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by Peter Knegt
December 11, 2010 5:43 AM
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Friday Box Office: "The Fighter" Aims For "King's Speech"'s Record; "Swan" Keeps Soaring

In what looks to complete a mighty hat trick of weekends at the limited release box office, David O. Russell's "The Fighter" scored huge numbers on Friday night. Based on estimates, the Paramount-released boxing biopic - which stars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo - grossed $99,000 from just 4 theaters, averaging $24,750. That puts the film on track for a $340,000-$360,000 weekend, which puts it in line to potentially take the 2010 limited debut crown from "The King's Speech." That film averaged $88,885 from 4 theaters two weeks back, while "The Fighter" should average between $85,000 and $90,000 this weekend. The debut also gives the specialty market a stunning trio of consecutive debuts, following "Speech" and last weekend's "Black Swan" (the three of them are all among the best limited debuts of all time).

"Swan"'s second weekend was equally impressive. Expanding from 18 to 90 screens, the film found a place in the overall top 10 Friday night, grossing a stunning $987,045 for a $10,967 average. Darren Aronofsky's film - a psychological thriller about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) competing for the lead role in "Swan Lake" - should end up with $3,000,000-$3,500,000 for the weekend, giving it an average in the mid $30,000s, an extraordinary number for a film playing on that many screens.

Check back with indieWIRE tomorrow for a full report on the weekend box office, including the third weekend of "The King's Speech," which expanded to 19 screens this weekend to find a strong $156,000 gross (averaging $8,211), and the debut of Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," which grossed $14,200 from 5 engagements, averaging an unimpressive $2,840.

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