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April 22, 2003 2:00 AM
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"Winged Migration" Perches Atop the Box Office; "Better Luck Tomorrow," "Beckham" and "Vargas" Conti

"Winged Migration" Perches Atop the Box Office; "Better Luck Tomorrow," "Beckham" and "Vargas" Continue Well

by Brian Brooks










A scene from Jacques Perrin's "Winged Migration" which opened at the Paris Theatre in New York.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Oscar-nominated doc "Winged Migration" ascended into box office heaven on one screen while Newmarket nicely opened the Swedish film "Lilja 4-Ever" at four locations. "Better Luck Tomorrow" continued to steal the attention of moviegoers in its second week while "Bend it Like Beckham" and "Raising Victor Vargas" continued their momentum.

Sony Classics debuted director Jacques Perrin's documentary "Winged Migration" at New York's Paris Theatre over the weekend taking in a high-flying $33,128. The French-produced film received an Academy Award-nomination for best documentary feature earlier this year.

Lukas Moodysson's drama "Lilja 4-Ever," about a woman who arrives in Sweden from the Soviet Union to escape her bleak life only to find more gloom, played on four screens for a $33,731 gross on its opening weekend and a decent $8,433 per screen average. Also debuting was Fox's "Chasing Papi," which took in $2.4 million on 585 screens for a moderate $4,110 average over the weekend. The film by Linda Mendoza has totaled $3.16 million since it opened last Wednesday.

"Better Luck Tomorrow"'s ship is still coming in on weekend number two with $487,692 on 42 screens for a grand $11,612 average. Next week, the Paramount will expand the film to about 400 screens. So far the film, by Justin Lin, has already earned just shy of $1 million.

Samuel Goldwyn/Fireworks Pictures continued to score with "Raising Victor Vargas." The Peter Sollett directed feature expanded to 33 theaters from last week's 20 taking in $133,879 on its fourth weekend for a nice $4,057 average, an increase from the previous weekend's $3,256. The film has a cume of $331,880.

"Bend it Like Beckham" from Fox Searchlight scored another goal in its sixth weekend earning $1.95 million on 392 screens ($4,984 average). It has earned a total of just under $6.8 million. Also from Fox Searchlight, "The Good Thief" played 122 venues and grossed $619,867 for a vigorous $5,081 average in its third weekend. The film has totaled just over $1.3 million.

Sony Classics' "The Man Without a Past" earned $49,990 on ten screens in its third weekend out ($4,999 per screen) for a $125,262 total. Meanwhile, IFC Films' "XX/XY" played at two locations during its second weekend taking in $6,925 ($3,463 average) for a $31,320 cume.

Sony Classics' Oscar-winning "Hable con Ella" (Talk to Her) passed the $9 million mark playing on 90 screens for a $105,442 take. The Spanish feature, directed by Pedro Almodovar, averaged $1,172 in its 22nd weekend of release.

Coming up this week, UA will open "City of Ghosts" by Matt Dillon. Also set to debut is "Confidence" from Lions Gate and IFC Films' doc, "A Decade Under the Influence" about '70s cinema.

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