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by Indiewire
October 23, 2007 2:13 AM
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iW BOT | Top of the Pops: Weinstein's "Control" Stays Number One; Audiences Kill for "Wristcutters:

A rock steady weekend gross of $38,242 at New York's Film Forum and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles made photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn's "Control" the top release on the iWBOT for the second week in a row. "Control," about Ian Curtis, troubled lead singer for the British post-punk band Joy Division, continued to be a top per-screen performer for The Weinstein Company. "Wristcutters: A Love Story," director Goran Dukic's afterlife fantasy, earned $38,443 from three runs for a per-screen average of $12,814. "Wristcutters" premiered at Sundance 2006, with After Dark Films releasing the film under its new Autonomous Films label. Director Craig Gillespie's comedy "Lars and the Real Girl," a collaboration between Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and MGM, earned $185,000 from 21 screens, an increase of 14 runs from its debut week. Its $8,810 per-screen average reached the number three spot on the iWBOT, which ranks films by per-screen average. Rounding out the iWBOT Top Five were holdovers "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Lust, Caution."

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

Photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn's "Control," the story of Joy Division lead Ian Curtis and his 1980 suicide, earned $38,242 for the Weinstein Co. from exclusive runs at New York's Film Forum and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. British actor Sam Riley, who stars as the Joy Division singer, boosted the box office via an appearance at the Nuart on Sunday night. "All the days were good but Sunday was our biggest day at the Nuart thanks to Sam's appearances," said Steve Bunnell, Chairman Domestic Distribution for the Weinstein Company. "Los Angeles was a version of what we have experienced in New York. The crowds are mostly male, befitting the fans of Joy Division. They also really like the movie and are definitely recommending it to their friends." The Weinstein Co. expands "Control," Friday to 18 runs in the top ten markets. Its cume has reached $92,305.

Croatian director Goran Dukic's dark comedy 'Wristcutters: A Love Story" earned $38,443 for After Dark Films, which released the 2006 Sundance drama via its recently formed Autonomous Films division. Starring Patrick Fugit as a heartsick suicide who seeks out his ex- girlfriend in a quirky afterlife, the teenage comedy reached the number two spot on the iWBOT with a $12,814 per-screen average. "We are pleased with the results as we always believed in the film," said Stephanie Caleb, EVP Creative Affairs & Acquisitions for After Dark Films. "We hope that the good word spreads and are confident that it will." Autonomous Films plans to expand in Los Angeles Friday and the top twenty markets Nov. 2.

Starring Ryan Gosling as a shy twnetysomething man who develops a love affair with a life-size, blow-up doll, "Lars and the Real Girl" earned $185,000 for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and MGM for a per- screen average of $8,810, a modest 30% from its previous per-screen mark. "Lars" has reached a cume of $312,615.

Expanding from 95 to 202 theaters, director Wes Anderson's comedy, "The Darjeeling Limited," starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman as estranged brothers traveling through India, continued to be a top-performer for Fox Searchlight with weekend earnings of $1.3 million, a per-screen average of $6,535 and a cume of $3.9 million. Focus Features continued to make history with its NC-17 Rated drama "Lust, Caution." Expanding from 77 screens to 125 runs, Ang Lee's World War II spy drama earned $585,900 in its fourth week and a per- screen average of $4,687, good enough for the number five spot on the iWBOT. Its cume has reached $2.1 million.

Far less successful for Focus was its heavily promoted family drama "Reservation Road," starring Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly. "Reservation Road" earned $36,821 from 13 venues. Its per-screen average was a disappointing $2,832. "Reservation Road" joined other high-profile dramas that have failed to fully engage autumn audiences. "In the Valley of Elah," filmmaker Paul Haggis' drama about a missing Iraq War soldier, earned $82,000 from 125 screens for Warner Independent Pictures. Its per-screen averaged has dwindled to $656 and its cume has topped $6.6 million, low numbers after six weeks in release. Despite the star power of co-stars Jude Law and Michael Caine, Sony Pictures Classics' re-make of the 1972 thriller "Sleuth" earned $36,657. Its $1,745 per-screen average was a surprising 65% dip from its debut weekend per-screen mark.

IFC's "Finishing the Game," director Justin Lin's comedy about the search to replace Bruce Lee after his death during the making of his last movie, earned $14,473 from two runs. The top documentary debut was International Film Circuit's "Meeting Resistance," featuring first-hand accounts by Iraqi insurgents. "Meeting Resistance" earned $7,712 from exclusive runs in New York and Washington DC. Its $3,856 per-screen average was good enough for the tenth spot on the iWBOT.

Directly behind "Meeting Resistance" in per-screen average was "Black White + Gray," director James Crump's documentary about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and his career-building relationship with fine- art photography curator Sam Wagstaff. "Black White + Gray" earned $3,815 at New York's Cinema Village. Samuel Goldwyn Films earned $33,000 from 11 New York area venues for its birth of Israel documentary "O Jerusalem."

The top performer among wide, specialty dramas continued to be "Into the Wild," filmmaker Sean Penn's adaptation of the Jon Krakauer novel for Paramount Vantage. Expanding from 153 to 658 theaters, "Wild" earned $2.1 million for a per-screen average of $3,249.

Top re-issues continued to be Warner Bros.' "Blade Runner: The Final Cut," which earned $26,008 from New York's Ziegfeld Theater and The Landmark in Los Angeles, and a new 35mm print of Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 youth comedy "La Chinoise," which earned $6,303 at the Film Forum for Koch Lorber.

Strong performers in terms of audience retention continued to be "Romance & Cigarettes," actor-turned-filmmaker John Turturro's working-class musical starring James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet. "Romance & Cigarettes," earned $4,371 from New York's Quad Cinemas; a 5% increase from the previous weekend. "Helvetica," a self-released documentary about global design culture and the Helvetica typeface, earned $1,916 at New York's IFC Center and exceeded $159,000 in total box office. Argentine filmmaker Jorge Gaggero's class drama "Live-In Maid" returned to the iWBOT Top Ten with weekend earnings of $4,962 from three venues. A Spanish-language hit for first-time distributor Film Sales Company, "Live-In Maid" has reached $200,000 in cumulative gross.

New Friday releases include Magnolia Pictures' documentary "Mr. Untouchable," about drug kingpin Nicky Barnes; "Pete Seeger The Power of Song," a music documentary from the Weinstein Co., director Jonathan Demme's documentary for Sony Pictures Classics, "Jimmy Carter Man From Plains," Roadside Attractions' romance "Bella," which won the audience award in Toronto last year, and Anthony Hopkins' experimental film "Slipstream," from Strand Releasing.

Steve Ramos is a Cincinnati based writer.

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 be included in the indieWIRE Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at studiogrosses@rentrak.com by the end of the day each Monday.

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