Millennium Entertainment scored one of the highest limited release debuts of 2012 in terms of per screen average over the weekend with director Richard Linklater‘s latest feature. Starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine, Bernie bowed with a spectacular $30K average from three locations in New York, Los Angeles and Austin in the final weekend of April. Bernie‘s initial triumph comes as the overall box office plummeted over the weekend. Millennium gushed that the right combination of marketing, publicity and audience approval worked in the film’s favor. “Word of mouth is our friend here, which is the best friend you can have in the movie business,” Millennium’s Andy Gruenberg told Deadline this morning.

“Almost dollar for dollar, New York, Austin and LA were identical. This is an American picture that is an audience pleaser. It’s one of a kind. Jack Black did a tremendous amount of publicity.” The distributor will open Bernie in additional cities in Texas and expand its presence in NYC and L.A. next weekend. The feature, which opened last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, will jump into the top 20 markets May 18th.

Magnolia Pictures opened crime thriller Headhunters at four theaters, grossing a decent $45K ($11,250 average) while Kino Lorber debuted two films, Elles and Whores’ Glory with more modest results. Elles averaged $4,880 from five locations and Whores’ Glory scraped by with $4,800 from two locations. Fox Searchlight’s Sound Of My Voice opened at five theaters, grossing $40K for an $8K average.

ira bounds
2 years
I agree.Jack Black and Richard Linklater are Oscar worthy with BERNIE. You need to see this one...
beth greenwald
2 years
I saw "Bernie" Saturday night at the Angelika in New York. The film and it's star Jack...

Among second weekend holdovers, Magnolia Pictures’ documentary Marley added eight locations, grossing $160K for a $3,200 average. The film debuted with a $6,190 average on 42 screens. Sony Classics’ Darling Companion added 13 theaters, averaging $4,213, down from its $11,574 average from several locations last week.

NEW
1. Bernie (Millennium Entertainment) NEW [3 Theaters] Weekend $90K, Average $30,109

2. Headhunters (Magnolia Pictures) NEW [4 Theaters] Weekend $45K, Average $11,250

3. Sound Of My Voice (Fox Searchlight) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $40K, Average $8,014

4. Elles (Kino Lorber Films) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $24K, Average $4,880

5. Whores’ Glory (Kino Lorber Films) NEW [2 Theaters] Weekend $4,800, Average $2,400

RETURNING / 2ND WEEKEND
1. Marley (Magnolia Pictures) Week 2 [50 Theaters] Weekend $160K, Average $3,200, Cume $523K

2. Darling Companion (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 2 [17 Theaters]
Weekend $71K, Average $4,213, Cume $126K

3. My Way (CJ Entertainment/PMK*BNC Films) Week 2 [6 Theaters]
Weekend $13K, Average $2,201, Cume $42K

HOLDOVERS / 3RD+ WEEKENDS
1. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (CBS Films) Week 8 [335 Theaters]
 Weekend $440K, Average $1,313, Cume $7.79M

2. Bully (The Weinstein Company) Week 5 [263 Theaters] Weekend $330K, Average $1,255, Cume $2.12M

3. Monsieur Lazhar (Music Box Films) Week 3 [66 Theaters]
 Weekend $252K, Average $3,819, Cume $613K

4. Footnote (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8 [101 Theaters]
 Weekend $163K, Average $1,619, Cume $1.56M

5. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (Magnolia Pictures) Week 8 [75 Theaters] 
Weekend $160K, Average $2,133, Cume $1.82M

6. The Raid: Redemption (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6 [126 Theaters] 
Weekend $142K, Average $1,130, Cume $3.9M

7. The Kid With A Bike (Sundance Selects) Week 7 [85 Theaters] 
Weekend $127K, Average $1,500, Cume $1.12M

8. Damsels In Distress (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 [57 Theaters] 
Weekend $92K, Average $1,631, Cume $448K

9. The Deep Blue Sea (Music Box Films) Week 6 [51 Theaters] 
Weekend $75K, Average $1,521, Cume $875K

10. Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day (Code Black Ent.) Week 3 [67 Theaters]
Weekend $73K, Average $1,093, Cume $1.07M

11. We Have A Pope (Sundance Selects) Week 4 [27 Theaters]
 Weekend $64K, Average $2,400, Cume $248K

12. A Separation (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 18 [48 Theaters] 
Weekend $57K, Average $1,190, Cume $7M

13. Jeff Who Lives At Home (Paramount Vantage) Week 7 [77 Theaters] 
Weekend $57K, Average $792, Cume $4.14M

14. The Artist (The Weinstein Company) Week 23 [50 Theaters] Weekend $30K, Average $600, Cume $44.21M

15. Touchback (Anchor Bay) Week 3 [30 Theaters] Weekend $27K, Average $900, Cume $183K

16. Casa De Mi Padre (Lionsgate) Week 7 [36 Theaters] Weekend $23K, Average $639, Cume $5.81M

17. Coriolanus (The Weinstein Company) Week 15 [14 Theaters] 
Weekend $16K, Average $1,201, Cume $708K

18. Rampart (Millennium Entertainment) Week 12 [18 Theaters]
Weekend $13K, Average $768, Cume $963K

19. Pina (Sundance Selects) Week 18 [11 Theaters] Weekend $11K, Average $1,000, Cume $3.5M

20. Undefeated (The Weinstein Company) Week 11 [20 Theaters]
 Weekend $10K, Average $544, Cume $519K

21. W.E. (The Weinstein Company) Week 13 [10 Theaters] Weekend $5K, Average $547, Cume $575K