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Specialty Box Office: Holdovers Try To Cash In On Oscar Nominations

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 19, 2014 at 12:29PM

With the Oscar nominations up and out, a batch of hopefuls tried to boost their grosses over Martin Luther King weekend.
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Fox Searchlight "12 Years a Slave."

With the Oscar nominations up and out, a batch of hopefuls tried to boost their grosses over Martin Luther King weekend.

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" -- which received 9 Oscar nominations including best picture -- added 647 theaters in its 14th weekend, bringing the total to 761. That resulted in a $1,515,000 gross, averaging a respectable $1,991. "12 Years" has now grossed $40.6 million, with distributor Fox Searchlight adding another 300+ theaters next weekend.

Fellow best picture nominee "Philomena" actually dropped 102 theaters to 502, but The Weinstein Company only saw a 5% drop as the film took in $1,307,000 for a very strong $2,588 average. The film has now totaled $24,069,000 after 9 weeks.

"Dallas Buyers Club" -- which received 6 nominations including best picture -- added 294 theaters (giving it a total of 419) in its 12th weekend. The result was a $917,000 gross and a $2,189 average. "Dallas" has now grossed $17,789,000.

The Weinstein Company's "August: Osage County" got Oscar nods for both Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, and went all out trying to capitalize on it, pushing the theater count to 2,051.  The Tracy Letts adaptation took in a very nice $7,592,000 from its wide push, averaging $3,702. After 4 weeks, "August" has grossed $18,181,000.

Nine week old "Nebraska," which got nods for best picture, best director and for actors Bruce Dern and June Squibb, dropped 102 theaters to 505.  It still managed to jump 6% in grosses anyway, taking in $940,000 for a $2,304 average and a new total of $9,714,000.

Joel & Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis" got shafted from Oscar's major categories, but still took in $1,105,000 from 585 theaters (down 144 from last weekend).  The CBS Films release has now grossed $11,143,000.

Charles Dickens adaptation "The Invisible Woman" only got a costume design nod, but still saw respectable numbers as it went from 9 to 26 theaters in weekend four The Sony Pictures Classics-released film -- which stars Ralph Fiennes (who also directed), Felicity Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas -- took in $100,000 for a $3,846 average. Its total now stands at $293,000.

Sony Classics also expanded Asghar Farhadi's Oscar nomination-less "The Past" from 17 to 30 theaters and saw the film's weekend gross jump to $110,000. The film averaged $3,667 as a result, totaling $389,000 so far.

While "The Past" was snubbed in the foreign language category, Italy's "The Great Beauty" is a potential frontrunner now that the nominations are out.  Released in the US via Janus Films, the film grossed $130,000 from 54 theaters to average $2,407 and take its total to $1,263,000. It is now the highest grossing film ever for Janus Films.

Finally, there were a couple newcomers to specialty market this weekend. IFC Films released Japanese import "Like Father, Like Son" on 2 screens for a decent $16,500 gross, averaging $8,250. "American Mustang," meanwhile, pushed out on a single screen thanks to Vitagraph. The result was $8,100.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Writer and box office columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

This article is related to: Box Office, Awards Season Roundup





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