"Chicago" Sings to the Box Office while "City of God" and "Blind Spot" Screen Well in Limited Release
by Brian Brooks
The center of Indiedom has shifted away from its winter residence in Park City, and the news from box office during the final weekend of Sundance returns with "Chicago" taking in more money and acclaim. Also, "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" opened with respectable numbers while "City of God" remained strong in its second weekend.
In addition to its recent Golden Globe wins and its SAG nominations yesterday, "Chicago" is dancing all the way to the bank with $8.2 million over the weekend and a $13,375 average on 616 screens, taking the film just past the $40 million mark since its post-Christmas release. In comparison, the film took in $9.7 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, with a $17,494 average on 557 screens.
Miramax is also doing well with "City of God" which opened January 17 in select theaters. Over the last weekend, the Brazilian film screened on 18 screens for a $171,165 box office and a $9,509 average, for a total of $326,825. Opening weekend, the film, by Fernando Mereilles, had a spectacular per-screen average of $22,888 on five screens and a four-day take of $114,442.
Sony Pictures Classics opened the Berlin 2002 doc "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" over the weekend at Lincoln Plaza in New York. The film, directed by Andre Heller and Othmar Schmiderer, is a documentary presenting 90 minutes of interview with Traudl Junge, who served as one of Hitler secretaries from 1942-1945. The film took in $9,216 over the weekend. Meanwhile, Sony's "Love Liza" took in $6,266 on three screens in its fifth week (per-screen average of $2089) with a cume of $74,363.
Also from Sony Classics, "Talk to Her" by Pedro Almodovar widened to 82 screens from 66 the previous weekend. Weekend grosses were $368,136 for its 10th weekend in release ($4,489 average), for a new total of $3.9 million. The previous weekend, the film made just under $400,000 (4-day) for a per-screen average of $6,052.
First Run Features' "Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times," about the controversial professor/critical thinking commentator by John Junkerman opened L.A.'s NuArt over the weekend taking in $10,458. The film, in release in various locales with a $10,458 cume, will open today at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.
Focus Features' "The Pianist" by Roman Polanski screened on 308 theaters, grossing over $1.2 million for a $4,052 per-screen average and a total just over $6 million since its December 27th release. Meanwhile, Newmarket's "Real Women Have Curves" played 75 screens with a $46,001 weekend take ($622 average) and a cume of just under $5.7 million.
Next weekend, IFC Films opens "Lost in la Mancha," and New Yorker Films opens Coline Serreau's drama "Chaos" at Lincoln Plaza and the Angelika downtown.