Top Per-Theater Average: "Chico and Rita"( GKIDS)
Fresh off its surprise nomination for best animated feature, GKIDS released "Chico & Rita" grossed a very impressive $20,654 from a single screen at the Angelika Film Center in New York this weekend. A love story set in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the film had the highest per-theater-average of any film in release. It will expand to five theaters in both New York and the Bay area on February 17th.
Best Debut on More Than a Single Screen: "Rampart" (Millennium Entertainment)
While "Chico & Rita" found the best overall debut, "Rampart" was a respectable bridesmaid. While it didn't end up managing an Oscar nomination, Millennium Entertainment's release of Oren Moverman's second feature grossed $60,446 from five screens for a very respectable $12,089 per-theater-average. Those numbers are up from Moverman's previous film -- 2009's "The Messenger," which like "Rampart," starred Woody Harrelson. That film averaged $11,131 from four theaters in its first weekend before going on to gross $1,109,660.
Most Impressive Holdover: "We Need To Talk About Kevin" (Oscilloscope)
Oscilloscope continues its very cautious expansion of Tilda Swinton-starrer "We Need To Talk About Kevin" (which was clearly pegged to Swinton's sadly non-existent Oscar nomination). Going from 13 to 16 screens this weekend, the film impressively shot up 28% in grosses, and actually saw its weekend-to-weekend per-theater-average rise as well. Grossing $83,816, it averaged $5,239 and took its total to $496,670. The film has only expanded to a few markets, and Oscilloscope said the film will be in hundreds of markets through March and April. Its first expansion of March 2nd.
Milestones: "The Descendants" (Fox Searchlight)
Fox Searchlight's release of Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" expanded slightly from 2,038 to 2,214 screens. In its thirteenth weekend of release, it took in $3,441,676, averaging $2,177. The new total of $70,671,289 put it less than $1 million from surpassing the gross of Payne's "Sideways" -- and makes it the fifth highest grossing Fox Searchlight release ever.
Check out the full box office chart.