lee and released by HBO in 2020, has further cemented his status and appeal.

The breakdown of Stop Making Sense’s box office earnings for this weekend is as follows: Friday – $332.9k, Saturday – $267.3k, and Sunday – $200.4k. Notably, the top grossing theater was LA’s TLC Chinese theater, but the numbers were strong in other major cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as regional markets across the country.

On a global scale, the film’s 4K restoration has delivered $1.6 million for Imax so far, including earnings from live and encore screenings earlier this month. The Talking Heads’ reunion for the film’s 40th anniversary at the Toronto International Film Festival was Imax’s highest grossing live event to date.

In terms of other specialty box office openings, Neon’s It Lives Inside grossed an estimated $2.63 million at 2,005 theaters. Well Go USA’s Creation of the Gods 1: Kingdom of Storms took in $441.1k in 111 theaters, while Kappa Films’ release of I Can earned $148k from 135 locations. IFC Films’ The Origin of Evil debuted to $45.9k in 206 theaters, and Music Box Films’ My Sailor, My Love opened in 35 locations to $27.4k. Circle Collective’s anthology feature What Doesn’t Float also had a successful run, earning $5k from three sold-out shows at Roxy Cinema in Tribeca.