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Per-Theater-Average Wars: What Will End Up 2010’s Top Limited Debut?

Per-Theater-Average Wars: What Will End Up 2010's Top Limited Debut?

So far in 2010, “The Kids Are All Right” is a very clear leader in the race for the year’s best per theater average when it averaged a stunning $70,282 from 7 screens this past July. But now it’s November and the specialty market big guns are about to come at us in full force. The last 2 months of the year usually end up giving us crazy per-theater-averages care of big Oscar contenders released.

Last year, “Precious” managed a $104,025 average from 18 screens, which is probably one of the most impressive limited openings of the past 20 years. Prior, films like “Dreamgirls,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” all topped $80,000K per-screen. So what will end up 2010’s PTA MVP? It could very well remain “The Kids Are All Right” for all we know. $70,282 is quite something and is one the 30 best limited debuts of all time.

But there are about a half dozen or so films that have reasonable shots at taking it down, starting with this weekend’s “127 Hours,” which is opening on 4 screens. Anything under a $50,000+ PTA would be a disappointment for “Hours” as far as I’m concerned, and $70,000+ is not out of the question. Though if I had to guess, something in the middle will be the end result, and “Kids” will remain the champ. Until, of course, the likes of “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter,” “Black Swan,” “Rabbit Hole” and perhaps “Somewhere” or “Blue Valentine” roll around ( “True Grit,” meanwhile, is opening wide).

What do you think the year’s top limited debut will be?

Here’s my predictions for the year’s final top ten:

1. The Fighter: $82,000
2. Black Swan: $74,000
3. The Kids Are All Right: $70,282*
4. The King’s Speech: $68,000
5. 127 Hours: $65,000
6. Rabbit Hole: $47,000
7. The Ghost Writer: $45,752*
8. Cyrus: $45,429*
9. Somewhere: $43,000
10. Blue Valentine: $39,000

*-already opened

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