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Box Office: “Agora” Leads Weak Weekend; Anchor Bay On a Roll With 2 Films (UPDATED)

Box Office: "Agora" Leads Weak Weekend; Anchor Bay On a Roll With 2 Films (UPDATED)

While Hollywood continued to have one its slowest summer box offices in recent memory (“Shrek Forever After” topped the charts for a third weekend in a row with just $25 million), Indiewood didn’t fare much better. Of a small batch of openers, none found grosses that were particularly earth shattering.

Neil Jordan’s “Ondine” opened on 5 screens care of Magnolia. The Colin Farrell starrer – which actually debuted on Xbox, Playstation, Amazon, & Vudu VOD a month back – grossed $27,497 for a $5,499 average. Meanwhile, a very different film – Johan Grimonprez’s Hitchcock/Cold War documentary “Double Take” – grossed $4,650 from its exclusive engagement at New York’s Film Forum – bringing its total to $6,998 since opening Wednesday. Another doc – Mark N. Hopkins’s “Living In Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders” – opened on 7 screens for BEV Pictures, and took in $16,387. That gave the film a $2,341 average.

The weakest of the lot was Julie Davis’s Leelee Sobieski starrer “Finding Bliss,” which Phase 4 released on a sole screen to a $2,400 average.

Most of the notable news came care of holdovers. Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora” – released through Newmarket Films – doubled its screen count to 4 after topping the box office last weekend in its first weekend out. The result was a respectable $41,326 haul (a 25% increase from last weekend) and a $10,332 average. That was enough to give the Rachel Weisz-starring historical epic the best per-theater-average of any film in the North American marketplace, and bring its total to $95,390.

Perhaps more impressive was the third weekend of Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s “Solitary Man,” which went from 6 to 22 screens and managed a very healthy $174,453 gross and a $7,930 average. Starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny deVito, Mary-Louise Parker and Jesse Eisenberg, the film has now nearly topped $450,000, and looks like it could become Anchor Bay’s second specialty hit of the year. The distributor – which had never even had a film gross over $300,000 just a few months ago, also saw Tribeca pickup “City Island” cross the $5 million mark this weekend – making it one of only a handful of specialty films to do so this year.

Jean Pierre-Jeunet’s “Micmacs” also expanded this weekend. After debuting on 2 screens last weekend, Sony Pictures Classics brought the film to 17 U.S. locations, and found a decent $102,617 gross and a $6,036 average. In Canada, where the film was released by Entertainment One, the film went from 2 to 18 screens, and performed considerably weaker. It grossed $37,817 and averaging only $2,101. In total, “Micmacs” grossed $142,622, averaging $4,075 and taking its North American gross total to $208,674 after 10 days.

The 50th anniversary restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” held steady on three screens via Rialto after a strong debut last weekend. The result was a $21,570 gross, including an impressive $15,300 from the Film Forum in New York City. That gave the film a $77,412 cume – an impressive 10-day total for a 50-year old film screening on only 3 screens.

Another high-grossing re-release continued its run in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” which Kino International saw gross $35,024 from 6 screens – the highlight of which was an estimated $15,000 gross from Boston’s Coolidge Center. Friday’s night’s screening there was accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra – their first performance with the film since the April 25 US premiere at the TCM Classic Film Festival in LA – and hundreds of would-be ticket buyers were turned away at the door. The total for “Metropolis”‘s re-issue is now $177,349.

Stephane Brize’s French import “Mademoiselle Chambon” had an excellent second weekend. The Vincent Lindon-Sandrine Kiberlain-starrer grossed a solid $26,337 from four screens over the weekend, averaging $6,584. The film – being released in the US by Lorber Films – has now totalled $59,876.

Finally, four releases that have been in the marketplace since April continued to prove themselves. The sixth weekends of both Daniel Barber’s “Harry Brown” and Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give,” and the eighth weekends of both Juan José Campanella’s Oscar winner “The Secret In Their Eyes” and Banksy’s” “Exit Through The Gift Shop” all saw great numbers.

“Brown” managed $88,258 from 49 screens (down from 53), averaging a decent $1,765 and taking its total to $1,195,907 – an impressive cume for a film that’s never gone over 100 screens.

“Please Give” held on even more impressively as it expanded from 50 to 87 screens this weekend, and saw a 50% jump in grosses – taking in $264,567 and averaging $3,041. The film – starring Catherine Leener, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall – has now grossed $1,707,150 and should easily become one of 2010’s horrifyingly rare $2 million grossers by the end of next weekend.

Speaking of, DIY-oriented Producers Distribution Agency-released “Exit Through The Gift Shop” hit that very mark just prior to this weekend. On 43 screens (down from 46 last weekend), “Gift Shop” added another $135,575 from the Friday to Sunday frame – averaging $3,153 and taking its total to $2,155,153.

An even greater milestone neared as “Secret in Their Eyes” inched toward the $4 million mark as it went from 155 to 160 screens and grossed a very healthy eight weekend gross of $397,705. That made for a $2,486 average and a total of $3,992,319.

Peter Knegt is indieWIRE’s Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

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 by the end of the day each Monday..

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