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Box Office: ‘Albert Nobbs’ is the Top Debut On Oscar-Fueled Weekend

Box Office: 'Albert Nobbs' is the Top Debut On Oscar-Fueled Weekend

Roadside Attractions released its thrice-Oscar nominated “Albert Nobbs” on an ambitious 245 screens this weekend. Starring Glenn Close in an Oscar-nominated performance, “Nobbs” took in $772,730, averaging $3,154 and taking its cume to $822,981, when one includes Oscar qualifying numbers.

Also opening was France’s selection for the Oscars (though it didn’t make the cut), “Declaration of War.” On six screens the film grossed $14,400 for a weak $2,400 average.

Among holdovers, Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus” continued to stumble. The film, which had an Oscar-qualifying run back in December, grossed only $50,000 from 12 screens for an average of $4,167. The film’s total now stands at $142,251.

Also in its second weekend was Frederick Wiseman’s “Crazy Horse,” which Zipporah Films expanded from one screen to two. The film grossed $10,860, averaging $5,480 and bringing its cume to $27,873.

Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin” expanded from seven screens to 10 in the third weekend of its official theatrical run. The result was a $66,000 gross and an average of $6,600. Added to its Oscar-qualifying numbers from December, “Kevin” has now taken in $282,923.

Holding on strongly was Oscar-nominated “Pina,” which expanded from 10 to 35 screens in its sixth weekend. The Wim Wenders-directed 3D documentary that looks at the work of dance artist Pina Bausch grossed $185,000, averaging $5,286. That gave it a total of $1,048,000 ahead of a further expansion (50 markets next weekend), which could make “Pina” a huge success story for distributor Sundance Selects.

Also finding strong numbers was Asghar Farhad’s Iranian drama “A Separation,” which Sony Pictures Classics pushed from 13 screens to 31 in its fifth weekend. The film, which just got Oscar nominations best foreign-language film and best original screenplay, scored a $280,583 gross, averaging $9,051 (the highest of any film in release) and soaring 154% in grosses. Its total now stands at $892,536.

The fourth weekend of Weinstein Company release “The Iron Lady” saw the film expand from 1,075 to 1,244 screens. The film grossed an impressive $3,190,000, though that was down 13% from last weekend despite the screen increase (and the publicity from Meryl Streep’s Oscar nomination). That gave “Lady,” starring Streep as Margaret Thatcher, an average of $2,564. The film has now totalled $17,504,482 with Streep’s Oscar nomination sure to help make that grow.

Focus Features continued to see very strong numbers from Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (which nabbed three Oscar noms). In its seventh weekend, Focus dropped the film from 731 to 410 screens and still saw it gross $1,056,192. Starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt, the well-reviewed film has now totaled $20,121,333. A final gross above $25 million is definitely possible.

Steve McQueen’s “Shame” dropped from 95 to 80 screens in its ninth weekend for Fox Searchlight. The NC-17 film starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan (both of whom sadly failed to get Oscar nominations) grossed $172,000, dropping 29% in grosses. That gave “Shame” a respectable $2,150 average and a new total of $3,285,225, making it only the seventh NC-17 film to gross over $3 million. 

Fassbender’s other major specialty release (which also didn’t make Oscar’s cut), David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” went from 105 to 365 screens. The Sony Pictures Classics film, which stars Fassbender as Jung and Viggo Mortensen as Freud, took in $596,598 over the weekend, jumping 56% in grosses. That made for a $1,635 per-theater-average and a new total of $4,114,780.

Finally, two of Oscar’s biggest hopefuls continued to do good business.

Fox Searchlight’s release of Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” expanded to an ultra-wide 2,001 screens and jumped 176% in grosses. In its eleventh weekend of release, it took in $6,550,000, averaging $3,273. The new total of $58,848,014 surpasses “Midnight in Paris” as the highest-grossing indie film to be released in 2011.

Expanding from 662 to 897 screens, Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist” continued to give the Weinstein Company reason to celebrate as it heads into Oscar night as the assumed frontrunner. The film managed a $3,315,000 gross over its tenth weekend, a 40% jump from last weekend. Averaging $3,696, the film’s total has now grown to $16,744,098.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Indiewire tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the Indiewire Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at studiogrosses@rentrak.com  by the end of the day each Monday.

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