By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 1, 2009 at 5:54AM
Wayne Kramer's poorly reviewed immigration drama, "Crossing Over," topped the iW BOT this weekend, according to estimates provided by Rentrak. The Weinstein Company release, which stars Harrison Ford and Ashley Judd, grossed $75,590 on 9 screens for a per-theater-average of $8,399.
Behind "Crossing" were two foreign-language films, neither of which seem to be hurt much by their respective Oscar snubs. Matteo Garrone's non-nominee "Gomorrah" added 14 screens to bring its count to 20 and saw its average drop just 30% or so to $7,250. Its $145,000 gross helped bring the IFC Films' release's total to a promising $380,000. Laurent Cantet's "The Class," which lost the Oscar to "Departures," also held up quite well. Bringing its screen count to 73 (up 11), the Sony Pictures Classics release grossed $314,000, up 15% from last week. Its $4,301 was pretty much on par with the previous frame, and its total now stands at a fantastic $1,659,000.
"The Class"'s fellow Oscar "loser," and Sony Pictures Classics sibling, "Waltz With Bashir," seemed to be hurt much more by its loss. Likely expecting a win, the film expanded 153 screens to 203, but grossed only $188,000. Its $904 average was a 60% drop off from last weekend, though its now $1,829,000 total is still respectable considering marketably-challenged content.
The big Oscar winners all saw expected boosts this weekend. "Slumdog Millionaire" had its biggest weekend ever, grossing $12,150,000 from a massive 2,943 screen count. The Fox Searchlight release, winner of eight Academy Awards, now has a total of $115,148,000, putting it just $27 million away from "Juno"'s studio record.
Also expanding were lead acting winners "Milk" and "The Reader." Weinstein Company release "The Reader" brought its screen count to 1,203 and also grossed its highest weekend total ever, $2,918,000. Its $2,426 average helped bring its total to to $27,007,000 after 12 weeks of release. Focus Features' "Milk," which also took a screenplay honor, essentially doubled its screens from 411 to 828 and grossed $1,465,000. After 14 weeks of release, the Harvey Milk biopic has grossed $30,073,000.
indieWIRE:BOT tracks independent/specialty releases compiled from Rentrak Theatrical, which collects studio reported data as well as box-office figures from North American theatre locations. To be included in the indieWIRE Box Office Chart, distributors must submit information about their films to Rentrak at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day each Monday.