"In America" and "Triplets" Hold Steady Over Quiet Weekend
by Brian Brooks
The specialty BOT saw little change over the weekend from the previous week, with "In America" at the top, while "The Triplets of Bellville" was in second place. The traditional post-Thanksgiving lull coupled with horrendous weather in the northeast meant numbers for the weekend were nowhere near the previous holiday weekend's breakneck pace. Meanwhile, other releases in their second and third weeks in theaters remained in the top ten of the iW BOT ranking as measured by per screen average.
In all, the BOT tracked 43 films compared to the Thanksgiving weekend's 47 titles and 54 the previous week. The films grossed $2.2 million (compared to $5.45 million over the expanded holiday) and $3.54 million two weeks ago). Specialty releases screened at 1,264 sites, down from 1,483.
Jim Sheridan's "In America" was at number one in the specialty box office for its second weekend run. The Fox Searchlight release maintained its 11-screen schedule, taking in $143,380 for a very tidy $13,035 per screen average (compared to a $23,668 average opening weekend). The film has now cumed $471,347. As mentioned in last week's box office report, the film will push further into additional markets beginning next weekend, according to Fox Searchlight president of distribution, Steve Gilula, with further expansion planned for Christmas.
Sony Classics' "The Triplets of Bellville" also maintained its release at six sites for weekend three, taking in $57,907 for a strong $9,651 per screen average (compared to last week's $18,013). [NOTE: The film was actually the top grosser last weekend, but showed up in the number two slot on the BOT due to an editorial error.]
Lions Gate Films' "The Cooler" continued on 11 screens, grossing $75,699 in its second weekend. The film's holiday weekend per screen average was $15,602. In the weekend that just ended, the film maintained its fourth-place ranking. The film, directed by Wayne Kramer, has totaled $291,603.
Alejandro González Iñárritu's "21 Grams" added one more screen for a total of 74, grossing $502,327 and a $6,788 per screen average for its third weekend out. The film opened with a huge $34,307 average in its debut on eight screens, the second highest number of the year after "Lost in Translation"'s $40K plus average. "21 Grams" has cumed almost $2.4 million.
Miramax's "The Barbarian Invasions" opened opposite "21 Grams" to lighter box office figures, but remains in the upper echelon of the BOT in its third weekend, the film is on 10 screens after opening on six. For the three days, the film grossed $54,934 for a sturdy $5,493 average (compared to the film's opening average of $13,275) and has cumed $271,390.
Upcoming limited releases include Peter Webber's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" from Lions Gate and Norman Jewison's "The Statement" starring Sir Michael Caine from Sony Pictures Classics.