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Shaking Her Moneymaker

Shaking Her Moneymaker

Though my love for Juno as a film is milder than most (though I certainly enjoyed it), its hard for me not to root for the little(ish) movie than can and will. Its director hails from Montreal (where I live) and its two stars come from Halifax and Toronto (my two former homes), so its probably the only American film in history to represent my own personal geography. It might try too hard with occasionally outdated and a-bit-too-quick dialogue, but it definately has a notable heart. And though it might be unfair that scribe Diablo Cody is getting more spotlight than every other screenwriter working combined, mostly due to her unusual rags-to-riches story (she was a stripper if you didnt already pick up on that), its kinda great to see an unknown, female writer become THE buzz story of a movie.

So when I read today that Juno made an astounding $539K in its first 5 days on just seven screens (averaging over $60,000 this weekend), I’ll admit it made me a little gleeful. It looks like it will join No Country For Old Men as one of the very few limited release success stories of the season, and – if the train keeps going, which I bet it will – it will make the adorable Michael Cera technically more bankable in 2007 than Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman combined, with two small-budget, big-box office stories under his belt. Juno‘s average was nearly 9 times that of the weekend’s big opener, The Golden Compass, and making the top 20 films overall on just 7 screens is quite the feat.

Also notable this weekend, Atonement did quite well on 28 screens ($25K average), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly held onto its average very well (dropping for $28K to $20K) and No Country For Old Men nearly hit the top 5 on a still relatively small 1,324 screens, bringing its total to $28.9 million, even before any of its real awards attention even begins…

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