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"The Libertine" is a Specialty Box Office Seductress; "Pride and Prejudice" Expands

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire November 29, 2005 at 3:17AM

The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films' joint release "The Libertine" seduced the specialty box office over the holiday weekend, grabbing the premiere position on the indieWIRE box office table as ranked on a per screen basis. Also taking b.o. kudos over Thanksgiving (figures included in this article and chart are three-day weekend grosses reported by Monday) was Sony Pictures Classics' "Breakfast on Pluto," as well as Rialto Pictures' "Classe Tous Risques," which opened solidly at a single location. The weekend saw a greater than usual Hollywood-centric line up, with few other 'indie' openers, although the large expansion of Focus Features' "Pride and Prejudice" actually increased the overall iW BOT gross compared to the prior weekend.
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The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films' joint release "The Libertine" seduced the specialty box office over the holiday weekend, grabbing the premiere position on the indieWIRE box office table as ranked on a per screen basis. Also taking b.o. kudos over Thanksgiving (figures included in this article and chart are three-day weekend grosses reported by Monday) was Sony Pictures Classics' "Breakfast on Pluto," as well as Rialto Pictures' "Classe Tous Risques," which opened solidly at a single location. The weekend saw a greater than usual Hollywood-centric line up, with few other 'indie' openers, although the large expansion of Focus Features' "Pride and Prejudice" actually increased the overall iW BOT gross compared to the prior weekend.

[View the indieWIRE:BOT Box Office Table for this week's films here.]


Laurence Dunmore's "The Libertine" with John Malkovich and Johnny Depp massaged the iW BOT with the highest per screen box office figure on the chart in an otherwise ho-hum weekend for most of the specialty titles reporting numbers Monday. The Weinstein Company/Miramax Films release grossed $26,800 at two locations, averaging $13,400.



"New York and Los Angeles saw a solid screen average, with New York especially leading the charge," commented Gary Faber, co-executive vice president of marketing at the Weinstein Company to indieWIRE. "Considering the extremely crowded marketplace, and being an exclusive engagement - that was hardly promoted at all - [the film's performance] demonstrates Depp's incredible drawing power." Faber indicated that the film drew both woment and men with a slight skew toward females and drew a 'sophisticated' audience that was "a touch older and highly educated." The Weinstein Company will hold off on a larger roll out, however, until after the new year when possible awards nods for Depp can further propel the film to a larger release.


"The film comes off screen on Friday - and then we'll look to bring it back behind a full marketing blitz in early January. Johnny [Depp] is getting incredible reviews for his performance, so we certainly have hopes that some award momentum can get behind him and help push the film to a sizeable wide opening in January."



Last weekend's number two film "Breakfast on Pluto" again placed in the same position on the chart. The film, directed by Neil Jordan, maintained its three screen engagements, grossing $28,783 for a $9,594 average, only 14% below the feature's previous weekend $11,093 average. "Pluto"'s three-week cume is $88,420.


Rialto Pictures' "Classe Tous Risques" took the chart's third position after debuting last week at number one. The film remained on one screen, taking in $9,470, or 21% below the previous week's $11,945, while its two-week cume is $27,985.


Aside from "The Libertine," only two other new films reported grosses by Monday including Lions Gate Films' "Streets of Legend" and First Run Features' IDFA doc "Aristide and the Endless Revolution." "Streets" grossed $3,769 on one screen ($4,825 cume since its mid-week opening) and "Aristide" took in $2,552, also from one location.


Joe Wright's "Pride and Prejudice" was by far and away the iW BOT's largest overall grossing film, absorbing 63% of the entire specialty box office's weekend take. Focus expanded the film by a whopping 1,078 screens, grossing nearly $7.16 million from 1,299 locations. The feature averaged $5,510 (placing fifth on the chart), down 43% from the previous week's $9,690. In three weeks, "Pride and Prejudice" has cumed just over $16 million.


Warner Independent Pictures decreased George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck" by 186 screens, although the film saw a per screen average increase in its two-month milestone. The film took in almost $1.9 million (the chart's second biggest grosser) at 617 sites, averaging $3,050, or 32% higher than last week's $2,078 average. The film's cume is now almost $19.56 million.


The weekend's third highest specialty box office draw, "Capote," also decreased its screen reach but increased its screen average over Thanksgiving. The Sony Classics release took in $917,323 on 261 screens (317 last week), averaging $3,515 or 24% higher compared to the previous weekend. In nine weeks, the film, directed by Bennett Miller, has cumed just over $9 million.


By the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, 61 films reported grosses totaling almost $11.35 million on 2,979 screens. The specialty box office average increased by 35% to $3,809 ($2,460 last week) although the comparative strength of "Pride and Prejudice" largely fueled the jump. Together with "Capote" and "Good Night and Good Luck," the top three grossing titles on the chart consumed 88% of the iW BOT's weekend take, while the remaining 58 titles took in almost $1.4 million on 802 screens, averaging $1,733, or 54% lower than the overall iW BOT average.


Next week's openers include Palm Pictures' "Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt," "Far Side of the Moon" from TLA Releasing, The Weinstein Company and IFC Films' "Transamerica," and Slow Hand Releasing's "The Kid and I."

[Editor's Note: Some late figures were reported after the regular Monday deadline that are not reflected in the article but were later included in the chart. Among those was Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, which is being distributed by Cineville and grossed $9,744 on 1 screen with a total cume of $9744.00.]






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