By Indiewire | Indiewire March 18, 2003 at 2:0AM
Box-Office Report: "Bend it Like Beckham" Scores in its Opening; "Spun" Does Well in New York
by Brian Brooks
"Bend it Like Beckham" scored a winning goal at the box office this past weekend in limited release, while Newmarket's "Spun" also shot up solid numbers at its sole New York venue. "Laurel Canyon" continued well in its second weekend as more screens were added, while "Safety of Objects" increased its average in fewer venues.
Gurinder Chadha's British comedy "Bend it Like Beckham" opened triumphantly on March 12 and continued to do well into its first weekend, playing on six screens. The BAFTA-nominated film took in $161,528 for a riotous $26,921 average and $191,791 cume. "We had a terrific opening, the biggest limited opening of the year on a per-screen basis," commented Steve Gilula, president of Fox Searchlight distribution, in a conversation with indieWIRE on Monday. At many show times, people were turned away since the screenings were sold out.
"The reality is that the business was constrained because we were selling out at theaters," Gilula said. "On Saturday and Sunday, four shows sold out each day at Lincoln Plaza." Gilula said that the audience included the core indie audience but also families and older people. Fox Searchlight will expand the film by a few more theaters this week, with a larger roll out slated for March 28.
Also, Jonas Akerlund's "Spun" opened in New York. The Newmarket release starring Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Brittany Murphy, and Mena Suvari strung out on a $15,160 weekend in one location.
IFC Films' "The Safety of Objects" saw its per-screen average double in its second weekend of release, although the number of venues decreased. The film by Rose Troche earned $75,934 on 14 screens for a $5,424 average and a $529,153 cume. In its first weekend, the film played 32 screens for a $2,695 average.
"Laurel Canyon" by Lisa Cholodenko continued well, also in its second weekend. Sony Classics added nine sites for a $215,794 weekend and a strong $11,358 average. The film, starring Frances McDormand, has taken in $433,847. Also from Sony, David Cronenberg's "Spider" took in $173,587 on 47 screens ($3,693 average). "Spider" has taken in $716,616 since its release a month ago.
Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible" continued to be a lure for audiences in its second week of release, giving the Lions Gate film $111,345 on 26 screens. The feature averaged $4,283 per screen and has a $208,233 cume.
Opening this week is Cannes 2002 Camera d'Or winner, "Japon." Also look for "Gaudi Afternoon" by Susan Seidelman, and Johnny To and Ka-Fai Wai's "Fulltime Killer," both opening in New York.