By Indiewire | Indiewire May 9, 2006 at 6:58AM
A trio of newcomers entered the top tier of the iW BOT last weekend in limited release, with Sony Pictures Classics' "Art School Confidential" leading the pack in the second position on the chart, and First Look's "The Proposition" placing a solid third, followed by ThinkFilm's "Down in the Valley." Once again invading the number one position on the table, ranked on a per screen basis, was Rialto's release of the 1969 pic by Jean-Pierre Melville, "Army of Shadows."
The film remained at one location last weekend, taking in $13,775, nearly a 9% increase from the film's debut $12,620 gross.
[View the indieWIRE:BOT Box Office Table for this week's films here.]
Terry Zwigoff's comedy "Art School Confidential" lead last weekend's debut titles, opening on 12 screens in New York and Los Angeles, grossing a hefty $135,733 or $11,311 per screen when averaged. Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker was pleased with the film's initial turnout on both coasts. "We feel very confident about the opening [last] weekend. The word-of-mouth for this film was strong [and] the Angelika [Film Center in New York] and Sunset 5 [in Los Angeles] grosses were especially strong." Barker said audiences in New York skewed towards a "downtown crowd" and "younger." Next week, the film will have a large roll out to 750 - 800 screens, according to Barker.
Australian feature "The Proposition" by John Hillcoat launched on three screens, taking in $33,000 or $11,000 per screen, while David Jacobson's controversial "Down in the Valley," starring Edward Norton and Evan Rachel Wood grossed $22,806 also on a trio of screens ($7,602 average).
In other openers, Warner Independent Pictures' "The Promise" by Kaige Chen opened on 213 screens, grossing $272,838, the second largest overall gross on the chart, though the film averaged a rather flat $1,281. Delphi Film Foundation's "Crazy Like a Fox" opened three venues, averaging $1,556 on a $4,667 weekend take, while Magnolia Pictures' "One Last Thing..." played 21 sites, grossing an anemic $9,160 ($436 average).
Last week's number two iW BOT film, "Water" from Fox Searchlight was doused a bit in its second week, increasing its screen number to 36 from five. The film by Deepa Mehta, took in nearly $175,000, averaging $4,854, or 57% lower then its opening $11,256 average and placing sixth overall on the chart. The previous weekend's third ranker, Magnolia Pictures' "The Lost City," ranked fifth with $172,554 from 24 showings. The film averaged a respectable $7,190 or about 32% behind its opening $10,642 average on 18 screens.
The chart's single largest money draw remained Sony Classics' "Friends with Money" by Nicole Holofcener. The 2006 Sundance Film Festival opener grossed just over $1.1 million on 643 screens, averaging $1,716, or about 17% below the previous weekend's $2,059 ($2.08 million on 1,010 screens).
"Friends" represented about 35% of the iW BOT's combined gross of over $3.18 million. If combined with "The Promise," the two biggest grossers represent 43% of the Friday to Sunday specialty take.
Over the weekend, 72 films played 2,597 engagements, a decrease from the previous week's 93 films, which grossed $5.98 million (a 47% decrease in overall gross). The combined per screen average for this week's specialty line up decreased 35% to $1,227 compared to $1,881 one week earlier.
Among this coming weekend's specialty openers are Magnolia's "Dead Man's Shoes," "Keeping Up with the Steins" from Miramax, IFC Films' "Russian Dolls," Sony Classics' "Sketches of Frank Gehry," and "Wah-Wah" from Samuel Goldwyn Films.
indieWIRE:BOT 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 submit information about your film to Rentrak, please email firstname.lastname@example.org