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March 7, 2007 5:44 AM
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iW BOT | Oscar Winners Take Lions Share of a Mostly Blah Specialty Box Office

Ulrich Muhe in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others." Photo by Hagen Keller, courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.

The first full weekend post-Oscars went out with a sigh as far as box office windfall goes, though Academy Award winners "The Lives of Others," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," and "Pan's Labyrinth" along with Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attraction's "Amazing Grace" represented over 80% of the entire specialty box office's $8.13 million Friday to Sunday gross, as tabulated by Rentrack Theatrical. Sony Classics' "Lives of Others" added screens, as did other Oscar honorees, and took the top spot of the iW BOT as ranked on a per screen basis, though the per site average dipped. Second on the chart was New Yorker's "Bamako," while THINKFilm's "Avenue Montaigne" placed third after adding screens. IFC First Take's "Wild Tigers I Have Known" topped the weekend's few new arrivals landing fourth in the chart.

The iWBOT is based on per-theater averages reported by Rentrak Theatrical, the complete indieWIRE BOT weekly chart is available here at indieWIRE.com

German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others," which won the coveted best foreign-language Oscar, grossed $781,095 over the weekend after Sony Classics added 54 locations from the previous weekend, averaging 8% lower with a $6,974 per site take. The iW BOT chart topper has cumed over $2.3 million since its theatrical roll out one month ago.

New Yorker Film's drama "Bamako" by Abderrahmane Sissako remained at one location in its second weekend out, taking in $6,649, giving the film a second placement on the chart. In its debut weekend, the film grossed $8,516, 22% higher than the current gross.

Daniele Thompson's drama/romance "Avenue Montaigne" (Fauteuils d'orchestre) ranked third on the iW BOT with a $6,061 average, grossing $103,045 from 17 screens. The previous weekend, the film averaged $10,376 from two showings (42% drop) though distributor THINKFilm added 15 screens. The film's three-week total is $181,855.

"We are very pleased with the film's overall performance," commented THINKFilm's VP, theatrical sales Michael Tuckman to indieWIRE Tuesday. "It has held up very well in New York, and the openings in LA and Washington are among the best we've ever had." Tuckman said the film did over $17,000 in the U.S. capital, making it the highest grossing specialty engagement in the area. In LA, the film took in $13,000 at the Royal and suburban runs added another $8,000. "These are very strong numbers for specialty films in general, much less a foreign-language film in a market that has traditionally been much less friendly to such fare," said Tuckman who added that the film has appealed to an "array of audiences," especially "traditional art house" crowds.

Building on those audiences, THINK will target areas with similar art house concentrations including the La Jolla area of San Diego and St. Louis Park in Minneapolis. "From day one, the film was always designed to be a regional film, rolling out to markets in a phase by phase manner," said Tuckman. THINK is going to rely on word-of-mouth in new markets in addition to media coverage, setting up "key word-of-mouth" screenings with cinema societies as the film travels to new areas.

In all, 43 films took in $8.13 million on a combined 3,601 screens devoted to specialty product for a ho-hum $2,258 overall screen average. Oscar weekend, 42 titles grossed about $10.16 million on 4,076 screens, averaging a 9% higher $2,493. Minus the top five earners on the chart ("Queen," "Scotland," "Pan's," "Grace," "Lives"), the remaining 38 titles on the chart grossed a combined $1.455 million on 1,111 screens for a $1,310 average.


indieWIRE:BOT tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To submit information about your film to Rentrak, please email studiogrosses@rentrak.com

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1 Comment

  • jamesisrael | March 8, 2007 5:33 AMReply

    EDITORS NOTE:

    Zeitgeist Film's "Into Great Silence" was accidentally omitted from the box office chart.

    Directed by Philip Groning, the documentary opened on Wednesday February 28th and grossed $11,355 over the three day weekend on 1 screen with a total cume of $15,128.

    James Israel/indieWIRE