By Brian Brooks | Indiewire January 4, 2009 at 4:07AM
Paramount Vantage jump-started the New Year with "Defiance," ringing in an estimated $121,000 from two locations over the weekend, besting the per average screen numbers for the first holiday of 2009. The company reversed course with lower average estimates for "Revolutionary Road," last week's iW BOT topper, though the number of locations increased by over three dozen. Overture's "Last Chance Harvey" took on the beginning of '09 with a healthy five figure average, while both "Waltz with Bashir" and "The Wrestler" defied the economic doldrums, albeit in continued limited release.
Edward Zwick's WWII Jewish resistance feature "Defiance" conquered the New Years weekend estimate with a per screen average of $60,500 from its initial two screens. While certainly impressive, the number fell slightly short of the previous weekend's $64,000 average from five screens for the DiCaprio/Winslet starrer, "Revolutionary Road." For its second weekend in theaters, Paramount Vantage expanded "Road," directed by Sam Mendes, to 38 screens, averaging an estimated $25,763, a nearly 63% decline.
Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" maintained 18 locations for its third week out in theaters. The film averaged $23,994, an estimated 12% increase from the previous weekend. Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino," meanwhile finished in fourth weekend on 84 screens, also the same number as the previous week, taking in an estimated strong $33,571 average for a nearly 14% increase from its previous initial showing.
Ari Folman's "Waltz with Bashir" continued to rack up the year end nods with this weekend's National Society of Film Critics adding to the film's' roster of '08 honors by naming it best picture. "Waltz" sashayed to an estimated $10,875 average on five screens, a drop of only about 2% from the same number of showings. Also taking some NSFC nods were "Milk" and "Slumdog Millionaire," which averaged $6,020 and $7,794 respectively, both holiday weekend increases from one week prior.
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 email@example.com by the end of the day each Monday.