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by Brian Brooks
January 4, 2007 4:03 AM
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iW BOT | "Pan's Labyrinth" Scares up Some Hefty Dollars; "Scandal," "Venus," "Veil" Solid

Ivana Baquero and Doug Jones as The Pale Man from Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth." Photo by Teresa Isasi.

The New Year's holiday weekend witnessed a final spurt of specialty box office enthusiasm for 2006 as Picturehouse's "Pan's Labyrinth" opened with a stellar performance at over a dozen locations. Also opening with gusto was Fox Searchlight's "Notes on a Scandal," while the specialty division's "The Painted Veil"--which opened at number one last week--migrated to the fourth position on the iW BOT, ranked on a per screen basis, in its second weekend with strong numbers. And, holding steadfast in the top ranks was Miramax's "Venus," which placed third with only a slight per screen average drop from its opening one week earlier.

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

Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" topped the indieWIRE box office table, ringing in 2007 with a splendid $45,849 per screen average following a 17 screen roll out. The film's four-day holiday gross totaled $779,427.

"I think it's great news, we'll do over $1 million in the first seven days [of the film's release]," Picturehouse chief Bob Berney told indieWIRE Wednesday. "It's the number one film at [New York's] AMC Empire (Times Square) right now." Berney credited the appeal of director del Toro for drawing audiences initially, but also said its appeal has gone beyond the Mexican director's fan base. "[The film] is the best reviewed one of the year and it has put it over the top."

Word-of-mouth and mostly positive critical response have appealed to crowds, but the often dreaded subtitles issue with American audiences has not caused much of a drag on this title according to Berney. "Exit polls have been tremendous and [I believe] there will be repeat business. The first time [viewer] will watch the film emotionally and the second or third time visit will be for technical appeal."

Picturehouse will expand the film by 25 screens in the Los Angeles area this week and will jump again to 100 locations nationwide by January 12. Berney expects the film will be playing on approximately 550 screens by January 19.

Richard Eyre's "Notes on a Scandal" debuted solidly with a $25,414 screen average at 22 locations. The film's total cume since its Christmas Day release is $757,968.

Fellow UK project "Venus" by Roger Michell maintained a celestial show on the iW BOT, placing third in its second week out. Miramax left the title on three screens, averaging only 7% lower than its opening $15,210 average.

Last week's number one specialty release, "The Painted Veil" by John Curran, ranked fourth for the present coverage period with a 26% drop in screen average at $13,275, though Fox Searchlight added 33 new runs (average was $17,953 on four screens last week). The films' two-week cume is now $624,552.

Zhang Yimou's "The Curse of the Golden Flower" remained at 60 sites in its second weekend, only losing 13%, averaging $10,339 ($11,879 last week). The Sony Classics release's two-week total is nearly $1.7 million.

The specialty box office took in nearly $6.73 million on 1,571 screens with 51 films reporting grosses over the four-day holiday weekend, averaging a combined $4,282. In comparison to the four-day Christmas weekend, 41 titles took in $3.48 million from 1,277 locations (approximately $2,725 average).

Minus the box office chart's top three absolute weekend earners, including "The Queen," "Pan's Labyrinth," and "Volver," the remaining 48 titles on the list grossed just over $3.9 million on 1,135 screens, averaging $3,436 or about 20% below the overall average for the week.

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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