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September 15, 2004 2:00 AM
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Blasé BOT Shows a Little "Testosterone"

Blasé BOT Shows a Little "Testosterone"

by Brian Brooks

Strand Releasing's "Testosterone" brawned its way to number one among the specialty releases, topping a rather ho-hum weekend for indies. Palm Pictures released critically lauded "Reconstruction," taking the second position on the chart, as ranked on a per screen basis. Destination Films/Samuel Goldwyn Films' Korean pic "Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War" displayed some box office stamina, as well as Wellspring's road thriller, "Red Lights." And, the chart's big four, "Napoleon Dynamite," "Vanity Fair," "Garden State," and "Hero" once again consumed the bulk of the overall specialty cume, although their largesse shrank marginally.

Strand Releasing debuted "Testosterone" at four sites taking in $29,452. The feature topped the iW BOT with one of the lowest averages ($7,363) for a number one position film in months. indieWIRE attempted to contact Strand Releasing co-chief Marcus Hu, currently attending the Toronto International Film Festival, for comment, but to no avail.

Palm Pictures opened 2003 Cannes Camera d'Or winner "Reconstruction" at two Gotham locales. The film took in $13,629 for a $6,815 average.

The numbers were decent considering the [good] weather in New York over the weekend," commented Palm's director of distribution, Neal Block in a conversation with indieWIRE from Toronto by telephone yesterday. "Saturday's numbers were particularly strong, but declined on Sunday. Among everything that opened, I was satisfied with the numbers."

Block said he believed the film received a boost from its stellar New York Times review last Friday, and said he expects the film will receive good word of mouth. "'Reconstruction' is a beautiful movie that once it is seen by some, [then] should catch on."

Palm Pictures will open the film at the Arc Light in Los Angeles next weekend, followed by a New York suburban expansion and a slow national roll out on September 24th.

Korean War film "Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War" occupied the third position on the chart with a $168,589 weekend take on 31 screens, two more then its debut last week. The film averaged $5,438, a decline of about 56%.

Last week's number one specialty title "Red Lights" saw a 70% drop on 17 screens (four last week). The thriller grossed $89,797 for a $5,282 average. "Red Lights" has cumed $185,103.

Magnolia Pictures' Ramones doc "End of the Century" took in $25,097 on five screens for a $5,019 average, rounding out a lackluster top five films.

The weekend's overall $15.2 million cume was a 53% decline from the previous weekend. All 68 titles together averaged $2,030 on 7,488 screens. The combined grosses of "Napoleon Dynamite," "Garden State," "Vanity Fair," and "Hero" represented about 76% of the entire iW BOT (approximately $11.5 million on 4,808 screens). The big four's take, however, represented a slightly smaller percentage of the b.o., down from 87% last week.

Minus those four titles, the 64 remaining films on the chart shared slightly under $3.7 million from 2,680 screens for a paltry $1,380 per screen average. Last week's average using similar calculations was $2,542 on a $4.23 million gross.

Next week's hefty limited releases include "Anatomy of Hell," "Chisolm '72: Unbought and Unbossed," "Cowboys and Angels," "Enduring Love," "Goodbye Dragon Inn," "Infernal Affairs," "Merci Docteur Rey," "Particles of Truth," "Silver City," and "Zelary."

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