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“Chicago,” “Pianist,” “Hours” and “Nickelby” Join Specialty Crowd on Final Weekend of 2002

"Chicago," "Pianist," "Hours" and "Nickelby" Join Specialty Crowd on Final Weekend of 2002

“Chicago,” “Pianist,” “Hours” and “Nickelby” Join Specialty Crowd on Final Weekend of 2002

by Eugene Hernandez

“Chicago” opened to a strong holiday box office.

© 2002 Miramax

(indieWIRE: 12.31.02) — As the year comes to a close, a number of
limited release films are popular with art house moviegoers. Among the
new studio specialty films that joined the fray were “Chicago” from
Miramax, “The Hours” from Paramount/Miramax,
“Nicholas Nicleby” from United Artists, and “The
from Focus.

Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours” earned a total of $338,622 in 11
theaters in its first weekend, for an average of $30,784. The film, which
stars the powerhouse trio of Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and
Julianne Moore, is among a number of awards-season contenders that
are shining at the box office.

Miramax releases ran the gamut on the final weekend of the new year.
The screen adaptation of “Chicago” was a hit, earning slightly more
than $2 million on 77 screens for an average of nearly $27,000 in its
debut. In a much wider release, Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”
pulled in nearly $11 million on 2,190 screens for a $4,999 per-screen and a
new cume of just under $30 million. Far less successful was the company’s
release of Roberto Benigni’s “Pinocchio,” which was unveiled
without screenings for critics. The picture earned a slight $1.1 million on
more than 1,100 screens for a tiny per-screen average of
$964. Also from Miramax, “Frida” passed the $20 million mark on 283
screens. It earned $551,484 for a $1,949 average. “Rabbit Proof
earned $434,363 on 84 screens for an average of $5,171 and a new
total of $985,641, and “Ararat” earned $36,021 on 16 screens for a
$2,251 average and a new cume that is just about to hit $1.5 million.

Focus debuted Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist,” starring Adrien
as pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. The film made $111,261 on six
screens during its first weekend in the U.S. and Canada. It had an average
of $18,544 for a total of $143,197.00 so far. Continuing was the company’s
release of Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven.” The drama, starring
Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid, passed the $10 million mark as it
earned $646,897 on 230 screens for an average of $2,813.

Sony Pictures Classics widened Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to
to 59 screens in the film’s sixth weekend, earning $429,634 for a
solid average of $7,282. The film has earned more than $1.3 million so far.
The company’s release of “Auto Focus” earned $18,287 in its 11th
weekend, for a new cume of just under $2 million.

From Cowboy Pictures, Lynne Ramsay’s “Movern Callar”
made $11,932 on three screens for an average of $3,977 and a cume of $35,323
after two weekends. Also, the company’s “Devils on the Doorstep”
continued its release. It earned $4,342 on one screen for a cume of $12,148
after two weekends.

Over at UA, “Nicholas Nickleby” earned $42,864 on five screens in its
first weekend. The film, which stars Charlie Hunman, Anne
, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Miranda
, and Jamie Bell, had an average of $8,573. Continuing
in release is Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine.” The doc made
$417,215 on 175 screens in its 12th weekend, for a cume of $2,384 for a new
total of $14.7 million. “Personal Velocity” earned $53,692 in its
sixth weekend. The film had an average of $1,851 for a new cume of $569,631.

Samuel Goldwyn’s “El Crimen del Padre Amaro” has passed the $4
million mark. The film made $210,405 over the weekend on 83 screens for an
average of $2,535. While Gold Circle and Samuel Goldwyn teamed to
open Nicholas Cage’s “Sonny.” The film earned $17,639 in its debut on
six screens for an average of $2,940.

Lastly, in the final weekend of 2002, IFC Films and Gold Circle’s
release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” earned another $2.7 million on
just under 1,000 screens. The film has made nearly $223 million since
its debut in theaters back in the spring.

Opening today is George Clooney’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,”
starring Sam Rockwell as game show host and possible C.I.A. operative
Chuck Barris, while Thomas Riedelsheimer’s documentary, “Rivers
and Tides: Andy Goldworthy Working with Time”
will open on Thursday at
Film Forum.

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