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"Emmett Till" Doc Shows Box Office Light On Slow Weekend

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire August 31, 2005 at 6:23AM

THINKFilm's "The Untold Story of Emmett Till" took over the specialty box office in a rather lackadasical weekend, which saw the indie screen average decline after a month of robust numbers. Sony Pictures Classics' "The Memory of a Killer" had the strongest debut of the weekend, taking the second position on the chart, although its screen average was only moderate. "March of the Penguins" continued as the chart's moneymaking champ, but its screen average dropped noticeably after adding additional screens.
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THINKFilm's "The Untold Story of Emmett Till" took over the specialty box office in a rather lackadasical weekend, which saw the indie screen average decline after a month of robust numbers. Sony Pictures Classics' "The Memory of a Killer" had the strongest debut of the weekend, taking the second position on the chart, although its screen average was only moderate. "March of the Penguins" continued as the chart's moneymaking champ, but its screen average dropped noticeably after adding additional screens.

"The Untold Story of Emmett Till" by Keith Beauchamp increased its screen average in its second weekend exclusive at New York's Film Forum. The film remained on one screen a the downtown venue, jumping 36% to $12,920 over the weekend, giving the doc the premiere position on the chart as ranked on a per screen basis.

Erik Van Looy's "The Memory of a Killer (The Alzheimer Case)" debuted on six screens over the weekend, grossing $41,254. The film placed second on the iW BOT with a moderate $6,876 average. In other weekend openers, Strand Releasing's "Formula" took the fourth position on the chart, grossing $5,124 at one location, while Regent Releasing's "Eternal" took seventh place, taking in $4,129 also on one screen. Indican Pictures' "Shoujyo" grossed $7,106 ($3,553 average) from two sites, while IFC Films' "The Baxter" plummeted with a $797 per screen average debut on 47 screens ($37,437 gross). The company opened the new film at nearly all of Clearview Cinemas venues in the New York metro area (the theater chain is owned by IFC/Clearview corporate parent, Cablevision).

In other weekend expansions, Lions Gate added 35 screens for "Grizzly Man," grossing $344,947 at 86 sites, averaging $4,011 (a 31% decline). The film's three-week cume is over $1.2 million. Sony Classics added two sites for "2046," grossing $122,958 from 31 screens, averaging $3,966 (a 15% decline), while its four-week cume is $631,989. THINKFilm's doc "The Aristocrats" had 56 extra showings last weekend, taking in $694,492 for a $3,073 average (22% decline). The film has cumed nearly $3.77 million in five weeks.

Warner Independent Pictures added 292 screens for its summer hit "March of the Penguins." The doc once again took in the most money of any title on the chart, grossing over $4.7 million on 2,394 screens. The film's average dropped about 36%, however, last weekend to $1,982, while its ten- week cume neared $56 million.

Focus Features' "Broken Flowers" grossed the second highest earnings of the weekend, taking in almost $1.7 million on 433 screens (390 last week). "Flowers" averaged $3,908, a 35% drop from last week's $6,023, while the film's one-month cume is nearly $8.6 million.

Miramax's "The Great Raid" also barely edged into the seven-figure club over the weekend, grossing almost $1.1 million. The film screened at 868 locations, a decline of 52 sites. "Raid" averaged $1,263, a 38% decline. In three weeks, the film has cumed over $8.4 million.

Sixty-seven films screened at 4,919 locations last weekend, averaging $2,026. The previous weekend, 67 films played 4,499 screens, averaging $2,880, or 30% higher than the current iW BOT average. "March of the Penguins," "Broken Flowers" and "The Great Raid" represented a combined 76% of the iW BOT's entire gross, with the remaining 64 films on the list taking in over $2.4 million on 1,224 screens, averaging $1,987, or 2% below the iW BOT average. Industry-wide, 124 films took in about $97.16 million on 44,056 screens, averaging 8% higher than the iW BOT's figure at $2,205.

Regent Releasing's "Margaret Cho: Assassin" will be among the specialty offerings opening this weekend.







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