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by Peter Knegt
August 5, 2012 12:30 PM
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Specialty Box Office: 'Celeste and Jesse' Scores Big Debut; 'Moonrise' Tops $40 Million

"Celeste And Jesse Forever"
Sony Pictures Classics could have a late-summer hit on its hands with Lee Toland Krieger's "Celeste and Jesse Forever," which scored a very strong debut in limited release. Its $28,003 per-theater-average blew away the much less impressive debuts of Millennium Entertainment's "The Babymakers" and Magnolia's "360."

Notably, the weekend also saw Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" top the $40 million mark, inching toward replacing "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" as the highest grossing specialty release of 2012.

Check out the full rundown below.

The Debuts:

"Celeste and Jesse Forever" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sony Classics' Sundance pickup "Celeste and Jesse Forever" was released on 4 screens this weekend to one of the year's best limited debuts. The film -- written by real-life best friends Rashida Jones (who also stars) and Will McCormack -- grossed $112,011, averaging $28,003. That gave it the fifth best average of the year, behind "Moonrise Kingdom," "To Rome With Love," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Bernie" -- all of which are not bad company to be associated with.

"Celeste and Jesse" stars Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts and Ari Graynor. It follows a separated couple (Jones and Samberg) who try and remain best friends after breaking up. Sony Classics will expand the film significantly through August.

"360" (Magnolia Pictures)
Led by an all-star cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Rachel Weisz, and Jude Law, Fernando Meirelles's "360" debuted on 2 screens care of Magnolia Pictures this weekend.  The result was an unimpressive $12,600 gross, averaging $6,300.

"The Babymakers" (Millennium Entertainment)
Broken Lizard comedy "The Babymakers" fared even worse than "360," grossing just $5,783 from 10 screens this weekend.  Starring Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn and Kevin Heffernan, the film debuted at SXSW earlier this year. Its gross amounted to an average of just $578.

For a report on holdover releases, including "Killer Joe," "The Imposter," "Farewell My Queen," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "To Rome With Love" and "Moonrise Kingdom," continue to the next page.

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