Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" was high atop the iW BOT for the second weekend in a row, according to initial estimates from Rentrak early this afternoon. Fox Searchlight's Oscar hopeful expanded from 10 to 32 screens, and saw its per-theater average barely drop from last weekend's near-year high of $36,002 to $30,985 (which even topped blockbusting "Twilight"'s first weekend average by about a third). Its $991,529 total weekend gross was good enough to make a true millionaire out of "Slumdog," taking its total to $1,613,974.
Arnaud Desplechin's "A Christmas Tale" similarly expanded from 7 to 36 screens in its second weekend, seeing its average cut in half. The IFC Films release grossed $160,400 scoring a somewhat disappointing $4,456 average (fellow French film "I've Loved You So Long," playing on a nearly identical 35 screens, averaged $5,286 despite being 3 weekends older then "Tale.") "Tale"'s total stands at $253,862 going into the holiday frame.
No opening films reported their estimates this weekend, but there was some news among the many expanding ones. Miramax's surprisingly aggressive "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" actually found a place in the overall box office top 10 by expanding to 406 screens and grossing a potent $1,673,000. The holocaust drama, directed by Mark Herman and starring Asa Butterfield, Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis, has now totaled $2,653,539.
Finally, in its fourth weekend, Bruce Campbell's "My Name is Bruce" played on 4 screens and managed another strong $6,175 average, which was actually the second highest average among reported estimates. Campbell has been touring with the film (this weekend he was at the Detroit screenings), which has so far seemed like an effective way at getting the theaters filled. "Bruce"'s cume stands at $107,347.