The first weekend of 2013 brought very good news to a group of films hoping to get further boosts from this Thursday's Oscar nominations, with Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" and Michael Haneke's "Amour" leading the way.
The former finally expanded after 2 weekends static in 5 theaters, going to 60 ahead of next weekend's post-Oscar nom wide release. Things sure looked promising as the Osama Bin Laden-procedural grossed $2,750,000, averaging a stunning $45,834 per theater. The top 5 theaters included the Lincoln Square 13 in NY, River East 21 in Chicago, Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, CA Century City 15, and Cinemark West Plano 20 in Texas. It was the top grossing film in 51 of its 60 theaters, and now has a total of $4,460,000.
Perhaps just as impressive was Sony Classics' "Amour," which held steady on 3 screens but managed to increase its gross 3% anyway. Grossing $63,596, it averaged $21,199 (its third straight weekend of a $20,000+ average) and has impressively totalled $315,011 after 17 days in just 3 theaters.
Other strong performers included "Silver Linings Playbook," "The Impossible," "Hyde Park on Hudson" and "Rust and Bone," each managing averages in the $4,000s. "Silver Linings" impressively did so on 745 theaters in its 8th weekend, falling just 11% despite no new theaters and taking its total to $34,671,059 ahead of its post-Oscar nom expansion.
The only reporting newcomer was the eighth film in Michael Apted's "Up" series, "56 Up." The doc -- which is part of a series that follows the lives of fourteen British people since 1964, when they were seven years old -- grossed $20,500 from an exclusive engagement at New York's IFC Center, a very strong start.
"It's thrilling to watch the latest UP film connect with audiences," said Seymour Wishman, President of First Run Features, distributor of the film. "It's amazing to think about the fact that 28 years ago First Run released 28 UP in America to great acclaim, and here we are, nearly three decades later, with audiences captivated again. The Up Series, thanks to its brave participants and Michael Apted's dedication, is truly one of the enduring works in the history of cinema."
Full list of numbers for reporting openers and holdovers on the next page, ranked by per-theater-average.